A sneaking admiration for Lucy
Posted by Marsha on April 14, 1998 at 01:05:49:
In response to Lucy Steele, written by Rita on April 13, 1998 at 13:59:59
True, I agree she is a so-and-so, and I do feel Elinor's anguish in having to listen to Lucy's confidences.
But what I do admire in her is a certain tenacity. She knows what she wants and she gets it. What she wants might be amoral and plain wrong, but at least she's effective at it. And thinking objectively, I can't blame her for wanting to marry Edward, even though she knows his heart's another. After all, he proposed to her in school, and maybe she did like him initially. And her only alternative to marrying him would be to spend her life as a nastier Miss Bates.
And she is capable of some feeling: she likes Robert, if only for his "charming" manners (and income), and again, she is very effective in switching husbands.
This said, while I might have a sneaking admiration for her efficiency, what I cannot condone is her cruelty. I can understand her barbs to elinor when she reperesented a threat to her matrimonial happiness, but I cannot forgive that cruel taunt of telling the servant she was now Mrs Ferrars and promising to send wedding-cake. This was done purely out of malicious spite, and a will to hurt Elinor for as long as possible.
I just thought that it is Lucy, and not Willoughby who is the real villain of S&S. Willoughby is forced not to propose to Marianne by circumstances. Lucy knows what she is doing every step of the way and uses Edward's strict sense of honor to win herself a husband by cheating. I think she is the most effective villain in JA. Unlike Willoughby & Crawford, who are complex men and fall through the weaknesses in their characters, not their intent to do evil, or Wickham and Elliot who are remarkably bumbling.
Lucy is the queen of them all. Unlike Wickham whose lies are exposed, Lucy's have effect on both Edward and Robert, and unlike Wickham, whose elopement plans come to nothing and whose heiress-hunting ways fail, as do Mr Elliot's plans for Anne, Lucy gets her man.
A fascinating mix of spite and efficiency
- Lies? A villain? Barbara 17:15:02 4/16/98 (3)
- Spite and efficacy! Rita 21:52:56 4/14/98 (0)
- Well put! (nfm) Stephie Lynn 12:07:22 4/14/98 (0)
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.