Posted by gkb on January 15, 1998 at 23:36:23:
In response to Ms. Bronte apparently had never read P&P, written by Patrick on January 15, 1998 at 17:12:47
] I think it is possible to disagree on what those stainless steel-clad principles might be. If we do disagree, then what does that imply? The quote seems to me to suggest that JA was monolithic, and transparent in her views, but if that were so, surely intelligent, motivated people would be able to agree on what those views were.
Why do you say this? Intelligent motivated people cannot agree on very many things in life. What kind of agreement are you looking for--a sort of total cosmic harmony where there is no room for individual opinion, taste or preference?
And what do you mean by the terms monolithic and transparent? Is that a shorthand way to say that there is only one possible interpretation of the writings of Jane Austen and that everyone in the world is in agreement with that one interpretation? If so, where do you find it in the statement about principles? Do you think that principles are monolithic by nature or that people always agree on every principle that is based in reason? I really do not understand. Can you explicate your objection more clearly?
] But Lizzy and Darcy are different. They are open, questing, looking for real, authentic contact with another human being, and prepared to risk everything for it. This is an emotional stance. The rational stance, after a life of not finding such contact, would be to suppose that it is impossible or nearly so, and to stop looking. To settle. But neither does this.
But they are only 23 and 28 years old! How can you project what they would have done in the case of true failure?
> So, in my reading, P&P is not about balance, it is not about reflection or rational order. It is about the tyranny of the quantitative, objectifying view that produces a fatally stratified society, and about how to overthrow that tyranny through emotion, through genuine emotional connection to another human being. It is seismic and revolutionary, it is all about upheaval and passion, not about carefully managed balancing.
I totally, 100% disagree here. The upheaval and passion and revolutionary acts are created by Lydia and Wickham--the people who have no balance either in their emotions or their bank-books! They are the overthrowers of social order. Like all revolutionaries, they are trouble-makers at home and the community--they have no respect for the social order at all, except in how to use it to meet their urgent and unholy desires.
Those people who use their reason to moderate and manage their unsocial impulses are the ones Austen rewards most highly. Those who indulge their personal failings all suffer some personal loss.
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