Posted by Barry on August 26, 1998 at 00:16:12:
In response to Interesting Relationship between Fanny & Lucy, written by Susan L on August 25, 1998 at 11:26:15
I was recently thinking how Lucy is unparalleled in her success as a manipulator of people, through relentless flattery and attention to self interest, in the Austen canon. Even in the final chapter, as the just deserts are handed out to the characters, Lucy ends up in a superior situation -- financially secure, and considered invaluable to Mrs Ferrars. I suspect that she remains firmly in control vis a vis Robert in her marriage, and it is hard to see a self centered fool such as Robert getting the better of Lucy during even their "frequent domestic disagreements." Certainly not an admirable character, but one who never lost sight of her goals, and was absolutley unfettered by principle.
Lucy is a geniune manipulator, as for example she can flatter herself into virtually anyone's heart, and in the rare case of a person like Elinor not suseptible to flattery, she shamelessly uses Elinor's obvious sense of propriety and integrity to silence her by imposing her confidences about Edward. For the main point to note here is that Lucy, by using every trick in the book, completely defeated Elinor by turning Elinor's strengths -- integrity and decocum -- into weaknesses, and only because of the financial inversion that takes place between the Ferrars brothers, do Elinor and Edward get to have their happy ending. Come to think of it, of all the heroines, it seems to me (other than perhaps Catherine Morland) Elinor does the least to make her own happy ending come about at the end. All the activity is on the side of Lucy, and Elinor seems completely frozen in place, until rescued by events once again put into place by Lucy in furtherance of her self interest. I cannot name a more ultimately formidable female opponnet in all of Jane Austen.
- virtue its own reward Janette K 23:29:41 9/01/98 (2)
- Yes, but . . . Mary Anne 07:50:49 8/26/98 (5)
- But.... Lynn 12:33:12 8/26/98 (4)
- Elinor's options Barry 16:29:36 8/26/98 (3)
- The problem with any of Elinor's options... Kathi 22:37:40 8/26/98 (2)
- And if you think about that, the logical conclusion is... Kathi 04:13:35 8/27/98 (1)
- Lucy's motive. Barbara 17:07:17 8/30/98 (0)
- Barry--Some astute observations-Does Lucy remind you of.... Susan L 01:56:16 8/26/98 (3)
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