Sir Thomas learns from his mistakes...
Posted by Lea on June 17, 1998 at 13:59:35:
In response to How do you see Sir Thomas?, written by gkb on June 16, 1998 at 12:14:45
The MP Gang,
GKay, thanks for asking me to participate. I've been pondering the posts about Sir Thomas.
I honestly don't have a hard time understanding what is wrong with Sir Thomas nor with what is wrong in the family dynamic.
As far as Constanza's Continuum, I think Sir Thomas probably falls
somewhere in the middle. He has good and bad points in his character.
And is still "in the process" of becoming a better person.
Here are some of the things I find wrong in his character (before he learns from his mistakes:
- He sees that his children are educated properly (Maria and Julia can
put together a map of Europe and name the kings of England), but they
have not learned the most important things of all -- God's eternal principles for right behavior. Perhaps he takes for granted that these eternal principles are being instilled in his children by Mrs. Norris, the preacher, etc. but obviously does not take as active a part in this process as he should. Or perhaps, he himself doesn't value these eternal principles as he should until he sees the bad results of not following them (i.e.
Maria's desertion of his husband and Tom's abuse of alcohol, gaming,
irresponsibility, selfish extravagance, etc.)
- Sir Thomas places too much emphasis on money. This causes him to marry Maria off to Mr. Rushworth, even though he knows they are incompatible. Mr. Rushworth personally has "no worth" -- pun intended :-) -- to Maria or Sir T., they are primarily interested in him for his social position and money.
- Sir Thomas has given Mrs. Norris too much free reign in his household due to the vacuum created by Lady Bertram's lack of involvement. I like Lady Bertram much better than Mrs. Norris, but she, too, is bears some blame. It is easier to sit on the couch and pet Pug than getting involved,
but that doesn't excuse her lack of action.
- Probably could add more, but time constaints... ;-)
Good points of Sir Thomas' character:
- He is generous. He raises Fanny at his expense. He helps William and the other Price children.
- He isn't cruel to Fanny. I think he genuinely cares for her, but his sterness and formality don't make this apparent enough.
- He is tolerant of his indolent wife and her dominant sister. I am sometimes amazed at his patience in dealing with these two sisters who are almost exact opposites.
- He does make amends for Mrs. Norris harsh treatment of Fanny when
he learns of it (i.e. he gives her a fire in her "white attic", he sends
the carriage for her evening at the Grants, he doesn't begrude Fanny's
new dress, etc.)
- He learns from his mistakes and admits his faults in the raising of
- He comes to truly value Fanny's virtue and principles. He will not
allow Mrs. Norris to blame Fanny for Mr. Crawford running off with Maria.
He now understands why Fanny opposed Mr. Crawford's offer of marriage.
- And probably much more...
Lastly, I wanted to comment on Bonny's statement about the irony of
"Fanny's rising up and becoming the moral centre of MP". This is ironic
if she is taking Sir Thomas and Edmund as her sole guides, but they
Her convictions and behavior are what they are because God's eternal principles are her guides. She doesn't need Sir Thomas or Edmund to learn these. They were readily available to her on the nearest bookshelf where her Bible was. She can go far beyond what either of these men teach her, by studying God's word. Her convictions/principles/right behavior don't hinge on the guidence she receives from Edmund and Sir Thomas.
I wish I had time to comment more and am afraid my thoughts have come out somewhat jumbled. Like Constanza, I have been formulating as I write and the results may not be the best. Please be kind to my intent. :-)
I look forward to hearing your comments.
Hope all of you are having a nice day!
- Lea, can I jump in with a quick thank you? OliviaAnn 11:04:43 6/22/98 (1)
- Thanks, Olivia. It's very nice to meet you! :-) nfm Lea 12:17:08 6/22/98 (0)
- Deceived or lazy? Constanza 18:17:57 6/18/98 (0)
- ironic... Bonny 21:42:29 6/17/98 (1)
- I agree about the irony and the similarities b/w SirT & Mr.B nfm Constanza 08:48:15 6/18/98 (0)
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