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ConnieAnnKirk
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Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

Discussion of the third quarter of the novel most particularly here--please avoid spoilers from after Chapter 36.
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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nvoggesser
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

I've been greatly satisfied at how Mrs. Norris is beginning to lose her influence and credibility in the novel.  I think, maybe, since the story's center is Fanny, that we may have been getting her view of Mrs. Norris all along and only now is she seeing that others "have her number" quite well.
 
I see this especially in Sir Thomas.  Once the ball scheme comes about, he seems to always have some snide comment to make about how Mrs. Norris will respond to his decision.  It's made me quite happy!
 
Henry Crawford.  Oh my, what a cad.  If there has ever been a man who personifies the stereotype of the man who wants what he can't have....that man is Henry.  First he goes after the engaged girl, then he goes after the (supposedly) only woman in all of England who can not and WILL not admire him.  I'm actually quite proud of Fanny as regards Henry.  Many people would cave at his attentions, but not her.  That combination of her love for Edmund and her disgust at his actions regarding Maria and Julia is so thoroughly insurmountable!  Even the scary Sir Thomas can't make her think kindly of him. 
 
I am a bit annoyed at HC for his acceptance of praise in raising William to the lieutenancy.  Yes, he took William to visit the Admiral, but all we've read is how Henry and Mary dislike the Admiral greatly.  All they can hope to do is to get away from the Admiral unless duty calls and they have to visit him.  So...William charms the Admiral, just as Henry hoped, and the Admiral did for him.  I highly doubt that Henry could have done ANYTHING to convince the Admiral to help William if he didn't want to help.  Maybe some will disagree with my take on this, but...Henry isn't much better than Mrs. Norris -- they both take credit for things they don't really have a claim to other than by original intention.
 
And Fanny....is definitely coming into her own.  It's almost like she had been asleep for her first 18 years and is finally coming to life!  Maybe she's Jane Austen's little Sleeping Beauty!
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Laurel
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

Your posts are greatly enriching my rereading of this book, nvoggesser. Thank you! I am on my fourth read now and am also reading the Lovers' Vows and several journal essays. Your note about Henry being a Mrs. Norris is right on. And Fanny's changing viewpoint--great stuff! I think this might well be Jane Austen's greatest novel. Do you see parallels between the play and the novel? Fanny seems to be Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella both together.

nvoggesser wrote:
I've been greatly satisfied at how Mrs. Norris is beginning to lose her influence and credibility in the novel. I think, maybe, since the story's center is Fanny, that we may have been getting her view of Mrs. Norris all along and only now is she seeing that others "have her number" quite well.
I see this especially in Sir Thomas. Once the ball scheme comes about, he seems to always have some snide comment to make about how Mrs. Norris will respond to his decision. It's made me quite happy!
Henry Crawford. Oh my, what a cad. If there has ever been a man who personifies the stereotype of the man who wants what he can't have....that man is Henry. First he goes after the engaged girl, then he goes after the (supposedly) only woman in all of England who can not and WILL not admire him. I'm actually quite proud of Fanny as regards Henry. Many people would cave at his attentions, but not her. That combination of her love for Edmund and her disgust at his actions regarding Maria and Julia is so thoroughly insurmountable! Even the scary Sir Thomas can't make her think kindly of him.
I am a bit annoyed at HC for his acceptance of praise in raising William to the lieutenancy. Yes, he took William to visit the Admiral, but all we've read is how Henry and Mary dislike the Admiral greatly. All they can hope to do is to get away from the Admiral unless duty calls and they have to visit him. So...William charms the Admiral, just as Henry hoped, and the Admiral did for him. I highly doubt that Henry could have done ANYTHING to convince the Admiral to help William if he didn't want to help. Maybe some will disagree with my take on this, but...Henry isn't much better than Mrs. Norris -- they both take credit for things they don't really have a claim to other than by original intention.
And Fanny....is definitely coming into her own. It's almost like she had been asleep for her first 18 years and is finally coming to life! Maybe she's Jane Austen's little Sleeping Beauty!



"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

One thing you can say for Henry and Mary Crawford is that they are close.  Do you think that they may have been a bit softened in seeing Fanny and William together, another brother/sister pair who are also very close, but on a more innocent and unaffected level?  They seem to be rather charmed at seeing Fanny and William's relationship.
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Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
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nvoggesser
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)



dulcinea3 wrote:
One thing you can say for Henry and Mary Crawford is that they are close.  Do you think that they may have been a bit softened in seeing Fanny and William together, another brother/sister pair who are also very close, but on a more innocent and unaffected level?  They seem to be rather charmed at seeing Fanny and William's relationship.


Hi.....
 
You are right that Henry and Mary have a closeness, although I find their closeness to be just a tad bit creepy!  The trick with the necklace comes to mind, as well as Henry's declaration to Mary that he would make Fanny fall in love with him, even a little bit, before he was done.  He seemed to treat Fanny as a challenge that Mary assisted him with.  Does he ever really have any feelings for her?  I'm of the opinion that he does not...although he may have thought that he did given the chase aspect.
 
Maybe Henry and Mary's creepy relationship comes about from living with the Admiral.  I tend to recall that things were not very happy there.  In my recall,  Austen doesn't really give us enough about them outside of Mansfield and the reports from London to draw definite conclusions about what went on in the Admiral's house to determine what exactly made living with the Admiral unhappy.
 
What I recall about Henry's view on seeing Fanny and William together is that he noticed that Fanny, who had been quiet and demure throughout, showed some passion.  I don't think that Henry saw any innocence in that relationship at all....all he saw was the potential for a passionate lover.
 
Contributor
nvoggesser
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

Laurel.....
 
Thank you for the kind words!  Sometimes I wonder if some of my ideas are (whisper) stupid, but I usually write what's on my mind anyway.  Like my idea in the 1st quarter that Mrs. Norris and Sir Thomas may have had a little something going on. 
 
I haven't read the play and don't have a copy of it.  Is it worth purchasing a copy?  I have a gift card or two to use!!!
 
Another thought that has popped in my mind.....what in the heck happened in Antigua to Sir Thomas to change his temperament???  I doubt that it was just the fact that he missed his family because I think he would have eased back into the same behaviors eventually. Does anyone else think something big happened there that shocked him out of being a boor? 

Laurel wrote:
Your posts are greatly enriching my rereading of this book, nvoggesser. Thank you! I am on my fourth read now and am also reading the Lovers' Vows and several journal essays. Your note about Henry being a Mrs. Norris is right on. And Fanny's changing viewpoint--great stuff! I think this might well be Jane Austen's greatest novel. Do you see parallels between the play and the novel? Fanny seems to be Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella both together.
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Laurel
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

Here's the on-line site for Lovers' Vows. I don't know whether it would be worth buying a copy. I just put it on my e-book reader so I can read it in comfort.

The change to Sir Thomas certainly is pronounced. I just put it down to a little bit of a flaw in the writing, but I would do better to trust Jane Austen and look for a reason. Perhaps his seeing flaws in his own children makes him question his ideas of aristocratic superiority. He had to have spent a lot of time alone with Ton on that trip, and that may have opened his eyes.



nvoggesser wrote:
Laurel.....
Thank you for the kind words! Sometimes I wonder if some of my ideas are (whisper) stupid, but I usually write what's on my mind anyway. Like my idea in the 1st quarter that Mrs. Norris and Sir Thomas may have had a little something going on.
I haven't read the play and don't have a copy of it. Is it worth purchasing a copy? I have a gift card or two to use!!!
Another thought that has popped in my mind.....what in the heck happened in Antigua to Sir Thomas to change his temperament??? I doubt that it was just the fact that he missed his family because I think he would have eased back into the same behaviors eventually. Does anyone else think something big happened there that shocked him out of being a boor?

Laurel wrote:
Your posts are greatly enriching my rereading of this book, nvoggesser. Thank you! I am on my fourth read now and am also reading the Lovers' Vows and several journal essays. Your note about Henry being a Mrs. Norris is right on. And Fanny's changing viewpoint--great stuff! I think this might well be Jane Austen's greatest novel. Do you see parallels between the play and the novel? Fanny seems to be Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella both together.



"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)



nvoggesser wrote:
 
I haven't read the play and don't have a copy of it.  Is it worth purchasing a copy?  I have a gift card or two to use!!!
 
Another thought that has popped in my mind.....what in the heck happened in Antigua to Sir Thomas to change his temperament???  I doubt that it was just the fact that he missed his family because I think he would have eased back into the same behaviors eventually. Does anyone else think something big happened there that shocked him out of being a boor? 


I have read part-way through Lovers' Vows, and intend to complete it since I've finished the novel.  I would definitely say it would not be worth purchasing, unless you like really overly-dramatic and maudlin stuff.  It's fun to read it, and see what was the style back then, but not worth spending money on (or wasting a gift card).  It's not very long, either.

I was a little puzzled in the change in Sir Thomas, as well.  It was very marked.  Fanny noticed it right away, too; he noticed her more and spoke more kindly to her than she had expected.  I was touched by the way he asked for her:

Sir Thomas was at that moment looking round him,
and saying, "But where is Fanny?  Why do not I see
my little Fanny?"--and on perceiving her, came forward
with a kindness which astonished and penetrated her,
calling her his dear Fanny, kissing her affectionately,
and observing with decided pleasure how much she was grown!

Since Austen did not give any explanation for this change, I only assumed it was because he had had a protracted stay in an unpleasant situation, and was very happy and relieved to be home, among people and things he was familiar with.  Apparently, he had not had such an easy time:

...she saw that he
was grown thinner, and had the burnt, fagged, worn look
of fatigue and a hot climate...

I figured he had missed them all, including Fanny.  Maybe he was surprised to have missed Fanny, but had gotten so used to having her around that it was inevitable.

While discussing Sir Thomas' return, I know I mentioned this elsewhere, but in the novel there is only the most passing reference to Sir Thomas' being involved in the slave trade, and there is no sense of judgment against him on Austen's part because of it.

"Your uncle is disposed to be pleased with you in
every respect; and I only wish you would talk to him more.
You are one of those who are too silent in the evening circle."

"But I do talk to him more than I used.  I am sure I do.
Did not you hear me ask him about the slave-trade
last night?"

"I did--and was in hopes the question would be followed
up by others.  It would have pleased your uncle to be
inquired of farther."

"And I longed to do it--but there was such a dead silence!
And while my cousins were sitting by without speaking a word,
or seeming at all interested in the subject, I did not like--
I thought it would appear as if I wanted to set myself
off at their expense, by shewing a curiosity and pleasure
in his information which he must wish his own daughters
to feel."

In the movie that came out a few years back, as I recall, they made rather a big deal of it, and it turned me off that they chose to take this one throw-away remark from the novel to make a socio-political statement in the movie.

Hmmm, do you suppose that, after seeing real slavery, Sir Thomas comes home to recognize that Fanny is treated a bit like a slave, particularly by Mrs. Norris (and Lady Bertram, in a way), and this bothers him, so that his attitude towards her softens?

 


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
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Laurel
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

Wow! Great points, Dulcinea. You've given me a lot to think about.

dulcinea3 wrote:


nvoggesser wrote:
I haven't read the play and don't have a copy of it. Is it worth purchasing a copy? I have a gift card or two to use!!!
Another thought that has popped in my mind.....what in the heck happened in Antigua to Sir Thomas to change his temperament??? I doubt that it was just the fact that he missed his family because I think he would have eased back into the same behaviors eventually. Does anyone else think something big happened there that shocked him out of being a boor?


I have read part-way through Lovers' Vows, and intend to complete it since I've finished the novel. I would definitely say it would not be worth purchasing, unless you like really overly-dramatic and maudlin stuff. It's fun to read it, and see what was the style back then, but not worth spending money on (or wasting a gift card). It's not very long, either.

I was a little puzzled in the change in Sir Thomas, as well. It was very marked. Fanny noticed it right away, too; he noticed her more and spoke more kindly to her than she had expected. I was touched by the way he asked for her:

Sir Thomas was at that moment looking round him,
and saying, "But where is Fanny? Why do not I see
my little Fanny?"--and on perceiving her, came forward
with a kindness which astonished and penetrated her,
calling her his dear Fanny, kissing her affectionately,
and observing with decided pleasure how much she was grown!

Since Austen did not give any explanation for this change, I only assumed it was because he had had a protracted stay in an unpleasant situation, and was very happy and relieved to be home, among people and things he was familiar with. Apparently, he had not had such an easy time:

...she saw that he
was grown thinner, and had the burnt, fagged, worn look
of fatigue and a hot climate...

I figured he had missed them all, including Fanny. Maybe he was surprised to have missed Fanny, but had gotten so used to having her around that it was inevitable.

While discussing Sir Thomas' return, I know I mentioned this elsewhere, but in the novel there is only the most passing reference to Sir Thomas' being involved in the slave trade, and there is no sense of judgment against him on Austen's part because of it.

"Your uncle is disposed to be pleased with you in
every respect; and I only wish you would talk to him more.
You are one of those who are too silent in the evening circle."

"But I do talk to him more than I used. I am sure I do.
Did not you hear me ask him about the slave-trade
last night?"

"I did--and was in hopes the question would be followed
up by others. It would have pleased your uncle to be
inquired of farther."

"And I longed to do it--but there was such a dead silence!
And while my cousins were sitting by without speaking a word,
or seeming at all interested in the subject, I did not like--
I thought it would appear as if I wanted to set myself
off at their expense, by shewing a curiosity and pleasure
in his information which he must wish his own daughters
to feel."

In the movie that came out a few years back, as I recall, they made rather a big deal of it, and it turned me off that they chose to take this one throw-away remark from the novel to make a socio-political statement in the movie.

Hmmm, do you suppose that, after seeing real slavery, Sir Thomas comes home to recognize that Fanny is treated a bit like a slave, particularly by Mrs. Norris (and Lady Bertram, in a way), and this bothers him, so that his attitude towards her softens?





"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Contributor
nvoggesser
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

Dulcinea!  You are a teacher's dream!!!  I have to admit that I'm a bit too lazy to go back into the book to find the actual passages that made me think something.  Thank you so much for your efforts!!!
 
I recall the slave-trade comment, but it didn't make a huge impression on me at the time.  I think you might be on to something there.  He does become quite a bit more humane in the story, which would definitely have something to do with witnessing the horrific business that he had been supporting. 
 
Now that school's just about over (1/2 day left!!!!  Gotta love it!)....maybe I'll try to do a little research into the slave trade in Antigua at the time....maybe there was something big that happened there that readers in Austen's time would have been aware of but has left the common knowledge.  If anyone else knows if anything went on there at the time (yes, to promote my laziness!!!), that would be fun to check into.
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

Laurel -- where does Austen treat political issues and where does she leave them alone? I know that is probably too broad a question, but I read somewhere that she never treats Napoleon in her novels. I haven't read enough of her things to know whether that is true or not.



Laurel wrote:
Wow! Great points, Dulcinea. You've given me a lot to think about.

dulcinea3 wrote:


nvoggesser wrote:
I haven't read the play and don't have a copy of it. Is it worth purchasing a copy? I have a gift card or two to use!!!
Another thought that has popped in my mind.....what in the heck happened in Antigua to Sir Thomas to change his temperament??? I doubt that it was just the fact that he missed his family because I think he would have eased back into the same behaviors eventually. Does anyone else think something big happened there that shocked him out of being a boor?


I have read part-way through Lovers' Vows, and intend to complete it since I've finished the novel. I would definitely say it would not be worth purchasing, unless you like really overly-dramatic and maudlin stuff. It's fun to read it, and see what was the style back then, but not worth spending money on (or wasting a gift card). It's not very long, either.

I was a little puzzled in the change in Sir Thomas, as well. It was very marked. Fanny noticed it right away, too; he noticed her more and spoke more kindly to her than she had expected. I was touched by the way he asked for her:

Sir Thomas was at that moment looking round him,
and saying, "But where is Fanny? Why do not I see
my little Fanny?"--and on perceiving her, came forward
with a kindness which astonished and penetrated her,
calling her his dear Fanny, kissing her affectionately,
and observing with decided pleasure how much she was grown!

Since Austen did not give any explanation for this change, I only assumed it was because he had had a protracted stay in an unpleasant situation, and was very happy and relieved to be home, among people and things he was familiar with. Apparently, he had not had such an easy time:

...she saw that he
was grown thinner, and had the burnt, fagged, worn look
of fatigue and a hot climate...

I figured he had missed them all, including Fanny. Maybe he was surprised to have missed Fanny, but had gotten so used to having her around that it was inevitable.

While discussing Sir Thomas' return, I know I mentioned this elsewhere, but in the novel there is only the most passing reference to Sir Thomas' being involved in the slave trade, and there is no sense of judgment against him on Austen's part because of it.

"Your uncle is disposed to be pleased with you in
every respect; and I only wish you would talk to him more.
You are one of those who are too silent in the evening circle."

"But I do talk to him more than I used. I am sure I do.
Did not you hear me ask him about the slave-trade
last night?"

"I did--and was in hopes the question would be followed
up by others. It would have pleased your uncle to be
inquired of farther."

"And I longed to do it--but there was such a dead silence!
And while my cousins were sitting by without speaking a word,
or seeming at all interested in the subject, I did not like--
I thought it would appear as if I wanted to set myself
off at their expense, by shewing a curiosity and pleasure
in his information which he must wish his own daughters
to feel."

In the movie that came out a few years back, as I recall, they made rather a big deal of it, and it turned me off that they chose to take this one throw-away remark from the novel to make a socio-political statement in the movie.

Hmmm, do you suppose that, after seeing real slavery, Sir Thomas comes home to recognize that Fanny is treated a bit like a slave, particularly by Mrs. Norris (and Lady Bertram, in a way), and this bothers him, so that his attitude towards her softens?



"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

Perhaps she treats politics in a very different manner than do today's novelists. It's just something that is silently in the background of everyday life. The gallant British navy men--who are they being gallant against? Some parallels can be made between the affairs of the Mansfield esate and the affairs of state. I'll bring some of them up later in the spoilers allowed thread if I can get my thoughts together.

Peppermill wrote:
Laurel -- where does Austen treat political issues and where does she leave them alone? I know that is probably too broad a question, but I read somewhere that she never treats Napoleon in her novels. I haven't read enough of her things to know whether that is true or not.



Laurel wrote:
Wow! Great points, Dulcinea. You've given me a lot to think about.

dulcinea3 wrote:


nvoggesser wrote:
I haven't read the play and don't have a copy of it. Is it worth purchasing a copy? I have a gift card or two to use!!!
Another thought that has popped in my mind.....what in the heck happened in Antigua to Sir Thomas to change his temperament??? I doubt that it was just the fact that he missed his family because I think he would have eased back into the same behaviors eventually. Does anyone else think something big happened there that shocked him out of being a boor?


I have read part-way through Lovers' Vows, and intend to complete it since I've finished the novel. I would definitely say it would not be worth purchasing, unless you like really overly-dramatic and maudlin stuff. It's fun to read it, and see what was the style back then, but not worth spending money on (or wasting a gift card). It's not very long, either.

I was a little puzzled in the change in Sir Thomas, as well. It was very marked. Fanny noticed it right away, too; he noticed her more and spoke more kindly to her than she had expected. I was touched by the way he asked for her:

Sir Thomas was at that moment looking round him,
and saying, "But where is Fanny? Why do not I see
my little Fanny?"--and on perceiving her, came forward
with a kindness which astonished and penetrated her,
calling her his dear Fanny, kissing her affectionately,
and observing with decided pleasure how much she was grown!

Since Austen did not give any explanation for this change, I only assumed it was because he had had a protracted stay in an unpleasant situation, and was very happy and relieved to be home, among people and things he was familiar with. Apparently, he had not had such an easy time:

...she saw that he
was grown thinner, and had the burnt, fagged, worn look
of fatigue and a hot climate...

I figured he had missed them all, including Fanny. Maybe he was surprised to have missed Fanny, but had gotten so used to having her around that it was inevitable.

While discussing Sir Thomas' return, I know I mentioned this elsewhere, but in the novel there is only the most passing reference to Sir Thomas' being involved in the slave trade, and there is no sense of judgment against him on Austen's part because of it.

"Your uncle is disposed to be pleased with you in
every respect; and I only wish you would talk to him more.
You are one of those who are too silent in the evening circle."

"But I do talk to him more than I used. I am sure I do.
Did not you hear me ask him about the slave-trade
last night?"

"I did--and was in hopes the question would be followed
up by others. It would have pleased your uncle to be
inquired of farther."

"And I longed to do it--but there was such a dead silence!
And while my cousins were sitting by without speaking a word,
or seeming at all interested in the subject, I did not like--
I thought it would appear as if I wanted to set myself
off at their expense, by shewing a curiosity and pleasure
in his information which he must wish his own daughters
to feel."

In the movie that came out a few years back, as I recall, they made rather a big deal of it, and it turned me off that they chose to take this one throw-away remark from the novel to make a socio-political statement in the movie.

Hmmm, do you suppose that, after seeing real slavery, Sir Thomas comes home to recognize that Fanny is treated a bit like a slave, particularly by Mrs. Norris (and Lady Bertram, in a way), and this bothers him, so that his attitude towards her softens?






"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

I hope you'll continue to post what you see in and think about the novel, nvoggesser!  No intimidation factors here--and no grades to worry about either!  Ha.
 
~ConnieK
 


nvoggesser wrote, in part:
Laurel.....
 
Sometimes I wonder if some of my ideas are (whisper) stupid, but I usually write what's on my mind anyway. 
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)



nvoggesser wrote:
Dulcinea!  You are a teacher's dream!!!  I have to admit that I'm a bit too lazy to go back into the book to find the actual passages that made me think something.  Thank you so much for your efforts!!!
Thanks!  But it's not that much effort - that's what I love using Gutenburg for.  It's easier to do a search of an online page, either by scrolling through it, or using the search function.  Sometimes it's just a bit difficult to think of what to search on, or having to hit Find Next over and over.  And copying and pasting is so much easier than to have to type it all in!  I read the hardcopy novel, but use the online one as a reference.
 
I guess doing so many papers in school (especially literature-related ones) gives me the habit of backing up my points with examples, even though it's been many years since I had to write one.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)



Laurel wrote:
Perhaps she treats politics in a very different manner than do today's novelists. It's just something that is silently in the background of everyday life. The gallant British navy men--who are they being gallant against?

I agree that politics is, if anything, just in the background.  Can anyone think of any examples where Austen overtly refers to anything political?  As you say, Laurel, the naval men are a part of life in Austen's time, so they are present, but she never brings up what they are fighting about.  The same with the mention of the slave trade - people were involved with it at the time, so it is not surprising that Sir Thomas is, but Austen is not making any judgments about it.
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

It's nice to join Austen once in a while and be free from political talk, isn't it? I do think there comes through in her novels quietly a conservative attempt to avoid putting England through a French-type revolution, and I appreciate that.

dulcinea3 wrote:


Laurel wrote:
Perhaps she treats politics in a very different manner than do today's novelists. It's just something that is silently in the background of everyday life. The gallant British navy men--who are they being gallant against?

I agree that politics is, if anything, just in the background. Can anyone think of any examples where Austen overtly refers to anything political? As you say, Laurel, the naval men are a part of life in Austen's time, so they are present, but she never brings up what they are fighting about. The same with the mention of the slave trade - people were involved with it at the time, so it is not surprising that Sir Thomas is, but Austen is not making any judgments about it.



"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)



Peppermill wrote:
Laurel -- where does Austen treat political issues and where does she leave them alone?

I'm not Laurel, but my reading of JA is that she doesn't treat political issues much at all. They're there in the background -- the militia, for example, in Pride and Prejudice is there because militias were maintained around England to protect against the expected invasion from Napoleon -- but she doesn't really deal with politics directly at all, that I can recall. Compare this, for example, with Middlemarch, where Eliot is immersed in politics, or Trollope's Palliser novels.
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Re: Chapters 25 - 36 (No spoilers, please!)

[ Edited ]
For those who have finished reading the book, I just found an excellent lecture and question/answer session on it here. Scroll down about half-way, to the block of tiny pink type above the red book. Push the second little triangle. Be sure to stay for the questions and answers at the end.

Message Edited by Laurel on 05-24-2008 06:48 PM
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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