5 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2018
    1. .

      This chapter establishes new characters and the suspense inherent to the convention of the marriage plot, which we have seen in all Austen novels thus far. Sidney Parker is introduced and appears to be a potential love interest for Charlotte, because she is our main female protagonist who has yet to meet a potential match (she clearly is not interested in Sir Edward or Arthur Parker.) Sidney is described as “seven or eight and twenty, very good looking with a decided air of ease and fashion and a lively countenance,” and is known to be single from the account of Mr. Parker. He is around the same age as Austen’s typical male love interests and although older than Charlotte, not by much. His introductions to her are described as “very well-bred” and “proper.” Although this information is largely the narrator’s perspective and Charlotte’s impression of him is not revealed, he seems like a contender in the potential marriage market Sanditon seems to suggest. Like other Austen love interests, he comes from outside of the original plot, later than other characters, similarly to Darcy’s introduction as a friend of Bingley’s in Pride and Prejudice. Also, he expresses opinions quite different from those of his family or the social circle to which he belongs. Earlier, Mr. Parker speaks of Sidney’s feelings towards his siblings and his propensity to ridicule their dramatic schemes and exaggerated illness. This and his relationship as brother to Mr. Parker, suggests a similar situation to the Knightley and Emma dynamic in Austen’s, Emma. However, Charlotte seems more like a Fanny Price character (Mansfield Park) than an Emma. Although she is more opinionated that Fanny, she is a quiet and observant character most of the time who has been minimally active in the plot thus far. Another reason to suppose their match is that Charlotte also rapidly recognizes the faults of the Parkers as hypochondriacs and sees through the schemes of Sir Edward Denham and Miss Denham. Her and Sidney seem at the very least, like they would be a compatible pair.

      Furthermore, in the latter half of the chapter, Charlotte sees Clara Brereton and Sir Edward speaking intimately by the water, clearly intending their conversation to be private. Although Clara Brereton seemed to reject his affection in discomfort earlier, she speaks to him “composedly” and they seem engaged in “gentle conversation.” This contrast in Clara’s behavior is quite suspicious and seems to suggest an actual connection between the two, which could be a secret engagement similar to that of Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill in Emma. However the rivalry the Denham’s have with Clara over Lady Denham’s inheritance could play into this attachment. This suggests a potentially duplicitous and coercive match similar to that of Mrs. Clay and Mr. Elliot in Persuasion.

    2. .
        This chapter establishes familiar character dynamics that might elucidate the trajectory of the personas Austen presents in this unfinished text. The chapter begins with the introduction of Miss Esther Denham and Sir Edward Denham, a scheming sibling pair reminiscent of Mansfield Park’s The Crawfords and Northanger Abbey’s The Thorpes. Austen explicitly establishes the bald aim of the two to obtain wealth and status from advantageous matrimony, a characteristic that similarly mirrors the Crawfords and Thorpes. Sir Edward, in particular, resembles Austen’s past villainous men; throughout the Austen canon, coxcomb-esque behaviors are the cardinal sins of bachelors. Indeed, Willoughby, Wickham, Henry Crawford, Mr. Elton, Thorpe, and Mr. Elliot all receive biting characterizations by Austen, and thus, given the fates of these men in their respective novels, we can predict that Sir Edward is not the male love interest of this story. 
       Sir Edward’s dynamic with, and apparent longing for the affection of, Clara Brereton, additionally reverberate into the Austen canon in a meaningful way. Other Austen works present relationships between gentried men and pseudo-adopted young women; notably, Emma features Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill’s secret engagement and Mansfield Park depict Henry Crawford’s arguably predatory pursuit of Fanny Price. These relationship both demonstrate wealth and class incongruities as interpersonal complications. Further, these dynamics are also characterized by the ignorance of other characters to the details of the relationship. Therefore, we cannot know from this unfinished account of Charlotte’s observations if Clara Brereton is a Fanny Price or a Jane Fairfax; we cannot fully know if the behaviors and dispassion Charlotte Heywood witnesses are evidence of a painful resistance to unwanted advances or red herrings to disguise an intimacy. Since speculation is the nature of this activity, however, it is notable that in both Mansfield Park and Emma, outside perceptions of the aforementioned relationships were incorrect. Therefore, paradoxically, Charlotte’s perception of Clara’s distaste for Sir Edward might in fact evince a returned affection and eventual marriage between the two. 
      
    3. Links to common words/themes throughout the annotations

    4. Miss Charlotte Heywood

      and so the marriage plot begins and the heroine is born.... I suspect

  2. Sep 2015