Posted by Margie on June 12, 1997 at 14:51:54:
In reply to Re: S&S and Emma--oops posted by Janea on June 12, 1997 at 06:32:50
] ] ] Why was the secret engagement of Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill so morally reprehensible in Emma but the secret engagement of Lucy Steele and Edward Ferrars no big problem in S&S? Was it that people objected to LS so violently that the bad morals of the secrecy was not thought of?
] ] ] Thanks for any input.
] ] ] Kathy
] ] ________
] I don´t understand when you say that Lucy´s and Edward´s secret engagement was "no big problem" in S&S. To Edward it was. He lost all finansial support from his mother and was nearly cut out from his family. Frank on the other hand lost nothing in long terms.
I think we might have made slightly different readings of Kathy F.'s question. My understanding of the question was why was the secrecy of the engagement in Emma regarded as unethical, but in S&S no one seemed to make an issue of the ethics of the situation -- no one had a "problem" with the ethics. Mrs. Ferrars was certainly outraged by Edward's behavior, and without a doubt that caused a huge problem for Edward, but I don't think it was the ethical issues that outraged her. I think that it was Lucy's lack of status and fortune that outraged her. If Edward had been secretly engaged to a woman of rank and wealth, like say Anne de Bourgh (sp?!), I think Mrs. Ferrars would have been delighted and Edward would have been the favorite son for at least 47 seconds. I don't think the ethics of his behavior would have troubled her.
I think that the characters in S&S who might have been troubled by the ethics of Edward's behavior are Edward himself, Elinor, and Colonel Brandon, and to a lesser extent Mrs. Dashwood and Marianne. I also think that his strength, courage, and honor in maintaining the engagement in the face of his mother's behavior, impressed them all more than the secrecy of the engagement bothered them. I don't think any of them were concerned about the ethics of Lucy's behavior, because who would expect ethical behavior from such a one as
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