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Re: Infatuation vs love? (Crawfords, Churchill and more)

July 04, 2018 05:52AM
Agnes Beatrix Wrote:
> the only sort of love these thoroughly selfish,
> immature ad immora/amorall characters were
> capable of.

Yes. They both loved Edmund and Fanny as much and as sincerely as they were capable of. That they were not capable of more, at least within the confines of the novel as written, is integral to the story Austen told. I've seen many people suggest that Austen had made a mistake with the Crawfords, or changed her mind when writing them - I honestly don't believe she did. I think she knew exactly what she was doing when she created Henry and Mary and illuminated their virtues as well as their flaws in so much depth!

> I'm intrigued by your Emma and Masfield Park paral
> lels. I don't think Edmund/Mary and Knightley/Emma
> are really analogous.

They are analogues only in-so-far that I feel the comparison helps understand both pairings, and it goes back to my feeling that Edmund was only infatuated, and he never saw Mary clearly for herself. Knightley on the other hand, knows Emma very well and is not at all blind to her flaws. He loves Emma herself, not the person he wishes Emma to be, but he also has faith in Emma's ability to be his equal, to be his real partner in life. I don't think Edmund, even in the absolute depths of his infatuation, ever had that real faith that Mary could be his equal partner and I think that despite his claim that Mary was the only woman he could imagine as his wife, that lack of faith in her was what held him back from proposing.

Emma vs. Mary is interesting to me because they have some quite similar flaws in their vanity and their mix of both genuine kindness and lack of consideration for others. They both mean well overall, and yet tripped into hurting others (Jane and Fanny especially) because they didn't or couldn't see outside their own view of the world. But Emma realised it and honestly tried to fix her mistakes where Mary never quite seemed to comprehend what she did wrong. So, bringing it back to Knightley vs. Edmund, Knightley was right to have faith in Emma and Edmund was right not to have it in Mary.

> Frank/Jane and Henry/Fanny is more likely to be si
> milar. I never liked Frank Churchill and firmly be
> lieve JAne Austen lets him off the hook far too ea
> sily. The only difference is that we don't know an
> y immoral/licentious behavior of him, unlike Henry
> Crawford. Otherwise, they are quite of the same il
> k. Jane/Fanny are also probably very similar, only
> we know far less about Jane Fairfax because her tr
> ue self is so much hidden throghout the novel, mos
> t of it is known through other people's perspectiv
> e.
> I agree that Frank would quite likely make Jane mi
> serable.

The flirting Frank did with Emma came very close to the line; it is only because we do not see into his head that we can allow his claim that he thought Emma immune to his charms and give him a pass. Up until Maria ran off with Henry, it could be argued that Frank and Henry were of the same ilk - but taking up with a married woman in such a way puts Henry into a different category again. The ending for Frank though! I sympathise all too well with Mr Knightley's comments on the subject:

He is a disgrace to the name of man.--And is he to be rewarded with that sweet young woman?--Jane, Jane, you will be a miserable creature."
He had used every body ill--and they are all delighted to forgive him.--He is a fortunate man indeed!"

Had Fanny accepted Henry in the novel, the same words fit Henry exactly! Sometimes I think Austen very sly with her novels; read in isolation they are all excellent books, but read as a group, and the resonances that cut across them to challenge assumptions, illuminate characters and add layers of subtext raise the group to superlative.

Infatuation vs love? (Crawfords, Churchill and more)

Cat H.June 30, 2018 06:41AM

Re: Infatuation vs love? (Crawfords, Churchill and more)

LizaAugust 11, 2018 10:19PM

Re: Infatuation vs love? (Crawfords, Churchill and more)

AdelaideJuly 17, 2018 12:25AM

Re: Infatuation vs love? (Crawfords, Churchill and more)

AmytatJuly 16, 2018 03:09AM

Re: Infatuation vs love? (Crawfords, Churchill and more)

Agnes BeatrixJuly 02, 2018 04:51PM

Re: Infatuation vs love? (Crawfords, Churchill and more)

Cat H.July 04, 2018 05:52AM

Re: Infatuation vs love? (Crawfords, Churchill and more)

AdelaideJuly 07, 2018 03:43PM


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