I Never Thought I'd Bring _Her_ Up at a Party...So Sorry (Long)
Posted by Cassia on February 07, 1998 at 13:10:32:
I was at a party last weekend and somehow I began to speak of the unmentionable. I mean, of course, Her Royal Dreariness, Miss Fanny Price. My mind flashed back to the film Metropolitan and how I swore I'd never bring such a heroine to a party. I am shocked, agrieved, chagrined.
Still, I beleive I can finally put my finger on why while I can admire, apprieciate and even value Miss Fanny, I cannot like her: the answer is found on page 107 of A S Byatt's Morpho Eugenia, the first novella in her book Angels and Insects. in describing Matty Crompton, who like Miss Price is a hanger-on in the household of a baronet, William Adamson, a scientist visting the manor thinks:
She had never treated him other than benevolently, and dhad never put herself forward in any way. But he sensed a kind of supresses fierceness in her which he was not wholly sure he wanted to know more about. She had herself very much in her own control...
Matty, unlike Miss Price, manages to hold on to her fierceness despite being in a low position. Even prey can defend itself; JA never never acknowledges this that even mice have teeth to bite when pushed to the wall, this fierceness is necessary if one is to survive, especially if one is survive in a lowly position. I never get the idea that F can take care of herself even though F has talents and a will of iron, because she never leads with her assets, she never insists their being acknowledged and nearly conspires in the ill opinion others have of her. Matty realises her talents and near the end of the story insists that Adamson look at her, insists on his acknowledging her presense and humanity. It is this humanity Miss Price never fully displays and therefore, IMO, she never becomes fully human, more of a household saint holding a place of honour far above the rough and tumble of the real world. No wonder we of the Crawfordite league think a roll in the dirt with Henry would do her ever so much good.
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