also enlightened...but taking you up on Sir T.
Posted by Bonny on June 14, 1998 at 22:55:45:
In response to Motifs, written by Constanza on June 09, 1998 at 14:42:58
] ] Appearance of goodness vs. substance of goodness does seem to be a recurrent motif in many of the characters--Mary and Henry, Mrs. Norris, Maria and Julia, and even Mr. Yates. Perhaps there are more that I have not mentioned? What do other people think about this motif?
] I not only agree but also believe that is the basis of the whole novel and one of the reasons many readers fell disappointed by the end, and wishing Fanny had taken Henry and Edmund remained with Mary.
] Moreover, I think that there is a relation between appearance-substance-principles-intent (principles and intent being the means to attain substance of goodness) which four characteristics are present in different degrees in all the characters (just as an equilizer, you know), the balance being reached by Edmund and, principally, Fanny.
] Any thoughts?
I think you are very close to Austen's intent with this idea of principles and intent, and I feel like I understand what you mean now when you answered my earlier question on education. Yours is a more specific, and better formulation for understanding MP than my education or nurture/nature - "principles" being the ideal of the education process (and what the Bertram girls missed out on?), and "intent", a much better term than nature because it entails continual striving, rather than being just born "good".Brilliant,indeed!
] You would have Mary with appearance and intent, but lacking principles; Mrs. Norris, all principles and appearance but no intent, Sir Thomas, principles and intent but no appearance (which in this case would be also bad, because it caused his children to fear him); etc.
My difference is actually just a difference in my interpretation of Sir Thomas, I think. I'm thinking there may be gradations in principles and intents, not discrete amounts that you either have or you don't and that's what the other characters are there for, for contrast, as you say, and that Fanny achieves the "highest" substance of goodness, which is why I bolded your statement.
But Sir thomas...does he have the same principles as Fanny, I think she may have the ideal of the principles he purports to have, but doesn't really,(so that there's something ironic in Fanny's rising up and becoming the "moral centre" of MP),that he doesnt always have intent to match "the principles", in short I think Sir T. guilty of "appearances", as well as the more recognizable "villians." Sir T is guilty of not living up to the principles, or appearance, when
- he holds the ball for Fanny and William, ostensibly to gratify William's wish of watching Fanny dance, actually to display Fanny as an eligible candidate on the marraige market to Mr Crawford, whose interest he has detected(isn't this what "coming out"
- same ball - he sends Fanny to bed, with"the advice of absolute power')
purportedly because of concern for her health, but the narrator makes us aware of a hidden intent that he might wish to show her persuadableness, and thus her value as a docile little wife to Mr C.
There's more, but I don't have time to continue right now...
Let me know what you think?
] PD: this idea is yet in its developing stage. ;-)
- Sir Thomas Constanza 09:31:35 6/16/98 (1)
- Lest we fall of the edge of the screen... gkb 18:41:18 6/16/98 (0)
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