Posted by Bonny on June 19, 1998 at 08:32:54:
In response to Suffering and relief from suffering, written by gkb on June 18, 1998 at 12:21:30
] ] "but if your heart can acquit you of ingratitude" - for me that constitutes emotional blackmail.
] Yes, but it is not worse than "I blush for your feelings as a brother" when he is admonishing Tom for being a wastrel. It was too hard for Fanny because she is not as hardened as TOm, but how could Sir T. know she was so tender? Ignorant cruelty is less culpable than deliberate, even though the pain is the same. cf. Anne Elliot and Mary's passing on Wentworth's "altered" remark.
But it seems to me that the "crimes" commited by these two are very different, that Fanny is less culpable than Tom. Tom's was wilful & selfish squandering of resources/money that "morally"(the quotation marks means that needs qualification that I dont have time to give)belong to the family, its his duty to provide for them etc; Fanny is refusing to marry a man who she firmly believes she can never be happy with,refusing to marry for money & prestige as Sir T. wants her to. Those are the details Sir T. knows. We know Fanny has moral objections to H.C. which implicate her cousins & can't reveal them. (Do I undermine my point here?)I do take your point about ignorant cruelty, & I guess I can't argue that Sir T. must have some idea of her disposition when he has no idea of his daughters. Instead, i'll say that it is ironic, I think, that he blames Fanny here, & attributes hot-headed romantic motives to her n her refusal of marriage(acting on the side of caution), and noble motives to Maria as in "Maria has connected herself nobly".
] ] -"Sir Thomas, poor Sir Thomas, a parent, and conscious of errors in his own conduct as a parent, was the longest to suffer"(anyone else think that this is ironic tone or should we take it on face value?).
] I have always taken this as straightforward--that Sir T. basic goodness was reached at last when he had to suffer as TOm had to suffer. Those two are so similar, aren't they?
Yes, I now think your'e right, from the opening para of the last chapter:..(narrator)"impatient to restore everbody not greatly in fault themselves, to tolerable comfort and have done with all the rest" She then
goes on to spend a lot of time on the restoration of comfort of Sir T., "comfort" is repeated several times, so I guess he's not greatly at fault, by Austen's standards which are what we are trying to establish, right?
] ] what do you all make of "To be relieved from her(Mrs Norris) therefore, was so great a felicity, that had she not left bitter remembrances behind her there might have been danger of his learning almost to approve the evil (Maria's "entanglement") which produced such a good". Interpreted in this light, Sir T. is suggested to be as hypocritical as ever, but the irony may be doubling back on itself in a way I'm not getting. just a reflection on the obnoxiousness of Mrs N.?(in context I guess thats more likely) Help me out?
] This is, in my view, a breakout of Austen's humor even on a very solemn subject. She was able to produce a type of "gallows humor" and, I believe, here Sir Thomas is less hypocritical than ever. It seems a realistic assessment to me that if Mrs. Norris "was everywhere tormenting" after Maria lapse, that she got even worse than before and was a thorny evil indeed. It would be a major relief to be rid of her--and a deliciously ironic punishment for Maria to have her.
You've convinced me! "gallows humour", & irony, got it. A delicious Mrs Norris line for you:
"Mrs Norris, whose attachemnt seemed to augment with the demerits of her niece..."
- Crime and Crewelty gkb 17:00:29 6/19/98 (10)
- Cruelty in subjecting you to ramblings& possible kernel of truth? Bonny 07:45:19 6/22/98 (7)
- Fifth Impressions gkb 11:44:51 6/22/98 (6)
- Woww! Who needs sunglasses now? ;-) nfm Constanza 12:25:28 6/22/98 (5)
- I meant to say.... gkb 12:42:13 6/20/98 (1)
- Oh, gkb! LOL! (nfm) Bonny 21:33:23 6/20/98 (0)
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