- Aug 2022
But I hate to hear you talking so like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days
It's unclear if Captain Wentworth honestly thinks women require more care and better accommodations or whether he is avoiding women in general because of Anne. This line of Mrs Croft's is beautiful. There is a modern web series adaptation called Rational Creatures. I think this is an echo of Mary Wollstonecraft, Austen uses the term again when Elizabeth Bennet is rejecting Mr Collins proposal (P&P chapter 19)
she was only Anne.
We are hearing the echo of Sir Walter and Elizabeth's opinions/words. This is a strange introduction for the main character, she is ignored and secondary. Chapter 1 focuses on Sir Walter and then the family context, Chapters 2 and 3 are a group setting (and people finally speak). A first time reader may not identify Anne as the main character till chapter 4 when the text pivots to focus on her. In chapter 1 we hear of Elizabeth's disappointment with Mr Elliot but the history with Wentworth is hidden till Anne is alone. Modern texts tend to have more active, vibrant main characters (like Lizzy Bennet) who have agency and push the story forward through their choices and actions. Fanny Price in Mansfield Park is another good example of the sort of main character modern readers struggle with.
Potential parallels to Mr Bennet's feelings for Mrs Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. Mr Bennet had been "captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good-humour which youth and beauty generally give, [and] had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had very early in their marriage put an end to all real affection for her." (P&P Chapter 42) Perhaps this also parallels Sir Thomas Bertram's feelings for Lady Bertram in Mansfield Park. It's never stated that Sir Thomas regrets his match but she "captivated" him (chapter 1 MP) and became a "woman who spent her days in sitting, nicely dressed, on a sofa, doing some long piece of needlework, of little use and no beauty, thinking more of her pug than her children" (chapter 2 MP). It seems more fitting somehow that it was the men making choices led my their hormones more than the women (though you must consider Lydia Bennet). Austen points out constantly how women had few choices in life and marriage, they had to make good ones as they would be trapped, they did not have the same freedoms as men.
- mr elliot
- mrs bennet
- mr bennet
- lizzy bennet
- pride and prejudice
- mansfield park
- Lady bertram
- sir walter
- fanny price
- main character
- sir thomas bertram
- Jun 2022
Every morning now brought its regular duties—shops were to be visited; some new part of the town to be looked at; and the pump-room to be attended, where they paraded up and down for an hour, looking at everybody and speaking to no one.
For a comparative analysis of Northanger Abbey's and Pride and Prejudice's depictions of the city in relation to contemporary ideas of the city "as moral pollution," see Celia Eason's essay, "Austen’s Urban Redemption: Rejecting Richardson’s View of the City." Easton shows us how characters like Isabella Thorpe and Mr. Bennet defy contemporary ideas that women were helpless in the city or that remaining ignorant of the city proved morally useful, respectively. As Catherine's character will prove, knowing how to navigate the city and its traps is essential for any young woman.
Citation: Easton, Celia. "Austen’s Urban Redemption: Rejecting Richardson’s View of the City." Persuasions, no. 26, 2004.
- Apr 2018
Day after day passed away without bringing any other tidings of him than the report which shortly prevailed in Meryton of his coming no more to Netherfield the whole winter
According to and article titled Courting the Victorian Women, "Courtship was considered more a career move than a romantic interlude for young men, as all of a woman's property reverted to him upon marriage". Mr. Bingley traveling is discussed as everyone's business, and "reports" are updated of his whereabouts. It's not that the town where the Bennet's live is gossipy, but rather so many young women are hoping to marry Mr. Bingley and wait for the opportunity to run into him conveniently, or can know how many times he has gone to see Jane Bennet etc.