Infuriating indeed - quoting from it
Posted by Constanza on May 18, 1998 at 11:29:16:
In response to Irritating, isn't it?, written by Lydia on May 15, 1998 at 19:25:49
MARVIN MUDRICK, isn't it?
Here are two of the most infuriating paragraphs (bold font is mine):
The point that the cast-iron plan intends to make here is that Christianity is the true faith, sad Mary a flippant and disrespected traducer: ordination is the subject according to plan, and Edmund's choice will determine not only his vocation but, very likely, quite eschatological matters. The point that the novel makes is more terrestrial: that Mary is in love with Edmund alive all of him - as Fanny could never bring herself to think about the range of her own feelings - and that she does her best to protect him against any threat to his full vitality. When she seems to be losing him forever, she does not hesitate to offer him, by his principles prematurely, what he desires and what in her love she wishes to give and to have. Whether or not Mary "deserves" Edmund, she is the only woman in the novel whose gaiety, conversation intelligence kindness, and beauty can elevate Edmund to a level of responsiveness beyond Sir Thomas's killing principles. When Edmund turns to Fanny, the principles voluminously reclaim him.
As if this were a Victorian novel!!! Beware not to have too many moral principles lest you will be killed by them!
As for Henry Crawford, he is a smug and unpleasant woman chaser till he falls in love with Fanny. Fanny may not be all he thinks she is; but she is for him the complete woman who will help him to deliver himself from his own triviality. Henry like his sister, is not captivated by an attractive physical appearance, he is struck by a prospect of plenitude and complex delight, by a vision of what might, behind Fanny's timorous manners, be sheer goodness, an unbroken unit of character. As a result, he becomes kind, generous considerate, immensely patient and persevering, the very model of a gentlemanly wooer, who knows the value of the woman he courts: " 'I could so wholly and absolutely confide in her,' said he, and that is what I want.' ". Jane Austen is in fact so successful in dramatising this transformation that, eventually, she has no alternative to pretending it never happened. Thus Henry, on the verge of winning his suit, explodes everything by running off, in a lunatic caprice, with a married woman he doesn't even like. The plan has no room for Henry's or Mary's kind of love.
So you see, poor stupid moral Fanny's only utility would have been to help a rake to settle in life, be a sort of counterbalance. Her own wishes and desires and expectations are disregarded.
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