Posted by Linden on April 30, 1998 at 18:54:46:
In response to Or..., written by Laraine on April 30, 1998 at 13:31:55
] ] Was Jane Austen trying to tell us something about the virtues of quietness?
] ... for me, the idea is to make mistakes, take risks, grow a whole lot, and wind up with Knightley, Darcy, or Wentworth
Thanks, you've made me think a bit more. My additional thoughts are that perhaps we should look at whether they are funny or unfunny mistakes.
The funny mistakes are the stuff of comedy - Emma's snobbery, Lizzy's pride in her judgement of character, Catherine's passion for Gothic novels.
It's no surprise that the heroines who make the funny mistakes are the bright ones: they are the comic heroines (and IMHO the only author who can match JA for comic heroines is Shakespeare, with Viola, Rosalind, Portia, Beatrice etc).
The unfunny ones are the stuff of tragedy - Anne's rejection of Wentworth is the main one. Alternatively, where it's not the heroine's own mistake that causes her pain, they are the stuff of pathos, which is rarely so dramatic as tragedy. When she puts them on the main heroine (the point of view character) it doesn't quite come off (Elinor and Fanny). When JA puts them on her secondary heroines (Jane Fairfax, Jane Bennet***) we don't worry about them so much.
Marianne is a re-working of Catherine: caught up in romance. Catherine has the luck to find a good man with a sense of humour (no need to be defensive about liking Henry: he's far and away my favourite hero). Marianne doesn't, and so her mistakes are nearly deadly.
*** The pain in Jane falls mainly on the Janes
- I think we're agreeing straight down the line Laraine 15:34:03 5/01/98 (16)
- Pathos in JA Linden 19:41:36 5/01/98 (15)
- Can I get a clarification? Erin 13:53:45 5/02/98 (14)
- Tragedy and pathos Linden 20:02:33 5/02/98 (13)
- Yet... Erin 12:35:18 5/03/98 (12)
- What about S&S Arnessa 22:51:25 5/04/98 (0)
- Aristotle and tragedy... Helen 14:47:18 5/03/98 (10)
- Blah Blah, Tragedy in this "Helen-ic" age Ian of Erin 22:34:11 5/04/98 (0)
- I can't believe... Erin 00:03:25 5/04/98 (3)
- What did Aristotle say about comedy? Linden 18:47:59 5/03/98 (4)
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