Cruelty in subjecting you to ramblings& possible kernel of truth?
Posted by Bonny on June 22, 1998 at 07:45:19:
In response to Crime and Crewelty, written by gkb on June 19, 1998 at 17:00:29
] ] But it seems to me that the "crimes" commited by these two are very different, that Fanny is less culpable than Tom.
] No question onthis one! All I meant was that the use of emotional blackmail on Tom may have predisposed Sir. T. to use it on all the young people. He does not use this kind of force on Mrs. Norris, or on his wife--them he treats with respect and a higher form of courtesy. But with the young people he is coercive. Is this the kernel of patriarchy you saw before? If so, it may be more generational than gender-based!
A very interestng point. I believe you're right. This could be the kernel, and could be likned to Sir T,s rigidity which you noted before, and which has attracted my attention too.
When I first posted about Sir T. I wondered if his rigidity is linked to his principles and if so was this because a)they are not his principles but "inherited", his ideal of what the principles of a titled patrician landowner is supposed to be (are titled landowners still patricians? )A complex interaction of his society's ideology & his education (which we cannot know about)? Feel free to fall about laughing at this point. But this was related to the fact that some people have suggested to me that his anxiety about social position (his daughter's marriages; "motives of greed and ambition" etc)could stem from the fact that the title is only recent, like P&P's Sir Lucas. Again we cannot know, to my knowledge(your more extensive MP knowledge may uncover something?) there is nothing textual, we are not told (as we are about the De Bourgh's, Darcy's)the ancestry of the Bertrams. The only clue is maybe that he has to offset the family finances with a slave plantation, but again, I think other nobles could have had these. (In Elizabeth Inchbald's A Simple Story Lord Elmwood - I think- inherits one with his title. ).
b)his rigidity associated with his "theory" of principle, or his standards, which expects his "practice" in his children. He interprets everything by his standards (again I'm not quite sure what all of them are)without seeing reality. When he admonishes Tom he "blushes for Tom's feelings as a brother" - feelings Tom doesn't have,(I mean feelings of shame for doing him out of half his future income, tho' it's also true Tom hasn't come to appreciate Ed. as a brother at this stage)- because those are the feelings Sir T.s standards dictates Tom should have. (And that Sir T. would have if in Tom's situation). Am I making any sense?
How the notion of rigidity relates to your point about his treatment of Lady B., Mrs Norris relative to the young people:
This rigidity of standards can be extended to talk about the rigid code Sir T. acts by in dealing with people. I think you are right, he does use courtesy with adults, coercion w/ "children", and I think this extends to the way he interprets adults(he respects their rights and views to an extent)/children(interprets them by his own criterion), and perhaps that's why he misses what Mrs norris is about & interprets her so badly. Its his blind spot. I feel he has no insight or flexibility into dealing with his children.
I leave it to you to put Sir T. back into perspective. After all he is the only "morally aware" adult/authority/parental figure in the house(& park.)
- Fifth Impressions gkb 11:44:51 6/22/98 (6)
- Woww! Who needs sunglasses now? ;-) nfm Constanza 12:25:28 6/22/98 (5)
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