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The development of Jane Austen's comic process of education Sait, James Edward 1972

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THE DEVELOPMENT OP JANE AUSTEN'S  COMIC PROCESS OF EDUCATION  '  JAMES EDWARD SAIT  B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1970  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  i n the Department of English  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the required standard  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h A p r i l , 1972  i  Columbia ; ^7/3 t  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s  thesis  in p a r t i a l  f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r  an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, the L i b r a r y s h a l l I  make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e  f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n  for  I agree  r e f e r e n c e and  f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s  that  study. thesis  f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department o r by h i s of this  representatives. thesis  It  i s understood that copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n  f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l  written permission.  Department of The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Vancouver 8, Canada  Columbia  not be allowed without my  Abstract  T h i s study o f Jane A u s t e n s s i x n o v e l s 1  the r e l a t i o n s h i p o f comedy and education.  examines Austen  c a r e f u l l y c o n s t r u c t s two k i n d s o f comedy i n h e r n o v e l s : s u r f a c e comedy d e r i v e d from, i n a c c u r a t e and conceptions  perceptions  o f the world, and deep comedy, the  v i t a l rhythm o f growth which i s e l a b o r a t e d as growing l o v e and self-awareness.  A l l s i x novels  develop  complex r e l a t i o n s h i p s between reason, emotion, imagina t i o n , a e s t h e t i c s and e t h i c s . In Northanger Abbey, Catherine by the s t e r i l e  Morland, v i c t i m i z e d  s u r f a c e comedy o f a r t i f i c i a l  conventions and h e r Gothic a e s t h e t i c convention,  fantasy,  social  an a r t i f i c i a l  moves toward a r e c o g n i t i o n o f  the deep comedy and v i t a l i t y which h e r love f o r Henry Tilney inspires.  Marianne Dashwood i n Sense and  S e n s i b i l i t y perceives of l i f e  and judges the s u p e r f i c i a l i t i e s  and r e a c t s i n an emotional and p i c t u r e s q u e  f a s h i o n , while h e r s i s t e r , E l i n o r , i n love with Edward F e r r a r s , cannot g i v e s u r f a c e e x p r e s s i o n  t o h e r emotions.  Each s i s t e r i s educated through t r a g i c o m i c t o the demands o f both views o f l i f e .  experiences  E l i z a b e t h Bennett  and Daarcy, v i c t i m s o f the p r e v a i l i n g s o c i a l o f o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n i n P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e ,  delusion gradually  iii  develop a sense o f the deeper v a l u e s i n l i f e expanded a e s t h e t i c s e n s i b i l i t y and mutual  through  affection.  Fanny P r i c e i n M a n s f i e l d Park possesses deep f e e l i n g s f o r Edmund Bertram but must l e a r n t o be independent and g i v e h e r emotions s i n c e r e e x p r e s s i o n i n a s o c i e t y deluded by f a l s e ceremony.  Emma p r e s e n t s surface comedy  as a product o f Emma's attempt t o superimpose h e r imagined l i f e - p a t t e r n s on a benevolent world. by sympathy and h e r attachment t o Mr.  Educated  Knightley,  Emma r e c o g n i s e s the world below Highbury's g l i t t e r i n g s u r f a c e and the n e c e s s i t y f o r m a i n t a i n i n g s o c i e t y ' s existing structures.  I n P e r s u a s i o n , Anne E l l i o t  achieves s u r f a c e e x p r e s s i o n and the c a p a c i t y t o a c t as Wentworth, a v i c t i m o f s o c i e t y ' s d e l u s i o n s o f fixed s o c i a l  p l a c e , comes t o r e a l i z e the depth o f  Anne's emotion. Jane Austen's n o v e l s p o r t r a y a complex p i c t u r e o f e d u c a t i o n through the i n t e r a c t i o n o f s u r f a c e and deep comedy.  "Every dam' t h i n g about Jane i s remarkable t o a pukka J e n e i t e . " Rudyard K i p l i n g ,  "The J a n e i t e s  1 1  I do not w r i t e f o r such d u l l e l v e s As have n o t a g r e a t d e a l o f i n g e n u i t y themselves. Jane Austen, L e t t e r s , p.  298.  Contents  Introduction  p. 1.  Chapter One:  Northanger Abbey  p. 7.  Chapter Two:  Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y  p.  22.  P r i d e and Pre.iudice  p.  36.  Chapter Three: Chapter Pour:  M a n s f i e l d Park  p. 49.  Chapter F i v e :  Emma  p.  Chapter S i x :  Persuasion  64.  p. 79.  fifterword  p. 92.  Bibliography  p. 98.  Introduction  Two premises form the b a s i s f o r t h i s examination of Jane Austen's a r t i s t i c development: her  the f i r s t ,  that  n o v e l s are comic, and the second, t h a t t h e y have  as a major theme the e d u c a t i o n o f c e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r s . For  Austen, comic p r o c e s s educates? a hero o r heroine,,  i f n o t changed i n e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r , g a i n s new p e r s p e c t i v e s and a c q u i r e s knowledge through e x p e r i e n c e . The f i r s t premise, t h a t Jane Austen's n o v e l s are comic, can e a s i l y be acknowledged. of  However, the type  comedy t h e y $>resent cannot r e a d i l y be d e f i n e d .  G e n e r a l l y comic t h e o r i s t s attempt t o d e f i n e comedy by d i s c u s s i n g those t h i n g s which r e c e i v e comic treatment: s o c i e t y , the i n d i v i d u a l , manners o r s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r , and s t y l e .  U n f o r t u n a t e l y t e n d i n g t o be the products  of  t h e i r own t i m e s , comic t h e o r i s t s generate a number  of  c o n f l i c t i n g views, e s p e c i a l l y i n the area o f s o c i a l  behaviour, c e n t r a l to Austen's work, which they ..variously l a b e l morals, manners o r conduct.  Addison, an e i g h t e e n t h  c e n t u r y t h e o r i s t , demanded t h a t comic r i d i c u l e n o t be a p p l i e d t o the v i r t u o u s . ^  I n the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y  George M e r e d i t h saw the moral i m p l i c a t i o n s o f ''thoughtful  l a u g h t e r " as an " e x c e l l e n t t e s t o f the c i v i l i z a t i o n o f a country".  2  M e r e d i t h ' s contemporary, Henr-J: Bergson,  thought o f comic l a u g h t e r as a s o c i a l c o r r e c t i v e : A humourist i s a m o r a l i s t d i s g u i s e d as a s c i e n t i s t , Something l i k e an anatomist who p r a c t i s e s d i s s e c t i o n w i t h the s o l e o b j e c t o f f i l l i n g u s w i t h d i s g u s t . . . Comedy . . . b e g i n s . . . w i t h what might be c a l l e d a growing c a l l o u s n e s s t o s o c i a l l i f e . . . . I n l a u g h t e r we always f i n d an unavowed i n t e n t i o n t o h u m i l i a t e , and consequently t o c o r r e c t our neighbour, i f n o t i n h i s w i l l , a t l e a s t i n his deed. 3  A t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y t h e o r i s t , Northrop F r y e , argues t h a t comedy i s o r i e n t e d more t o i n d i v i d u a l needs than social correction,  "Comedy i s n o t designed t o condemn  e v i l , b u t t o r i d i c u l e l a c k o f self-knowledge."4 H i s contemporary,  Susanne Langer, contends t h a t  "moral  c o n t e n t i s thematic m a t e r i a l " 5 and t h a t the "pure sense o f l i f e  i s the u n d e r l y i n g f e e l i n g o f comedy."^  On p o i n t s o t h e r than m o r a l i t y a number o f t h e t h e o r i s t s agree.  F o r i n s t a n c e , W i l l i a m H a z l i t t , George M e r e d i t h  and Susanne Langer f e e l t h a t comedy does n o t d i s c r i m i n a t e a g a i n s t women: "women . . . are more a l i v e t o e v e r y a b s u r d i t y which a r i s e s from a v i o l a t i o n o f the r u l e s o f society,"*  7  "comedy l i f t s women t o a s t a t i o n  o f f e r i n g free play f o r t h e i r w i t , " the  8  " i n a nut s h e l l :  c o n t e s t between men and women . . . i s the comic  rhythm.  1,9  The major l i m i t a t i o n o f comic  theorists  has been t h e i r n e g l e c t o f comedy i n the non-dramatic form.  To c o r r e c t t h i s d e f i c i e n c y whatever might be  applicable  i n t h e i r t h e o r i e s must be a d a p t e d  framework r e l e v a n t  to a  t o t h e h o v e l where " t h e o v e r a l l  effects  of a narrative  style  . . . are secured not  locally  . •.. . b u t . ,. .""by a c c u m u l a t i o n  and p r o -  g r e s s i o n . "10 The this  work o f t h e c o m i c  sense  theorists,  combined  o f the novel's p a r t i c u l a r capacity,  with suggests  t h e two t y p e s o f comedy c o n t i n u o u s l y a p p a r e n t i n Austen's  work: s u r f a c e comedy c o n s i s t i n g  individuals,  comic  comic  a n d deep comedy, g e n e r a t e d b y g r o w t h ,  style;  s o c i a l views,  e d u c a t i o n and accumulated plot.  Both Bergson  comic  o f comic  manners a n d  e x p e r i e n c e , elements  of  a n d M e r e d i t h f o u n d s u r f a c e comedy  the main s u b j e c t f o r a n a l y s i s  and p l o t  an u n e s s e n t i a l  feature: i n s t e a d o f c o n c e n t r a t i n g o u r a t t e n t i o n on a c t i o n s , comedy d i r e c t s i t r a t h e r t o g e s t u r e s . . . . a c t i o n i s e s s e n t i a l i n drama, b u t o n l y a n a c c e s s o r y i n comedy . . . t o d e p i c t c h a r a c t e r s , t h a t i s t o s a y "types, i s t h e o b j e c t o f h i g h c l a s s , c o m e d y . 1 1  The c o m i c p o e t i s i n t h e n a r r o w f i e l d , o r e n c l o s e d s q u a r e , o f t h e s o c i e t y he d e p i c t s . . . he i s n o t c o n c e r n e d w i t h b e g i n n i n g s o r e n d i n g s , b u t w i t h what y o u a r e now weaving.-LS Jane  Austen  c o n c e r n s h e r s e l f w i t h f a r more t h a n t h e  depiction o f "types" i n s o c i a l l y Nearly realizing this  relevant  c o n c e p t o f two c o m i c  situations. levels i n  d e v e l o p i n g h e r t h e o r y o f v i r t u a l D e s t i n y as t h e p r i m -  ary c h a r a c t e r i s t i c that  o f drama, Susanne L a n g e r  "Destiny i n the guise o f Fortune  o f comedy."13  Fortunate  p r o d u c e s a sense novels.  itions. and  i n Austen's  a character to seize  1 4  freeing  I n t h i s way t h e two m a j o r p r e m i s e s  a c l e a r p r o g r e s s i o n as Austen artistic  inhibo f comedy  connected.  E a c h o f t h e s i x n o v e l s t o be e x a m i n e d ,  ent  himself  o r e x t e r n a l , s e r i o u s o r comic,  education are c l o s e l y  cir-  o b s t a c l e s as "the s o c i a l  order represented by the senexfi, internal  frequently  o f patterned v i t a l i t y  cumstance, overcoming such  from  i s the fabric  circumstance  Education enables  suggests  attempts  exhibits  to solve  problems which d e r i v e from  differ-  the conjunction  o f p a r t i c u l a r f o r m s o f e d u c a t i o n w i t h t h e two k i n d s o f comedy. determined  Composition  a n d r e v i s i o n d a t e s have  the o r d e r i n which the n o v e l s  mainly  are d i s c u s s e d . ^  N o r t h a n g e r Abbey c o n t a i n s t h e most y o u t h f u l m a t e r i a l . A reworking  o f an e a r l i e r  S e n s i b i l i t y precedes lication  t h e presumed r e w r i t i n g  o f P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e .  M a n s f i e l d Park. from  e p i s t o l a r y n o v e l , Sense a n d  Cassandra  The l a s t  a n d pubthree novels,  Emma a n d P e r s u a s i o n , have b e e n A u s t e n ' s memorandum.!  d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e comic p r o c e s s  6  dated  In t r a c i n g the  o f education i n the  e a r l y h a l f o f A u s t e n ' s work, we s h a l l f i n d t h e dominance o f f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n g r a d u a l l y g i v i n g way t o e d u c a t i o n  through experience, and i n the l a t t e r works we s h a l l f i n d functional education, education "put to work", beginning to dominate.  These changes r e s u l t from an increased  dependence on deep comedy.  Footnotes ^ J o s e p h A d d i s o n , The S p e c t a t o r . ®d. D o n a l d P. B o n d , V o l v m i , . ( O x f o r d : C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1 9 6 5 ) , p.467. 2 G e o r g e M e r e d i t h , A n E s s a y o n Qomedy. i n Comedy: A n E s s a y o n Come dy [by"! Ge o r g e Me r e d i t h Tandl L a u g h t e r |3?2) H e n r i : B e r g s o n , e d . W y l i e S y p h e r (New Y o r k : D o u b l e d a y & Company, I n c . , 1 9 5 6 ) , p.47. ^ B e r g s o n , pp.  143-148.  •^Northrop F r y e , "The Argument o f Comedy". T h e o r i e s o f Comedy, e d . P a u l L a u t e r (New Y o r k : D o u b l e d a y & Company, I n c . , 1 9 6 4 ) , p . 452. ^ S u s a n n e K. L a n g e r , F e e l i n g a n d Form: A T h e o r y o f ( A r t (London: R o u t l e d g e & Kegan P a u l L i m i t e d , 1953), ( p . 326.  7  J  danger,  p.  327.  '''William H a z l i t t , L e c t u r e s on t h e E n g l i s h W r i t e r s ( L o n d o n : T a y l o r a n d H e s s e y , 1 8 1 9 ) , pp. 8Meredith,  Comic 246-247.  p.32.  9 L a n g e r , p . '346. l O P h i l i p Rahv, The M y t h a n d t h e Powerhouse Y o r k : The N o o n d a y P r e s s , 1 9 6 6 ) , p . 4 9 . ^Bergson,  pp.  ISMeredith, 13Langer, l-lFrye,  p.  (New  153-157.  p.46.  p.  331.  451.  15See R.W. Chapman, J a n e A u s t e n : F a c t s a n d ( O x f o r d : C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1 9 4 8 ) , pp. 177-183.  Problems  " C a s s a n d r a A u s t e n ' s Note o f t h e Date o f C o m p o s i t i o n o f H e r S i s t e r ' s N o v e l s " , M i n o r Works. The Works o f J a n e A u s t e n , e d . R.W. Chapman, V o l . 6 ( L o n d o n : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 5 4 ) , f a c i n g page 242. Subsequent q u o t a t i o n s f r o m J a n e Austenfe n o v e l s a r e t a k e n f r o m t h i s e d i t i o n o f h e r work and w i l l be f o l l o w e d b y page numbers i n p a r e n t h e s i s . 1 6  ;  Chapter  One  Northanger Abbey  The h e r o i n e p f EForthanger Abbey, Catherine undergoes two attempts  forms o f e d u c a t i o n : the f i r s t  as  Morland, she  to adapt h e r s e l f t o the h e r o i c p a t t e r n d e r i v e d  from h e r r e a d i n g , and the second as she d i s c a r d s the h e r o i c p a t t e r n f o r the more f l e x i b l e v a l u e s which Henry T i l n e y possesses.  With h e r f i r s t  e d u c a t i o n Catherine  t r i e s t o superimpose a h e r o i c p a t t e r n on h e r  surroundings,  w i t h the second she becomes f l e x i b l e and accepts the p a t t e r n which emerges. E d u c a t i o n as a major m o t i f appears opening paragraph treated  i n the n o v e l ' s  where C a t h e r i n e ' s f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n i s  ironically:  She never c o u l d l e a r n o r understand any t h i n g b e f o r e she was taught; and sometimes not even then, f o r she was o f t e n i n a t t e n t i v e and o c c a s i o n a l l y s t u p i d . . . . Her mother wished h e r t o l e a r n music; and Catherine was sure she would l i k e i t , f o r she was v e r y fond o f t i n k l i n g the keys o f the o l d f o r l o r n s p i n n e t ; so at e i g h t y e a r s o l d she began. She l e a r n t a year, and c o u l d not b e a r i t . . . Her t a s t e f o r drawing was not s u p e r i o r . . . W r i t i n g and accounts she was taught by h e r f a t h e r ; French by h e r mother: h e r prof i c i e n c y i n e i t h e r was not remarkable, and she s h i r k e d h e r l e s s o n s i n b o t h whenever she c o u l d , (p. 14) Her r e s i s t a n c e t o e d u c a t i o n ceases when C a t h e r i n e develops live  "an i n c l i n a t i o n f o r f i n e r y " and the d e s i r e to  i n the h e r o i c p a t t e r n : from f i f t e e n t o seventeen she was i n t r a i n i n g f o r a h e r o i n e ; she r e a d a l l such works as a h e r o i n e must r e a d t o supply t h e i r memories w i t h those q u o t a t i o n s which are so s o o t h i n g i n the v i c i s s i t u d e s of t h e i r e v e n t f u l l i v e s , (p. 15)  In  o r d e r to express h e r o i c sentiments  correctly within a  s o c i e t y which tends t o p l a c e women i n p a s s i v e  roles,  C a t h e r i n e attempts a g e n t e e l form o f a r t i s t i c  education.  U n f o r t u n a t e l y she has no e x t e n s i v e a b i l i t y f o r feminine accomplishments: E e r g r e a t e s t d e f i c i e n c y was i n the p e n c i l — s h e had no n o t i o n o f d r a w i n g — n o t -enough even to attempt a s k e t c h of h e r l o v e r ' s p r o f i l e , t h a t she might be d e t e c t e d i n the design. There she f e l l m i s e r a b l y s h o r t o f the h e r o i c h e i g h t , (p. 16) However, t h i s shortcoming  does not prevent  Catherine's  v i c a r i o u s p u r s u i t o f the h e r o i c mode i n Gothic n o v e l s , e s p e c i a l l y w i t h I s a b e l l a Thorpe's h e l p i n Bath. The  e d u c a t i o n o f C a t h e r i n e ' s a r t i s t i c t a s t e , but n o t  a b i l i t y i s r e d i r e c t e d and developed  her  through h e r a s s o c i a t i o n  w i t h the T i l n e y s at Bath, p a r t i c u l a r l y on t h e i r walk o u t s i d e the town: They [the T i l n e y s ) were viewing the country w i t h the eyes o f persons accustomed to drawing . . . Here C a t h e r i n e was q u i t e l o s t . She knew n o t h i n g o f t a s t e . . . She was h e a r t i l y ashamed of her ignorance. A m i s p l a c e d shame. Where people wish to a t t a c h they 'should always be i g n o r a n t . . . . In the p r e s e n t i n stance, she p r o f e s s e d and lamented h e r want of knowledge; d e c l a r e d t h a t she would g i v e any t h i n g i n the world to be able to draw; and a l e c t u r e on the p i c turesque fmme-diately f o l l o w e d , i n which h i s [Henry's] i n s t r u c t i o n s were so c l e a r t h a t she soon began to see beauty i n every t h i n g admired by him (pp. 110-111). C a t h e r i n e ' s growing l o v e f o r Henry causes the e d u c a t i o n o f her a r t i s t i c  s e n s i b i l i t y t o c o n f l i c t with the v i c a r i o u s  enjoyment p r o v i d e d by h e r h e r o i c e d u c a t i o n . b e g i n s t o appear as she views Mrs.  A  resolution  Tilney's portrait:  I t r e p r e s e n t e d a v e r y l o v e l y woman, w i t h a m i l d and pensive countenace, j u s t i f y i n g , so f a r , the e x p e c t a t i o n s o f i t s new observer; but they were not i n every r e s p e c t answered, f o r C a t h e r i n e had depended upon meeting with f e a t u r e s , a i r , com-'  p l e x i o n t h a t s h o u l d be the v e r y c o u n t e r p a r t , the v e r y image, i f not o f Henry's, o f E l e a n o r ' s ; — the o n l y p o r t r a i t s o f which she had been i n the h a b i t o f t h i n k i n g , b e a r i n g always an e q u a l r e semblance o f mother and c h i l d . . . . She contemplated i t , however, i n s p i t e o f t h i s drawback, w i t h much emotion (p. 191, my i t a l i c s ) . The e d u c a t i o n o f a r t i s t i c  s e n s i b i l i t y , seen.here t o be  the b r e a k i n g o f h a b i t u a l p a t t e r n s and t h e i r replacement w i t h n a t u r a l o r s e n t i m e n t a l t a s t e , p l a y s an a c t i v e p a r t i n a l l o f Austen's n o v e l s .  She equates d e v e l o p i n g  aesthetic s e n s i b i l i t y with strong e t h i c a l  standards.!  a f a l s e a e s t n e t i c depending on appearance r a t h e r than t a s t e (judgment) u s u a l l y betokens f a l s e  ethics.  Conduct or manners f r e q u e n t l y become a e s t h e t i c as w e l l as e t h i c 8 l concerns.  For instance, Catherine learns  t h a t r i d i n g i n an open c a r r i a g e w i t h John Thorpe, unchaperoned, c o n s t i t u e s bad s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r  because  o f the p i c t u r e t h e y would p r e s e n t by appearing at ' " i n n s and p u b l i c p l a c e s t o g e t h e r ! ' "(p. 104). These sometimes  c o n f l i c t i n g , minor forms o f  e d u c a t i o n are e v e n t u a l l y r e s o l v e d w i t h i n the one major form o f e d u c a t i o n , the growth o f C a t h e r i n e ' s l o v e f o r Henry T i l n e y .  A f t e r she views h i s mother's  portrait  with l e s s h e r o i c p r e t e n t i o n s , Henry's s c a t h i n g remarks, d i r e c t e d at n e r deluded p i c t u r e o f h i s mother's  death,  b r i n g about the f i n a l d i s i n t e g r a t i o n o f h e r h e r o i c education.  She even f e e l s l e s s concerned a t b r e a k i n g  an a e s t h e t i c a l l y "based r u l e o f conduct when she r i d e s alone w i t h Henry (p. 156).  The G e n e r a l and E l e a n o r are near' by :  so she need not be concerned w i t h the p i c t u r e they p r e s e n t ; i n s t e a d she can f o l l o w the i n c l i n a t i o n s o f h e r emotions. C a t h e r i n e l e a r n s to a p p r e c i a t e the judgment o f Henryy as a more than adequate on mere appearance  s u b s t i t u t e f o r judgments based  o r deluded impressions o f the world.  On the whole, those minor forms o f e d u c a t i o n which attempt t o superimpose  a p a t t e r n on b e h a v i o u r r e c e i v e a  b u r l e s q u e treatment, while the major e d u c a t i o n , a product o f growth  and accumulated e x p e r i e n c e , c r e a t e s a sense o f  deeper, more dynamic comic rhythm. Joseph Addison p r o v i d e s an e x c e l l e n t d i s t i n c t i o n between comedy and b u r l e s q u e , "The f i r s t  r i d i c u l e s Persons by drawing them i n t h e i r  p r o p e r c h a r a c t e r s , the o t h e r by drawing them q u i t e unl i k e themselves."  1  The manner i n which Austen draws  some o f h e r c h a r a c t e r s " q u i t e u n l i k e themselves" takes the  form o f exaggerated c a r i c a t u r e which f i x e s the char-  a c t e r by making i t a c t c o n s i s t e n t l y w i t h i n some g i v e n s e t of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s * '  U s u a l l y these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , g i v e n  i n the form o f a p o r t r a i t ,  accompany the c h a r a c t e r ' s  entrance, as i n the case o f John  Thorpe:  a s t o u t young man o f m i d d l i n g h e i g h t , who, w i t h a p l a i n f a c e and g r a c e f u l form, seemed f e a r f u l of b e i n g too handsome u n l e s s he wore the dress of a groom, and too much l i k e a gentleman u n l e s s he were easy when he ought Ibo be c i v i l , and impudent where he might be allowed to be easy. (p. 45) Because  the d e s c r i p t i o n , an a u t h o r i a l comment, g i v e s  first  i n f o r m a t i o n beyond C a t h e r i n e ' s Thorpe's c h a r a c t e r circumscribed  immediate knowledge,  and the sense o f h i s a c t i o n i s  with authority.  Other minor  characters  such as Mrs. A l l e n (p. 20), Mrs. Thorpe (pp. 31-32) and I s a b e l l a ( p . 33) :are a l s o drawn with burlesque portraits.  I r o n i c a l l y on G e n e r a l T i l n e y ' s f i r s t two  appearances (pp. 80, 95) we r e c e i v e o n l y a b r i e f physi c a l d e s c r i p t i o n because C a t h e r i n e , o f h e r h e r o i c education, p i c t u r e she p r e s e n t s by  s t i l l a victim  i s more concerned w i t h the  t o him.  Characters  rigidified  t h i s b u r l e s q u e f a s h i o n o f exaggerated d e s c r i p t i o n  cannot p o s s i b l y take advantage o f the Fortune which Susanne L a n g e r c a l l e d "the f a b r i c o f comedy." "types"  The  which surround the c e n t r a l s i t u a t i o n , they  w i l l be unable t o take p a r t i n any r e s o l u t i o n because they are a l r e a d y f i x e d . Perhaps f o l l o w i n g Addison's advice, Austen does n o t b u r l e s q u e the s e n s i b l e o r v i r t u o u s Henry T i l n e y , on e n t e r i n g the n o v e l , s o l e l y from C a t h e r i n e ' s  characters.  i s described  p o i n t o f view:  He seemed to be about f o u r o r f i v e and twenty, was r a t h e r t a l l , had a p l e a s i n g countenance, a v e r y i n t e l l i g e n t and l i v e l y eye, and i f n o t q u i t e handsome, was v e r y n e a r i t . H i s address was good, and Catherine f e l t h e r s e l f i n h i g h l u c k . (p. 25) The  l i m i t a t i o n o f the d e s c r i p t i o n t o dominant p h y s i c a l  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s within Catherine's perception a c t u a l l y f r e e s Henry from any pre-determined reader.  He w i l l he  response  from the  able t o grow, o r promote growth,  and s e i z e Fortune, becoming the source o f the deep comic rhythm, without the r e a d e r f i n d i n g him out of character.  Minor s e n s i b l e c h a r a c t e r s who  are not  p a r t o f the deep comic rhythni|ndo not r e c e i v e p h y s i c a l and mental p o r t r a i t s j l i n s t e a d t h e i r a c t i o n s speak f o r them.  Mr.  A l l e n , f o r instance!,_ shows more than h i s  gout when he i n v e s t i g a t e s Mr.  Tilney:  How p r o p e r Mr. T i l n e y might be as a dreamer o r a l o v e r , had n o t y e t perhaps e n t e r e d Mr. A l l e n ' s head, b u t t h a t he was not o b j e c t i o n a b l e as a common acquaintance f o r h i s young charge he was on e n q u i r y s a t i s f i e d f o r he had e a r l y i n the eveni n g taken p a i n s t o know who her p a r t n e r was (p.30). C a t h e r i n e u n i t e s b o t h the burlesque w i t h the burlesque  exaggeration of her " h e r o i c " r o l e  g r a d u a l l y g i v i n g way novel  and the deep comedy  t o g r e a t e r s e n s i b i l i t y as the  progrSsses. Burlesque  c a r i c a t u r e combined w i t h G o t h i c parody  produces a c u r i o u s rhythmic v i s i t s Northanger Abbey.  p a t t e r n when C a t h e r i n e  Henry's p o r t r a i t of h e r  first  n i g h t - t o - b e i n the Abbey (pp. 157-159) l a r g e l y  determines  the p a t t e r n o f C a t h e r i n e ' s Gothic f a n t a s y ; she  expects  the house t o be reads about'"(p.  "'a f i n e o l d p l a c e , j u s t l i k e what one 157).  Supplied with Gothic  details  from h e r p r e v i o u s r e a d i n g , she sees the c h e s t i n h e r  room and the remains o f s i l v e r handles appear "broken perhaps prematurely by some strange v i o l e n c e " ( p . Her  " f e a r f u l c u r i o s i t y " o n l y heightened  163).  by the maid's  i l l - t i m e d i n t e r r u p t i o n f i n a l l y r i s e s t o such a p i t c h t h a t she throws back the  chest's l i d o n l y to f i n d "a white  c o t t n counterpane, p r o p e r l y f o l d e d , r e p o s i n g at end o f the chest i n u n d i s p u t e d  possession!"(p.  one  164).  T h i s mundane d e f l a t i o n does not prevent her s e e i n g " b l a c k and y e l l o w Japan" c a b i n e t (p. 168) r e p o s i t o r y o f some t r e a s u r e .  Her  candle  e x p l o r e s the cab-  p r e c i o u s manuscript"(p.  s n u f f e d out, she  o f l i n e n , i n coarse modern c h a r a c t e r s " ( p .  these  169).  suffers a sleepless night  o n l y to awake to f i n d the manuscript o n l y "An  Catherine  the  "Well read i n the a r t  of concealing treasure," Catherine i n e t , d i s c o v e r i n g "the  as  the  p e r s i s t s i n h e r Gothic  inventory  172).  fancies despite  d e f l a t i o n s because she sees the p h y s i c a l s t r u c t u r e  o f the Abbey i t s e l f , when shown around i t by the and E l e a n o r ,  General  as a k i n d o f Gothic c a r i c a t u r e :  the c o s t l i n e s s or elggance o f any room's f i t t i n g up c o u l d be n o t h i n g t o h e r j she c a r e d f o r no f u r n i t u r e of a more modern date t h a t the f i f t e e n t h c e n t u r y . . . . she was f u r t h e r soothed i n h e r p r o g r e s s , by b e i n g t o l d , t h a t she was t r e a d i n g what once had been a c l o i s t e r (pp. 182-183). Henry not o n l y c o r r e c t s h e r c o n c e p t i o n  o f the Abbey's  a r c h i t e c t u r e by t e l l i n g h e r the mysterious from the s t a b l e - y a r d t o h i s own  staircase leads  chamber (p. 194),  he  a l s o r a p i d l y d i s s o l v e s h e r c a r i c a t u r e d c o n c e p t i o n of the G e n e r a l as a murderer.  This deflation,  connected  w i t h the o b j e c t o f h e r a f f e c t i o n , causes C a t h e r i n e t o shed h e r h e r o i c p r e t e n s i o n s and h e r G o t h i c The burlesque' elements-give  way  fantasies.  t o the deeper comic  rhythm o f growth which spring^'f rom e l a t i o n r a t h e r t h a n d e f l a t i o n , Langer's  " v i t a l f e e l i n g . . . the  image o f human v i t a l i t y h o l d i n g i t s own  i n the world  amid the s u r p r i s e s of unplanned c o i n c i d e n c e . " 3  The  G e n e r a l and John Thorpe t r y t o prevent the e x p r e s s i o n of"vital feeling".  I n s t e a d o f d e s t r o y i n g the d e v e l o p i n g  l o v e , the f r u s t r a t i n g a c t i o n s which they p r e s e n t o n l y serve t o b r i n g Henry and C a t h e r i n e c l o s e r t o g e t h e r . Thorpe's attempts  t o prevent C a t h e r i n e walking w i t h the  T i l n e y s are a g g r a v a t i n g . to  But t h i s causes  Catherine  even more arduously pursue the T i l n e y s to a p o l o g i s e  a f t e r the broken walking engagement: she . . . hastened away w i t h eager steps and a b e a t i n g h e a r t t o pay h e r v i s i t , e x p l a i n her conduct and be f o r g i v e n ; t r i p p i n g l i g h t l y through the church-yard, and r e s o l u t e l y t u r n i n g away h e r eyes, t h a t she might not be o b l i g e d t o see h e r b e l o v e d I s a b e l l a and h e r dear f a m i l y , who, she had reason t o b e l i e v e were i n a shop h a r d by. She reached the house without any impediment . . . [the G e n e r a l and E l e a n o i J "were j u s t on the p o i n t o f walking out, and he oeing h u r r i e d f o r time, and not c a r i n g t o have i t put o f f , made a p o i n t o f h e r b e i n g denied." (pp. 90, 94, my i t a l i c s )  P r e v e n t e d by the G e n e r a l from b e i n g f o r g i v e n , C a t h e r i n e must wait u n t i l t h a t evening a t the t h e a t r e t o t e l l Henry t h a t she has been " q u i t e w i l d " (p. 93) to speak t o him.  On b e i n g thanked by Henry f o r a t l e a s t waving  as she p a s s e d by i n Thorpe's c a r r i a g e , she r e p l i e s , " ' i f Mr. Thorpe o n l y would have stopped, I would have jumped out and run a f t e r you'"(|>i 94).  The a c t i o n s  o f b o t h the G e n e r a l and John Thorpe produce a benevolent  reaction: I s t h e r e a Henry i n the w o r l d who c o u l d be i n s e n s i b l e t o such a d e c l a r a t i o n ? Henry T i l n e y at l e a s t was n o t . With a y e t sweeter s m i l e , he s a i d e v e r y t h i n g t h a t need be s a i d o f h i s s i s t e r ' s concern, r e g r e t , and dependance on C a t h e r i n e ' s honour, (p. 94).  In another major i n c i d e n t G e n e r a l T i l n e y t r i e s t o prevent the l o v e r ' s u n i o n .  M i s i n f o r m e d a second time  about C a t h e r i n e ' s f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n a f t e r s e e i n g John Thorpe i n London, he sends C a t h e r i n e p a c k i n g . T h i s a c t i o n o f the senex i r o n i c a l l y promotes Henry's declaration: His father's anger, though i t must shock, c o u l d n o t i n t i m i d a t e Henry, who was s u s t a i n e d i n h i s purpose by a c o n v i c t i o n o f i t s j u s t i c e . He f e l t h i m s e l f bound as much i n honour as i n a f f e c t i o n t o M i s s Morland . . . b e l i e v i n g t h a t h e a r t to be b i s own which he had been d i r e c t e d t o g a i n Q>y h i s f a t h e r ] no unworthy r e t r a c t i o n o f a t a c i t consent, no r e v e r s i n g decree o f u n j u s t i f i a b l e anger, c o u l d shake h i s f i d e l i t y , o r i n f l u e n c e the r e s o l u t i o n s i t prompted. He . . . d e c l a r e d h i s i n t e n t i o n o f o f f e r i n g h e r h i s hand. (pp. 247-248) 1  The n o v e l ' s comic a c t i o n i s accomplished through the h e l p o f those v e r y people impede i t s p r o g r e s s .  who  ironically seek to  I n s t e a d o f d e f l a t i n g the  char-  a c t e r s , as the Gothic d e l u s i o n s d e f l a t e C a t h e r i n e , the impediments which f r u s t r a t e the e x p r e s s i o n  of  " v i t a l f e e l i n g " o n l y strengthen the c h a r a c t e r s ' conv i c t i o n s and i n c r e a s e the sense o f e l a t i o n . The major comic rhythm o f growing l o v e i s a l s o c o n t r a s t e d witn the u n s u c c e s s f u l l o v e a f f a i r between I s a b e l l a Thorpe and James Morland. n o r a man  Neither a caricature  o f sense, James, i n h i s l e t t e r t o C a t h e r i n e ,  appears t o have l e a r n e d some l e s s o n , "'Thank Godl I am undeceived very l i t t l e  i n t i m e 1 " but he has r e a l l y l e a r n e d 1  i f he can s t i l l  say,  town: I dread the s i g h t o f him} f e e l so much.'"  "'Poor Thorpe i s i n h i s honest h e a r t would  H i s emotions have overthrown h i s  rational intellect  "'happy f o r me  I can never expect  to know such another womanl•" (p.  U n f o r t u n a t e l y James f e l l mercenary f l i r t .  had we never  met!  i n l o v e with a "type",  the  I n Bath's a r t i f i c i a l s o c i e t y where  manners can obscure morals, the a f f a i r f l o u r i s h e s ; but I s a b e l l a , unable to adapt to a b e t t e r unders t a n d i n g of James's f i n a n c i a l s i t u a t i o n , b e g i n s  to  r e - e n a c t the p a t t e r n o f h e r u s u a l c o u r t s h i p s t y l e w i t h a new  man,  Captain T i l n e y .  However, she i s  202).  unable t o s e i z e Fortune.  C a t h e r i n e , on the o t h e r  hand, n e v e r a l t e r s the d i r e c t i o n o f h e r a f f e c t i o n s although the p a t t e r n o f h e r a c t i o n s as w e l l as h e r p h y s i c a l l o c a t i o n changes.  She t u r n s from s u r f a c e  a r t i f i c i a l i t y t o Henry's moral r e a l i t y , the e d u c a t i o n f o r m i n g the deep comic process o f the n o v e l . L i o n e l T r i l l i n g has  saidj  i n any complex c u l t u r e t h e r e i s n o t a s i n g l e system o f manners but a c o n f l i c t i n g v a r i e t y o f manners, and t h a t one o f the j o b s o f a c u l t u r e i s the adjustment o f t h i s c o n f l i c t . ^ Northanger Abbey, l i k e a "complex c u l t u r e " , c o n t a i n s a " c o n f l i c t i n g v a r i e t y o f manners".  Some o f the  c h a r a c t e r s such as I s a b e l l a Thorpe and G e n e r a l T i l n e y , a l l o w t h e i r f i n a n c i a l a t t i t u d e s t o determine  their  conduct; o t h e r s , such as Henry and E l e a n o r T i l n e y , Mr. A l l e n and Mrs. Morland* a l l o w sense based on human v a l u e s t o determine t h e i r conduct.  Those whose ex-  aggerated sense o f e x t e r i o r v a l u e s ( f o r d r e s s o r horse-ware)  determine t h e i r a c t i o n s , Mrs.  Mrs. A l l e n and John Thorpe, appear t o be  Thorpe, amoral.  C a t h e r i n e , the o n l y remaining c h a r a c t e r o f  consequence,  e x p e r i e n c e s an i r r e g u l a r e d u c a t i o n which moves h e r from the d e s i r e f o r a p a t t e r n e d , h e r o i c l i f e - s t y l e t o the  d e s i r e t o marry Henry w i t h the sometimes g r a d u a l ,  sometimes abrupt, assumption o f h i s t a s t e s and s e n s i bilities.  The n o v e l ' s e d u c a t i v e movement appears  i r r e g u l a r because  the b u r l e s q u e and comic  elements  c o n f l i c t ; the burlesque so exaggerates e x t e r n a l s t h a t C a t h e r i n e , Austen and the reader, at times l o s e  sight  o f the v a l u e o f the h e r o i n e ' s i n t e r n a l development. Although Northanger Abbey do6s, i n a l i m i t e d " r i d i c u l e lack of self-knowledge" e q u a l i t y o f men  4  way,  and r e p r e s e n t the  and women, i n c r e a s i n g the sense o f  i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , the n o v e l seems t o g i v e more w&gbit t o i t s examination o f s o c i a l and delusions.  artistic  Catherine's Gothic fantasy, f o r instance,  at f i r s t b a l a n c e s the G e n e r a l ' s deluded p i c t u r e o f h e r wealth.  Although he i s n o t a c t u a l l y a  murderer,  p r o v i n g the substance o f h e r d e l u s i o n wrong, C a t h e r i n e has a c c u r a t e l y a s s e s s e d h i s c h a r a c t e r .  At l e a s t  she  l o s e s h e r G o t h i c d e l u s i o n s but the General never sees her f i n a n c i a l p o s i t i o n c l e a r l y .  His f i n a l  capitulation  to the marriage p l a n occurs w i t h "a f i t o f good humour" brought about by E l e a n o r ' s "marriage with a man f o r t u n e and consequence"(p.  250).  of  Although he i s  " a s s i s t e d by t h a t r i g h t u n d e r s t a n d i n g of Mr.  Morland's  c i r c u m s t a n c e s " and knows "that C a t h e r i n e would have t h r e e thousand pounds"(p. 251), h i s f i n a l a p p r o v a l comes from the p r i v a t e i n t e l l i g e n c e which he was at some p a i n s t o procure« t h a t the F u l l e r t o n e s t a t e , b e i n g e n t i r e l y at the d i s p o s a l o f i t s p r e s e n t p r o p r i e t o r , was consequently open t o every greedy s p e c u l a t i o n , (p. 252, my i t a l i c s )  In  o r d e r f o r the r e s o l u t i o n t o take p l a c e , the  must continue i n h i s d e l u s i o n . the n o v e l are minimal. succeed.  s o c i a l changes i n  The Thorpe's p l a n s do not  Eleanor marries.  to marry.  The  General  Henry and Catherine  I f they are t o form a "new  prepare  social unit"  c r y s t a l i z i n g t o p r o v i d e the comic r e s o l u t i o n ^ i t w i l l n o t be the normal r e s o l u t i o n o f New  Comedy which  Frye sees as "the s u r r e n d e r o f the senex t o the hero, never the r e v e r s e . "  6  The v i g o u r and excitement  of  b u r l e s q u e e x a g g e r a t i o n are not a l l a y e d i n a comic r e s o l u t i o n where the audience  knows too l i t t l e  o f the w o r l d  the l o v e r s go t o and too much o f the world they come from.  C a t h e r i n e ' s e d u c a t i o n through T i l n e y , a deep  comic p r o c e s s , comes t o a r e s o l u t i o n but the o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s remain i n a s t a t e o f b u r l e s q u e ,  leaving  the r e a d e r t o wonder what the l o v e r ' s p l a c e i n the world w i l l be.  They f r e e themselves  but somehow the r e a d e r cannot; we i t than we  from the Abbey  are more a t t a c h e d too  can be t o Henry and C a t h e r i n e , o r Woodston,  t h e i r home. Austen  attempts  to correct t h i s defective  i n Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y by i n t e r n a l i z i n g and  resolution diversi-  f y i n g the process o f e d u c a t i o n and l i m i t i n g the burlesque elements.  The uneven comic process o f e d u c a t i o n  i n Northanger Abbey where b u r l e s q u e d views o f the  e x t e r n a l w o r l d achieve r e v i s i o n  through the h e r o i n e ' s  e n l a r g e d experience c o u l d n o t accomodate the s u b t l e changes o f c h a r a c t e r which o c c u r i n Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y .  Footnotes  A  Addison,  2  Langer,  p.467. p. 331.  3 L i o n e l T r i l l i n g , "Manners, M o r a l s a n d t h e N o v e l " , The L i b e r a l I m a g i n a t i o n (New Y o r k : The V i k i n g P r e s s , 1 9 5 0 ) , p. 207. 4  Frye,  p . 452.  5  Frye,  p. 452.  6  Frye,  pp.  450-451.  Chapter Two  Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y  L i k e Northanger Abbey. Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y combines the e d u c a t i o n o f a r t i s t i c t a s t e and moral perception.  B o t h Dashwood s i s t e r s have a r t i s t i c  times; E l i n o r p l a y s and Marianne draws. Edward F e r r a r s  ?  past-  However,  i r o n i c a l l y c r i t i c i z e s Marianne's  t a s t e f o r the G o t h i c p i c t u r e s q u e : "You must n o t imagine too f a r , Marianne—remember I have no knowledge i n the p i c t u r e s q u e , and I s h a l l o f f e n d you by my ignorance and want o f t a s t e i f we come t o p a r t i c u l a r s . I shall call h i l l s steep which ought t o be b o l d ; s u r f a c e s strange and uncouth whichougot t o be i r r e g u l a r and rugged; and d i s t a n t o b j e c t s out o f s i g h t which ought o n l y t o be lUndistinct through the s o f t medium o f a hazy atmosphere." (p. 97) In  k e e p i n g w i t h h e r s e n s i t i v i t y to language and h e r  attempts at uncouth s i n c e r i t y , Marianne  replies:  "I d e t e s t j a r g o n o f e v e r y k i n d , and sometimes I have kept my f e e l i n g s t o myself, because I c o u l d f i n d no language t o d e s c r i b e them i n but what was worn and hackneyed out o f a l l sense and meaning." (p. 97) Marianne's p i c t u r e s q u e f e e l i n g s u s u a l l y f i n d  settings  a p p r o p r i a t e f o r t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n whether she i s i n the h i l l s b e h i n d t h e i r home o r the undoubtedly rococo G r e c i a n Temple at C l e v e l a n d where she c a t c h e s c o l d  (pp.  302,3303,  305-306).  Marianne's d e d i c a t i o n to  pure e x p r e s s i o n becomes dangerous because i t i s predi c a t e d on appearance.  A g a i n as i n Northanger Abbey  such dependance on appearances, a f a l s e  aesthetic,  l e a d s t o f a l s e e t h i c s , i n Marianne's case t o p a s s i v e incivilities,  as, f o r i n s t a n c e , when she converses  w i t h the S t e e l e  sisters:  "What a sworet woman Lady M i d d l e t o n i s I " s a i d Lucy S t e e l e . Marianne was s i l e n t ; i t was i m p o s s i b l e f o r her t o say what she d i d not f e e l , however t r i v i a l the o c c a s i o n ; and upon E l i n o r t h e r e f o r e the whole t a s k o f t e l l i n g l i e s when p o l i t e n e s s r e q u i r e d i t , always f e l l . (p. 122, my i t a l i c s ) While Marianne's a e s t h e t i c o f t r u t h i s b o t h s e l f i s h and unsympathetic, Edward's e x p r e s s i o n o f h i s p r e f e r e n c e f o r n a t u r a l beauty combines t r u e  aesthetics  w i t h humane e t h i c a l s t a n d a r d s : "I l i k e a f i n e p r o s p e c t but n o t on p i c t u r e s q u e principles. I do n o t l i k e crooked, t w i s t e d , blasted trees. I admire them much more i f t h e y are t a l l , s t r a i g h t , and f l o u r i s h i n g . I do not l i k e ruined, t a t t e r e d cottages. I am n o t f o n d o f n e t t l e s , o r t h i s t l e s , o r heath blossoms. I have more p l e a s u r e i n a snug farm-house than a watch-tower—and a troop o f t i d y v i l l a g e s please me b e t t e r than the f i n e s t b a n d i t t i i n the w o r l d . " (p. 9 8 ) When Marianne  does l e a r n t o r e c o g n i s e the  sincerity  b e h i n d a b l a n d o r hackneyed e x t e r i o r , a change from weighings e x p r e s s i o n s t o d i s c e r n i n g sentiment, she b e g i n s t o show s i g n s o f growth. Austen emphasises  I n Sense  and S e n s i b i l i t y  the need t o make moral judgments on  e x t e r n a l b e h a v i o u r o r manners i n o r d e r t o develop the p r i m a r y e d u c a t i o n o f sympathetic understanding.  Formal  e d u c a t i o n becomes a moral s t a n d a r d u s e d to d i s t i n g u i s h between the sympathetic and s e l f i s h c h a r a c t e r s . E l i n o r p e r c e i v e s and condemns Lucy S t e e l e ' s l a c k o f e d u c a t i o n which no amount o f good manners can c o n c e a l : L u c y was n a t u r a l l y c l e v e r ; h e r remarks were o f t e n j u s t and amusing . . . but h e r powers had r e c e i v e d no a i d from e d u c a t i o n , she was i g n o r a n t and i l l i t e r a t e , and h e r d e f i c i e n c y o f a l l mental improvement, h e r want o f i n f o r m a t i o n i n the most common p a r t i c u l a r s , c o u l d not be concealed from M i s s Dashwood. . . . E l i n o r saw, and p i t i e d h e r f o r , the n e g l e c t o f a b i l i t i e s which e d u c a t i o n might have rendered so r e s p e c t a b l e ; but she *3§w w i t h l e s s tenderness o f f e e l i n g , the thorough want o f d e l i c a c y , o f r e c t i t u d e , and i n t e g r i t y o f mind, which h e r a t t e n t i o n s , h e r a s s i d u i t i e s , her f l a t t e r y at the Park b e t r a y e d (p. 127). Not o n l y do Lucy's o v e r - e f f u s i v e manners b e t r a y to E l i n o r h e r ignorance but the d e f i c i e n c i e s of both the S t e e l e s i s t e r s are conveyed t o the r e a d e r through g r o s s e r r o r s o f grammar (pp. 150,  151, 273).  Edward  e s t a b l i s h e s the v a l u e o f f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n i n l o v e and marriage when he shows E l i n o r Lucy's l e t t e r f r e e i n g him from t h e i r engagement: "I w i l l not ask your o p i n i o n o f i t as a composition . . . F o r worlds would not I have had a l e t t e r o f h e r s seen by vou i n former d a y s . — I n a s i s t e r i t i s bad enough, but i n a w i f e ! " (p. 365) Formal education, e s t a b l i s h e d as a moral index f o r the c h a r a c t e r s and the reader, i n c r e a s e s our s e n s i t i v i t y t o  language, e v e n t u a l l y b e t r a y i n g Willoughby, who  like  Lucy, s u b s t i t u t e s f l a t t e r y and c l i c h e ' f o r s e l f - a s s u r a n c e and s i n c e r i t y .  Speaking o f Marianne's  l e t t e r s outside  h e r sickroom, he c o n s c i o u s l y d i s p l a y s h i s d e f i c i e n c y to E l i n o r : "what I f e l t i s — i n the common phrase, not t o be expressed; i n a more simple o n e — p e r h a p s too simple t o r a i s e any emotion—my f e e l i n g s were very, very p a i n f u l . Every l i n e , every word w a s — i n the hackneyed metaphor which t h e i r dear w r i t e r , were she here would f o r b i d — a dagger t o my h e a r t . To know t h a t Marianne was i n town w a s — i n the same l a n g u a g e — a t h u n d e r b o l t . " (p. 325) We  q u i c k l y d i s t i n g u i s h t h a t , l i k e Lucy, Willoughby i s  t o t a l l y s e l f i s h w i t h no sympathetic u n d e r s t a n d i n g . T h i s e d u c a t i o n o f sympathetic u n d e r s t a n d i n g f u n c t i o n s p a r t i c u l a r l y through the double h e r o i n e s .  A.  Walton  L i t z f i n d s "the r i g i d a n t i t h e t i c a l form" o f " l a t e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y m o r a l i s t i c f i c t i o n " t o be  Austen's  " s t a r t i n g p o i n t " and f e e l s j u s t i f i e d i n s a y i n g "Marianne r e p r e s e n t s S e n s i b i l i t y and E l i n o r stands f o r S e n s e . " C r i t i c s have g e n e r a l l y been d i v i d e d i n t o two thos e who  camps;  b e l i e g e the n o v e l h o l d s up Sense and denegrates  S e n s i b i l i t y and xhose who  b e l i e v e Austen i s t r y i n g t o  make the two q u a l i t i e s m u t u a l l y a c c e p t a b l e . Marianne  1  2  Obviously  l e a r n s a l e s s o n i n sense from E l i n o r ' s  ability  t o bear, i n s i l e n c e , the knowledge o f Edward's engagement t o Lucy (p. 262).  However, we cannot r e g a r d  E l i n o r as c o m p l e t e l y i n s e n s i b l e ; she has two major  emotional o u t b u r s t s .  The f i r s t occurs a f t e r  Marianne  r e c e i v e s Willoughby's l e t t e r : E l i n o r . . . eager t o know what Willoughby had w r i t t e n h u r r i e d away t o t h e i r room, where, on opening the door, she saw Marianne s t r e t c h e d on the bed, almost choked by g r i e f . . . without s a y i n g a word . . . took h e r hand, k i s s e d h e r a f f e c t i o n a t e l y s e v e r a l times, and then gave way to a b u r s t o f t e a r s , which at f i r s t was s c a r c e l y l e s s v i o l e n t than Marianne's, (p. 182) Not q u i t e so d i s i n t e r e s t e d a d i s p l a y o f sympathy, the o t h e r major i n c i d e n t o c c u r s when Edward announces L u c y ' s marriage t o Robert, h i s b r o t h e r : E l i n o r c o u l d s i t n o t l o n g e r . She almost ran out o f the room, and as soon as the door was c l o s e d , b u r s t i n t o t e a r s o f j o y , which a t f i r s t she thought would never cease. Edward, who had t i l l then l o o k e d any where, r a t h e r t h a n a t her, saw h e r h u r r y away, and perhaps saw— o r even heard h e r emotion (p. 360, my i t a l i c s ) . The importance o f t h i s emotional e x p r e s s i o n l i e s i n the  depth o f f e e l i n g which i t communicates to Edward.  The  sisters'  e d u c a t i o n s c o n s i s t not o n l y o f tempering  sense and s e n s i b i l i t y but a l s o on Marianne's p a r t o f l e a r n i n g to in  see the world around h e r  o t h e r than s u r f a c e , p i c t u r e s q u e forms,  and  on E l i n o r ' s p a r t o f l e a r n i n g t o show s u r f a c e e x p r e s s i o n of the  what she deeply f e e l s .  narrow a n t i t h e t i c a l l i m i t s t o e n t e r an area o f  sympathetic u n d e r s t a n d i n g . own  Both e d u c a t i o n s t r a n s c e n d  Marianne  learns of her  s e l f i s h n e s s not o n l y from E l i n o r , but a l s o from  an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f Willoughby's s e l f i s h n e s s (pp. 349-352).  This e d u c a t i o n  i n sympathy r e l a t e s to what Edward  c a l l e d M a r i a n n e s " f a v o u r i t e maxim, t h a t no 1  ever be  one  i n love more than once i n t h e i r l i f e " ( p .  has can 93).  From acknowledging W i l l o u g h b y s unworthiness* Marianne 1  develops a sympathetic u n d e r s t a n d i n g f o r C o l o n e l Brandon: w i t h a c o n v i c t i o n o f h i s fond attachment to h e r s e l f . . . I n s t e a d o f f a l l i n g a s a c r i f i c e to an i r r e s i s t a b l e p a s s i o n , as once she had f o n d l y f l a t t e r e d h e r s e l f w i t h e x p e c t i n g . . . she found h e r s e l f at n i n e t e e n , submitting to new a t t a c h ments . . . Marianne found her own happiness i n forming h i s (pp. 378-379). E l i n o r , i n many ways a more subtle p o r t r a i t of s e l f -  contained emotion than Jame Bennett, has ably learned "the p r o p r i e t y o f overcoming" s t r o n g emotions by c o u n t e r a c t i n g them w i t h others  (p. 280);  forbidded  to l o v e Edward because o f h i s p r i o r engagement,  she  r e a d i l y d i s g u i s e s her f e e l i n g s , t u r n i n g them i n t o a mild friendship. learned,  and  Near the end o f the n o v e l she  has  earned,  the s a t i s f a c t i o n o f a s l e e p l e s s n i g h t . . . e v e r y t h i n g by t u r n s but t r a n q u i l . . . she was oppressed, she was overcome by h e r own f e l i c i t y ; — * and h a p p i l y d i s p o s e d as i s the human mind to be e a s i l y f a m i l i a r i z e d with any change f o r the b e t t e r , i t r e q u i r e d s e v e r a l hours t o g i v e sedateness t o h e r s p i r i t s , o r any degree o f t r a n q u i l l i t y to h e r h e a r t , (p. 363) T h i s more sufcile a n a l y s i s o f emotional e d u c a t i o n  in  Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y n e c e s s i t a t e s a d i f f e r e n t comic form. The n o v e l has n e i t h e r an o v e r a l l comic n o r burlesque tone although i t possesses one o f Jane Austen's  best  comic scenes, John and Fanny Dashwood's d i s c u s s i o n o f s e t t l e m e n t s (pp. 8-13).  I n s t e a d o f u n i f y i n g the n o v e l  through e i t h e r Gothic parody growing  or the comic rhythm o f  l o v e , Austen has chosen,  i n keeping with h e r d e s i r e  to c r e a t e strongly- i n d i v i ^ a l c h a r a ' c ' t t r s , t o examine m a l i c i o u s , h y p o c r i t i c a l and benevolent comic f i g u r e s . The m a l i c i o u s c h a r a c t e r s , John and Fanny Dashwood, and Nancy S t e e l e , d i s p l a y the e f f e c t s o f u n p r i n c i p l e d s e l f - i n t e r e s t , which s e v e r e l y l i m i t s t h e i r burlesque treatment because o f the danger they present to the lovers.  Lady M i d d l e t o n , an e a r l y prototype o f Lady  Bertram,  d i s p l a y s h e r h y p o c r i s y on h e a r i n g o f Willoughby's  engagement t o Miss Grey: Lady M i d d l e t o n expressed h e r sense o f the a f f a i r about once every day, o r t w i c e , i f the s u b j e c t o c c u r r e d " v e r y o f t e n , by s a y i n g , " I t i s v e r y s h o c k i n g indeed!" . . . h a v i n g thus supported the d i g n i t y of h e r own sex, and spoken h e r d e c i d e d censure o f what was wrong i n the o t h e r , she thought h e r s e l f at l i b e r t y t o a t t e n d t o the i n t e r e s t o f h e r own assemblies, and t h e r e f o r e determined (though r a t h e r a g a i n s t the o p i n i o n o f S i r John) t h a t as Mrs. Willoughby would at once be a woman o f elegance and f o r t u n e , t o l e a v e h e r c a r d w i t h h e r as soon as she married, (pp. 215-216) Because t h i s p i c t u r e o f Lady M i d d l e t o n comes from a  n a r r a t o r t a k i n g an omniscient p o i n t o f view r a t h e r than through o b t r u s i v e a u t h o r i a l commentary o r burlesque p o r t r a i t u r e , i t i s made more damning than comic.  The  r e a d e r r a t h e r than the author passes judgment. L i k e h i s w i f e , S i r John d i s p l a y s a s i m i l a r to  ability  f o r g e t h i s p a s t a l l e g i a n c e t o the Dashwoods when he  sees Willoughby i n town: "East n i g h t , i n Drury-lane lobby, I ran a g a i n s t S i r John M i d d l e t o n , and when he saw who I w a s — f o r the f i r s t time these two months—he spoke to me. . . . h e t o l d me t h a t Marianne Dashwood was dying o f a p u t r i d f e v e r at C l e v e l a n d . . . H i s h e a r t was s o f t e n e d i n s e e i n g mine s u f f e r ; and so much o f h i s i l l - w i l l was done away, t h a t when we p a r t e d , he almost shook me by the hand while he reminded me o f an o l d promise about a p o i n t e r puppy, (p. 330) L e s s prone t o the demands o f t h e i r own the Palmers At  "good" n a t u r e s ,  seem more benevolent comic c h a r a c t e r s .  f i r s t they appear t o be burlesque f i g u r e s , he i s  rude and she laughs too much} they are g r a d u a l l y developed i n t o more r e a l i s t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s . Although Mrs. Palmer r e a c t s t o W i l l o u g h b y s engagement w i t h 1  unwarranted emotion and l a t e r c r u e l l y r e p e a t s t o E l i n o r " e l l the p a r t i c u l a r s . . .  of the approaching  m a r r i a g e " ( p . 215), h e r concern f o r h e r c h i l d a t C l e v e l a n d commands the r e a d e r ' s sympathy.  Mr. Palmer's  unwill-  ingness t o l e a v e the area o f i n f e c t i o n "as w e l l from r e a l humanity and good-nature,  as from the d i s l i k e o f  appearing t o be f r i g h t e n e d away by h i s wife"(p.308)  proves him a b e t t e r c h a r a c t e r than he at f i r s t  appears.  On the whole, t h e i r m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s serve as a p r o t o t y p e o f the Bennetts' i n P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e . The  remaining benevolent comic f i g u r e , Mrs.  Jennings,  c a l l e d by Ian Watt "'the main agent o f t h i s e d u c a t i v e p r o c e s s " because she  "has the essence  o f what r e a l l y  matters as regards sense and s e n s i b i l i t y " , ^ seems an obvious burlesque f i g u r e .  However, H e n r i  Bergson  says "a comic f i g u r e i s g e n e r a l l y comic i n p r o p o r t i o n t o h i s ignorance o f h i m s e l f how  she appears t o o t h e r s .  1 , 4  and Mrs. Jennings knows  When she i n v i t e s the  Dashwoods t o s t a y w i t h h e r i n London, she says: "I thought i t would be more comfortable f o r them t o be t o g e t h e r ; because i f they got t i r e d o f me, they might t a l k to one another, and l a u g h at my odd ways b e h i n d my back." (p. 154) Such i n f r e q u e n t self-commentary pathos.  s u p p l i e s unexpected  Austen has d e l i b e r a t e l y prevented the r e a d e r  from s e e i n g any o f the c h a r a c t e r s from a p u r e l y comic o r p u r e l y b u r l e s q u e p o i n t o f view by provoking judgments o r sympathy f o r i n d i v i d u a l pathos.  ethical With  h i g h l y v a r i e d c h a r a c t e r p o r t r a y a l she saves the n o v e l from melodrama, but the emphasis on i n d i v i d u a l chara c t e r i z a t i o n s r a t h e r than comic "types", c l a s s i f i a b l e w i t h i n p r e v a i l i n g s o c i a l d e l u s i o n s l i k e the p a r a s i t i c Thorpes,  c r e a t e s a process o f e d u c a t i o n which can o n l y  be  c a l l e d tragicomic. I n "The  Compendium o f Tragicomic  Poetry"  Giambattista  G u a r i n i , the I t a l i a n Renaissance p l a y - w r i g h t c r i t i c a l t h e o r i s t , f i n d s t h a t tragicomedy  and  mingles:  a l l the t r a g i c and comic p a r t s t h a t can c o e x i s t i n v e r s i m i l i t u d e and decorum . . . T h i s i s done i n such a way t h a t the i m i t a t i o n , which i s the i n s t r u m e n t a l end, i s t h a t which i s mixed, and r e p r e s e n t s a m i n g l i n g o f both t r a g i c and comic events.5 I n s t e a d o f m i n g l i n g comic p r e s e n t a t i o n with exaggeration  and h a v i n g the heroine  burlesque  choose the  deeper  comic rhythm o f l o v e , i n Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y Austen f o r c e s the c h a r a c t e r s t o near tragedy  and then r e t r i e v e s  them, e n l a r g i n g t h e i r p e r s p e c t i v e s o f l i f e through suffering.  The  comic aspect o f the education,  again  t h i s e n l a r g i n g o f p e r s p e c t i v e s , u s u a l l y r e s u l t s from the r e c o g n i t i o n o f the l i m i t a t i o n s of c e r t a i n p a t t e r n s o f b e h a v i o u r and the transcendance o f the w i t h Marianne i n c r e a s e d c i v i l i t y , J e n n i n g s (p. 341),  transcends  patterns;  e s p e c i a l l y to  her o r i g i n a l s e l f i s h n e s s }  w i t h E l i n o r the r i g h t t o l o v e s h a t t e r s p a t t e r n s e x c e s s i v e emotional  restraint.  Mrs.  By  of  combining s e r i o u s  events w i t h the growing a b i l i t y t o d i s c r i m i n a t e , the t r a g i c o m i c process promotes the e d u c a t i o n of sympathy, as b o t h E l i n o r and Marianne d i s c o v e r the dangerous  l i m i t a t i o n s o f t h e i r narrow worlds. more immediate  The p r o c e s s becomes  f o r the r e a d e r through the c r e a t i o n  o f sympathy which u n d e r l i e s the comic. G u a r i n i a l s o speaks o f another t r a g i c o m i c f e a t u r e , the treatment o f v i c i o u s i n d i v i d u a l s , which Austen u s e s t o m a i n t a i n the n o v e l ' s p l a u s i b l e  reality:  Punishment, which i n the double form o f t r a g e d y comes upon the m a l e f a c t o r s , i s u n f i t t i n g t o t r a g i comic p o e t r y , i n which a c c o r d i n g t o custom the bad c h a r a c t e r s are not c h a s t i z e d . . . . Comedy o r d i n a M l y d e s i r e s t o g i v e a prosperous end t o i t s worst c h a r a c t e r s . 6  T h i s n e c e s s i t a t e s the l o v e r s , the newly emerging  social  " i n i t , b e i n g s e c l u d e d from the m a l i c i o u s segment o f society.  Lucy S t e e l e , Robert F e r r a r s , John and Fanny.  Dashwood and Mrs. F e r r a r s form one segment o f s o c i e t y j w i t h Lucy rewarded w i t h money f o r h e r attachment t o money instelad o f l o v e .  One  expects the l a c k o f punishment  to be amoral; i n s t e a d the s e p a r a t i o n o f m a l i c i o u s and b e n e v o l e n t c h a r a c t e r s appears t o judge thosse who  be-  haved b a d l y by d e p r i v i n g them o f a p l a c e w i t h i n the enlarged v i s i o n of l i f e . G u a r i n i a l s o speaks on the s t y l e o f language a p p r o p r i a t e t o tragicomedy: The normal and c h i e f s t y l e o f tragicomedy i s the m a g n i f i c e n t , which, when accompanied w i t h the grave, becomes the norm o f t r a g e d y , but when m i n g l e d w i t h the p o l i s h e d , makes the combinations f i t t i n g to tragicomic p o e t r y . 7  While E l i n o r , a n d , t o some e x t e n t , Edward d i s p l a y p o l i s h e d or  i r o n i c d i c t i o n which echoes e i t h e r Henry T i l n e y o r  E l i z a b e t h Bennett, both l a c k s u f f i c i e n t e x t e r i o r drama t i z a t i o n t o b e a r t h e i r e t h i c a l burdens w i t h v i t a l i t y or m a g n i f i c i e n c e .  I n f a c t , Austen's c o n v i c t i o n o f the  p l a c e o f e t h i c s i n comedy l e a d s h e r t o e x c e s s i v e moral p r o o f s c o n c e r n i n g some o f the c h a r a c t e r s such as C o l o n e l Brandon's  s t o r y o f E l i z a and Willoughby,  l a b e l e d "Unconvincing" by Ian W a t t ,  8  The s e r m o n i z i n g  on a r t ( V o l . I , Chapter XVIII) o r s e l f i s h n e s s ( V o l . I l l , Chapter XI) seems o b t r u s i v e l y s e n s i b l e .  Austen c r i t -  i c i z e s P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e because The work i s r a t h e r too l i g h t , and b r i g h t , and s p a r k l i n g ; i t wants shade; i t wants to be s t r e t c h e d out here and there w i t h a l o n g c h a p t e r o f sense, i f i t c o u l d be had; i f n o t , o f solemn s p e c i o u s nonsense, about something unconnected w i t h the s t o r y ; an essay on w r i t i n g , a c r i t i q u e on W a l t e r S c o t t , o r the h i s t o r y o f Buonaparte*, o r a n y t h i n g which would form a c o n t r a s t , and b r i n g the r e a d e r w i t h i n c r e a s e d d e l i g h t t o the p l a y f u l n e s s and epigrammatism o f the g e n e r a l styJJre. 9  Sense and S e n s i b i M t f r i y w i t h p l e n t y o f shade and p l a y f u l n e s s , verges on the abyss.  little  Whether these ob-  t r u s i v e l y moral p a r t s o f the n o v e l r e s u l t from i t s e a r l y e p i s t o l a r y form as " E l i n o r and Marianne"10 are  merely the u n c e r t a i n f i r s t  or  approach t o e t h i c s i n  s e r i o u s comedy, Austen c l e a r l y f e e l s the emphasis i n d i v i d u a l r e a l i z a t i o n demands e t h i c a l s t a n d a r d s .  on  By  pushing the major a c t i o n as c l o s e to d i s a s t e r  possible  and  then c r e a t i n g a s o c i a l u n i t  dissociated  from the m a l i c i o u s elements o f society^ Austen p r e v e n t e d h e r s e l f from d r a m a t i z i n g the o f the The  has  assimilation  knowledge which E l i n o r and Marianne have a c q u i r e d .  two  a n t i t h e t i c a l u n i t s : sense and  selfishness  and  import. With the delusion  sensibility,  sympathy, cannot achieve t o t a l dramatic development o f the u n i f y i n g  social  Austen a c q u i r e s the means o f p o r t r a y i n g  i n t e r i o r w o r l d e q u a l to a dramatized e x t e r i o r i n Pride  as  and  Prejudice.  an  Footnotes  l A . Walton L i t z , Jane Austen: A Study o f Her A r t i s t i c Development (New York: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1965), pp. 73-74. S e e Joseph W i e s e n f a r t h , The E r r a n d o f Form: An E s s a y o f Jane Austen's A r t (New York: Fordham U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1967), f o r a d i s c u s s i o n o f these c r i t i c a l o p i n i o n s , pp. 30-31. 2  3 l a n Watt, "On Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y " . i n Jane Austen: A C o l l e c t i o n o f C r i t i c a l ! E s s a y s , ed. Ian Watt (Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: P r e n t i c e H a l l , I n c . , 1963) , p. 48. H e r e a f t e r c i t e d as C r i t i c a l E s s a y s . "^Bergson, p. 71. 5 G i a m b a t t i s t a G u a r i n i , "The Compendium o f T r a g i comic P o e t r y " , i n L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m : P l a t o t o Dryden, ed. A l l a n H. G i l b e r t ( D e t r o i t ; Wayne S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1962), p. 524. 6  G u a r i n i , p. 527.  7 G u a r i n i , p. 525. 8Watt, p. 49. J a n e Austen, Jane Austen's L e t t e r s : t o h e r s i s t e r Cassandra and o t h e r s , ed. R.W. Chapman, 2ed. (London: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1952), pp. 299-300. Herea f t e r c i t e d as L e t t e r s . 9  l°See B.C. Southam, Jane Austen's L i t e r a r y Manu s c r i p t s : A study o f the n o v e l l i s t f e development through the s u r v i v i n g papers (London: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1964) , pp. 59-61.  Chapter  Three  P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e  The f o r m a l , moral and a r t i s t i c e d u c a t i o n s , used as a b a s i s f o r burlesque i n Northanger Abbey and e s t a b l i s h e d as standards f o r e t h i c a l judgments i n Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , are u s e d as i n d i c e s f o r human sympathy i n P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e . Northanger Abbey by the growing  M o t i v a t e d as i n attachment between t h e  hero and h e r o i n e , the major e d u c a t i o n c o n s i s t s o f l e a r n i n g t o r e c o g n i s e i n t r i n s i c worth i n a w o r l d where people are t r e a t e d as s o c i a l o b j e c t s . The n o v e l ' s opening statement immediately  displays  t h i s s o c i a l tendancy f o r t r e a t i n g s i n g l e aspects o f people as t h e i r whole worth: I t i s a t r u t h u n i v e r s a l l y acknowledged, t h a t a s i n g l e man i n p o s s e s s i o n o f a good f o r t u n e , must be i n want o f a w i f e . ( p . 3) I n s t e a d o f t h e l e n g t h y e x p o s i t o r y chaptersscommon t o Northanger Abbey and Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , the n o v e l immediately plunges i n t o the p r e l i m i n a r i e s o f acquaintance w i t h Mr. B i n g l e y .  Not u n t i l the f o u r t h chapter, a f t e r  the acquaintance has been made, a f t e r the b a l l has been h e l d , a f t e r t h e f i r s t judgments o f the major  c h a r a c t e r s have been formed, do we b e g i n t o get expository b i o g r a p h i c a l information,  any  which d e l i n e a t e s  the N e t h e r f i e l d p a r t y r a t h e r than the Bennetts (p. With the c o n v e r s a t i o n L u c a s , the  between E l i z a b e t h and  15).  Charlotte  s o c i a l habit of o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n i s a p p l i e d  t o events which the r e a d e r has been witness t o . Charlotte, p a r t i c u l a r l y , betrays people as  a constant  view o f  objects:  " I f a woman conceals h e r a f f e c t i o n w i t h the same s k i l l from the o b j e c t o f i t , she may l o s e the o p p o r t u n i t y o f f i x i n g him" (p. 21). When E l i z a b e t h r e p l i e s t h a t Jane cannot be  overt i n  h e r a f f e c t i o n s because "she  i s not a c t i n g by  design"  (p,22) C h a r l o t t e e l a b o r a t e s  h e r e t h i c of male-as-  o b j e c t i n the m a r i t a l hunt with a r a t h e r u n h e a l t h y view o f marriage: "Happiness i n marriage i s e n t i r e l y a matter o f chance. I f the d i s p o s i t i o n s o f the p a r t i e s are ever so w e l l known to each other, o r ever so f a m i l i a r before-hand, i t does not advance t h e i r f e l i c i t y i n the l e a s t . They always continue to grow s u f f i c i e n t l y u n l i k e afterwards t o have t h e i r share o f v e x a t i o n " (p.23). An o u t s t a n d i n g how  comic scene, d e s c r i b e d by L y d i a , shows  an mnperceptive s o c i e t y f a i l s  to recognise  intrinsic  worth o r human d i g n i t y : "we had such a good p i e c e o f f u n the o t h e r day at C o l o n e l P o r s t e r ' s . . . . We dressed up Chamberlayne i n woman's c l o t h e s , on purpose to pass f o r a l a d y , — o n l y t h i n k what f u n ! . . . When Denny, and Wickham, and P r a t t , and two o r t h r e e more o f the men came i n , they d i d not know him i n the l e a s t . " (p. 221)1  A d i s g u i s e d " o b j e c t " would be d i f f i c u l t t o r e c o g n i s e , e s p e c i a l l y f o r Wickham who sees women as " f o r t u n e s " . The p r e v a l e n c e o f t h i s s o c i a l d e l u s i o n d i r e c t l y  effects  the major l o v e theme. When Miss B i n g l e y and Darcy d i s c u s s women a t N e t h e r f i e l d , Miss B i n g l e y m a i n t a i n s t h a t feminine "accomplishments !! 1  c r e a t e the "educated woman:  "A woman must have a thorough knowledge o f music, s i n g i n g , drawing, dancing and the modern languages . . . b e s i d e s a l l t h i s she must possess a c e r t a i n something i n h e r a i r and manner o f walking, the tone o f h e r v o i c e , h e r address and e x p r e s s i o n s . . . " A l l t h i s she must p o s s e s s , " added Darcy, "and t o a l l t h i s she must y e t add something more s u b s t a n t i a l , i n the improvement o f h e r mind by e x t e n s i v e r e a d i n g . " (p. 39) Such s t a t i c c o n c e p t i o n s o f e d u c a t i o n as t h e c r e a t o r o f an a e s t h e t i c a l l y p l e a s i n g o b j e c t prepare-  the r e a d e r  f o r h e a r i n g t h a t E l i z a b e t h has become "an o b j e c t o f i n t e r e s t i n the eyes" o f Mr. Darcy: No sooner had he made i t c l e a r t o h i m s e l f and h i s f r i e n d s t h a t she had h a r d l y a good f e a t u r e i n h e r f a c e , than he began t o f i n d i t rendered uncommonly i n t e l l i g e n t by the b e a u t i f u l e x p r e s s i o n o f h e r dark eyes. To t h i s d i s c o v e r y succeeded some o t h e r s e q u a l l y m o r t i f y i n g . Though he d e t e c t e d w i t h a c r i t i c a l eye more than one f a i l u r e o f perf e c t symmetry i n h e r form, he was f o r c e d t o acfeo knowledge h e r f i g u r e t o be l i g h t and p l e a s i n g (p. 2 3 ) . With M i s s B i n g l e y t e a s i n g him about the a l t e r a t i o n s he w i l l make t o Pemberley's  g a l l e r y , Darcy admits how  important e x t e r n a l s are t o him: "As f o r your E l i z a b e t h ' s p i c t u r e , you must n o t attempt t o have i t taken, f o r what p a i n t e r c o u l d do j u s t i c e t o those b e a u t i f u l eyes?"  " I t would n o t be easy, indeed, t o c a t c h t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n , but t h e i r c o l o u r and shape, and the e y e - l a s h e s , so remarkably f i n e , might be c o p i e d . " (p. 53)2 B e f o r e Darcy can o b t a i n E l i z a b e t h t h i s f a l s e must be  disgarded- and a new  found.  The  first  aesthetic  e t h i c a l and a e s t h e t i c b a s i s  of Austen's heros t o r e c e i v e an  e d u c a t i o n i n human u n d e r s t a n d i n g  equal t o t h a t o f the  h e r o i n e , Darcy makes h i s f i r s t p r o p o s a l while  still  r e g a r d i n g E l i z a b e t h as a p h y s i c a l o b j e c t : he was not more eloquent on the s u b j e c t o f tenderness than o f pride« His sense o f h e r i n f e r i o r i t y — of i t s b e i n g a d e g r a d a t i o n — o f the f a m i l y o b s t a c l e s which judgment had always opposed to i n c l i n a t i o n (p. 189, my i t a l i c s ) . Darcy must l e a r n to stop r e g a r d i n g h i m s e l f and the of  rest  the world as o b j e c t s , t h i n k i n g "'meanly o f t h e i r  sense  and worth compared w i t h  [hisj  own&"(p. 369).  E l i z a b e t h educates him w i t h l e s s o n s on i n t r i n s i c as he  worth,  acknowledges: "What do I not owe you! You taught me a l e s s o n , h a r d indeed a t f i r s t , but most advantageous. By you I was p r o p e r l y humbled." (p. 369) I n v i t e d t o t o u r w i t h h e r aunt and u n c l e , the  G a r d i n e r s , a f t e r Wickham has become a t t a c h e d t o Miss K i n g , E l i z a b e t h , e q u a l l y prone to o b j e c t i f y i n g human v a l u e s by r i g i d l y adhering t o h e r f i r s t  impressions,  p r e s e n t s an a e s t h e t i c o f nature which opposes the false  aesthetic:  "My dear, dear aunt ." . . what d e l i g h t ! what felicity! i'ou g i v e me f r e s h l i f e and v i g o u r . . . what are men t o rocks and mountains? Oh! what hours o f t r a n s p o r t we s h a l l spend! And when we do r e t u r n , i t s h a l l n o t he l i k e o t h e r t r a v e l l e r s . . . we w i l l r e c o l l e c t what we have seen." (p. 154) T h i s i d e a o f t r a v e l l i n g i n t o the n a t u r a l world, g a i n i n g e x p e r i e n c e which can few brought back t o the everyday world, suggests Northrop F r y e ' s concept o f the "green world": the a c t i o n o f the comedy begins i n a w o r l d r e p r e s e n t e d as a normal world, moves i n t o a green world, goes i n t o a metamorphosis t h e r e i n which the comic r e s o l u t i o n i s achieved, and r e t u r n s t o the normal w o r l d . 4  Although the comic r e s o l u t i o n i s not t o t a l l y a c h i e v e d i n t h e "green world" i n P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e , i t c e r t a i n l y b e g i n s a t Pemberley, whose n a t u r a l a i r d e l i g h t s E l i z a b e t h and the G a r d i n e r s : Pemberley House . . . was a l a r g e , handsome, stone b u i l d i n g , s t a n d i n g w e l l on r i s i n g ground . . . i n f r o n t a stream o f some n a t u r a l importance was s w e l l e d i n t o g r e a t e r , but without any a r t i f i c i a l appearance. I t s banks were n e i t h e r f o r m a l n o r f a l s e l y adorned. E l i z a b e t h was del i g h t e d . She had never seen a p l a c e f o r which nature had done more, o r where n a t u r a l beauty had been so l i t t l e c o u n t e r a c t e d by an awkward t a s t e . (p. 245) On e n t e r i n g Pemberley's she f i n d s Darcy's  g a l l e r y s h o r t l y afterwards,  portrait:  a s t r i k i n g resemblance o f Mr. Darcy, w i t h such a smile over the f a c e , as she remembered t o  have sometimes seen, when he looked, at her. . . . as she s t o o d b e f o r e the canvas, on which he was r e p r e s e n t e d , and f i x e d h i s eyes upon hers e l f , she thought o f h i s r e g a r d with a deeper sentiment o f g r a t i t u d e t h a t i t had ever r a i s e d b e f o r e ; she remembered i t s warmth, and s o f t e n e d i t s impropriety of expression. (pp. 250-251, my i t a l i c s ) With the a i d o f memory and a e s t h e t i c  imagination  E l i z a b e t h r e l i v e s the p r o p o s a l scene without the r i g i d effect of her f i r s t  i m p r e s s i o n o f Darcy to  obscure h e r p e r c e p t i o n o f h i s emotion.  When she  t e l l s Jane she dates h e r l o v e f o r Darcy from s e e i n g h i s b e a u t i f u l grounds a t Pemberley"  "first  (p. 373),  E l i z a b e t h i s i r o n i c a l l y accurate; her appreciation of n a t u r a l beauty promotes h e r p e r c e p t i o n o f  intrinsic  worth. In  o r d e r t o p r e s e r v e the p l a c e o f e t h i c s i n  s e r i o u s comedy, Austen c a r e f u l l y m a i n t a i n s the n o t i o n of  intrinsic  morality. intrinsic  worth w i t h i n the bounds o f c o n v e n t i o n a l  M a l i c i o u s o r e v i l c h a r a c t e r s do not possess worth, no matter how  t h e y appear e x t e r n a l l y .  aesthetically pleasing  E l i z a b e t h connects m o r a l i t y  w i t h d i s c o v e r y when she speaks t o Darcy o f h i s second proposal: "My r e s o l u t i o n o f t h a n k i n g you f o r your kindness to L y d i a had c e r t a i n l y g r e a t e f f e c t . Too much, I am a f r a i d ; f o r what becomes o f the moral, i f our comfort s p r i n g s from a b r e a c h o f promise, f o r I ought n o t to have mentioned the s u b j e c t ? T h i s w i l l never do."  "You need n o t d i s t r e s s y o u r s e l f . The moral w i l l be p e r f e c t l y f a i r . Lady C a t h e r i n e ' s u n j u s t i f i a b l e endeavours t o separate us, were the means o f removing a l l doubts." (p. 381) Even though i r o n i c a l l y e l e v a t i n g the m o t i v a t i o n f o r the d i s c o v e r y o f love from L y d i a to Lady C a t h e r i n e , b o t h l a c k i n g i n t r i n s i c worth, Austen s t i l l m a i n t a i n s t h a t o n l y the good are rewarded.  C l e a r l y she has s h i f t e d  h e r view s i n c e Northanger Abbey and Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y ; the comic r e s o l u t i o n w i l l not separate the l o v e r s from the r e s t o f s o c i e t y .  Through the f o r c e o f t h e i r l o v e  t h e y have d i s c o v e r e d s o c i e t y ' s major d e l u s i o n .  This  d i s c o v e r y g e n e r a t e s most o f the n o v e l ' s deep comedy or " v i t a l  feeling".  The dominant s o c i a l f e a t u r e o f o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n u n i t e s every comic element i n P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e , a l l o w i n g Austen t o r e t u r n to b u r l e s q u e c a r i c a t u r e without l o s i n g the sense of the c h a r a c t e r s 1  The b u r l e s q u e d c h a r a c t e r s t r y t o  individuality.  impose  their  own  p a t t e r n s on the world, g i v i n g r i s e t o such o u t s t a n d i n g examples o f i n t e l l e c t u a l c a l l o u s n e s s as Mr.  Collins  and Mary Bennett, b o t h i n c a p a b l e o f t r a n s f o r m i n g knowledge  a c q u i r e d from books t o a compassionate under-  s t a n d i n g o f the human s i t u a t i o n .  Mrs. Bennett, Mr.  C o l l i n s and Lady C a t h e r i n e l a c k any self-awareness. Each o f them d e s i r e s a w o r l d o r d e r e d by t h e i r own  minds,  where no chance o r spontaneous  action i s possible.  0.0111x1*33 even attempts t o o b j e c t i f y s o c i a l  Mr.  intercourse.  A l t h o u g h he t e l l s Mr. B e n n e t t t h a t h i s compliments " arise  c h i e f l y from what i s p a s s i n g a t the time*"  he a l s o  admits:  ,  though I sometimes amuse m y s e l f w i t h s u g g e s t i n g and a r r a n g i n g such l i t t l e e l e g a n t compliments as may be adapted t o o r d i n a r y o c c a s i o n s , I always wish t o g i v e them as u n s t u d i e d an a i r as p o s s i b l e . " (p. 68) Lady C a t h e r i n e and Mrs. Bennett want t h e i r daughters m a r r i e d t o money and p o s i t i o n .  E l i z a b e t h and Darcy  by b r e a k i n g these e x t e r n a l impediments at  the same time as t h e y break i n t e r n a l  celebirate the v i t a l i t y  to t h e i r union impediments,  of l i f e .  As i n Northanger Abbey Austen combines a comic s u r f a c e w i t h a deep comic rhythm,  e d u c a t i n g the hero  and h e r o i n e b o t h through t h e i r growing attachment t h e i r r e a c t i o n s t o s u r f a c e impediments.  The  and  comic  rhythm develops impetus not o n l y from the f r u s t r a t i n g attempts o f Wickham and Lady C a t h e r i n e t o prevent E l i z a b e t h and Darcy from m a r r y i n g but a l s o from the h i g h l y symmetrical p l o t s t r u c t u r e .  5  As i n Morthanger  Abbey, another p a i r o f l o v e r s , Jane and B i n g l e y , i n t u i t i v e l y r e c o g n i s e each o t h e r s i n t r i n s i c p a r a l l e l the major a c t i o n .  who  worth,  D i s t i n g u i s h e d as simple  c h a r a c t e r s by E l i z a b e t h (p. 42) they p r o v i d e a c o n t r a s t  of constant devotion against  which Darcy and E l i z a b e t h  appear more a c t i v e and e x c i t i n g .  Another p a i r ,  Lydia  and Wickham, e x h i b i t p a s s i o n without the g o v e r n i n g power o f reason. alertness  So far removed from the mental o r human o f any o f the o t h e r comic f i g u r e s and "only  brought t o g e t h e r because t h e i r p a s s i o n s were s t r o n g e r than t h e i r v i r t u e " ( p . 312), the two serve as moral exempla r a t h e r than p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the benevolent comic r e s o l u t i o n .  B o t h the comic s u r f a c e  and deep  comic rhythm emphasise the unique comic p o s i t i o n s o f E l i z a b e t h and Darcy. E l i z a b e t h generates spontaneous p h y s i c a l  vitality,  l i k e the excitement the G a r d i n e r c h i l d r e n d i s p l a y when t h e i r parents d r i v e up t o the Bennett's door. " J o y f u l surpr(£sse l i g h t e d up t h e i r f a c e s ,  and d i s p l a y e d  itself  over t h e i r whole b o d i e s , i n a v a r i e t y o f capers and f r i s k s " ( p . 286). L i o n e l T r i l l i n g a l s o n o t i c e s  Elizabeth's  p h y s i c a l exhuberance: no q u a l i t y o f the h e r o i n e o f P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e i s more a p p e a l i n g than h e r p h y s i c a l energy. We t h i n k o f E l i z a b e t h Bennett as i n p h y s i c a l movement; her l o v e o f dancing confirms our b e l i e f t h a t she. moves g r a c e f u l l y . I t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of her to smile; she l i k e s t o t e a s e ; she l o v e s t o t a l k . fi  E l i z a b e t h combines the dominant q u a l i t i e s o f E l i n o r and Marianne Dashwood; t h e i r wit, v i t a l i t y , for  and c a p a c i t y  a c t i o n i n the l i m i t e d feminine world.  Darcy, a l s o  capable o f spontaneous a c t i o n , a f t e r he has been educated and accepted by E l i z a b e t h , d i s p l a y s a v e r b a l  wit e q u a l t o E l i z a b e t h ' s as he p a r r i e s q u e s t i o n w i t h compliment: "Why, e s p e c i a l l y , when you c a l l e d , d i d you look as i f youcidid not care about me?" "Because you were grave and s i l e n t , and gave me no encouragement." "But I was embarrassed." "And so was I . " "You might have t a l k e d t o me more when you came t o d i n n e r . " "A man Although  who  he has^  had f e l t l e s s , might." (p.  381)  "yet t o l e a r n to be l a u g h t a t "  (p. 371), Darcy has l e a r n e d t o laugh. With such e n e r g i e s , the comic combatants triumph  over the s o c i a l d e l u s i o n .  completely  That s o c i e t y which  s e t out t o make a r i g i d s t r u c t u r e out of o b j e c t i f i e d human v a l u e s , t u r n i n g m o r a l i t y and l o v e i n t o money ©nd marriage,  i n s t e a d o f b e i n g destroyed, sweeps a l o n g  w i t h the l o v e r s to a comic c o n c l u s i o n w i t h the  revitel-  i z a t i o n not o f the s t r u c t u r e b u t o f the v a l u e s i t r e presents.  U n l i k e C a t h e r i n e and Henry T i l n e y o r E l i n o r  and Edward F e r r a r s , E l i z a b e t h and Darcy need not r e t r e a t from the r e s t o f s o c i e t y t o preserve t h e i r u n i o n . Money and marriage,  as l o n g as they are humanely used, .  p r e s e n t no danger t o the l o v e r s .  I n P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e  r e c o g n i t i o n o f the s o c i a l d e l u s i o n , the comic e d u c a t i o n , does not d e s t r o y the s o c i a l d e l u s i o n ; i n s t e a d the i n t r i n s i c v a l u e s o f s o c i a l convention are r e - e s t a b l i s h e d .  The  novel  sentimental  achieves  o r Gothic  t h i s end n o t by b u r l e s q u i n g  f i c t i o n (both a r t i s t i c  conventions)  o r b y pushing the i n d i v i d u a l t o the l i m i t s o f s e l f p r e s e r v a t i o n t o e s t a b l i s h self-knowledge, but r a t h e r by the s i m p l e s t means o f d i s g u i s e and r e c o g n i t i o n . ? M i s t a k i n g the mask f o r the f a c e behind i t ,  as L y d i a  and Wickham mistake marriage f o r r e s p e c t a b i l i t y , p a r t o f the s u r f a c e comedy o f s o c i a l i r o n y .  creates  The char-  a c t e r i s t i c i r o n i e s o f E l i z a b e t h , Darcy and Austen herself,  d i s s o c i a t i o n o f m a t e r i a l presented  i m p l i e d , recognise p o r t r a y meaning. enlightened  the inadequacies  and m a t e r i a l  o f word-masks t o  The comic r e s o l u t i o n r e c o n c i l e s those  enough t o r e c o g n i s e  masks with those who  still  see masks as the e s s e n t i a l p a r t o f the s o c i a l  face.  W i l l i a m H a z l i t t has s a i d , "There i s n o t h i n g  more p o w e r f u l l y humourous than what i s c a l l e d keeping i n comic c h a r a c t e r  . . . consistency  i n absurdity".  8  P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e p e r s i s t s i n i t s s o c i a l and v e r b a l i r o n i e s i n s p i t e o f Darcy and E l i z a b e t h ' s  education,  c r e a t i n g a sense t h a t the whole s o c i a l machine c o u l d again r i g i d i f y human v a l u e s the moment Mr. Bennett retreats to h i s library.  However, t h i s i d e a i s h a r d l y  t r a g i c , e n t a i l i n g , as i t does, the p o s s i b i l i t y o f another E l i z a b e t h and Darcy. P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e marks the end o f the f i r s t  major development o f Austen's a r t i s t i c c a r e e r .  The  sense o f f e s t i v i t y , o f p a t t e r n e d dance under the g u i s e o f Fortune, the mating o f the b e s t o f manhood w i t h the f i n e s t o f womankind, does n o t occur again. cumulation  o f self-knowledge  The ac-  which happens " o f f - s t a g e "  f o r Darcy and f o r E l i z a b e t h through  devices r e p o r t i n g  " o f f - s t a g e " events, such as Darcy's l e t t e r and Jane's l e t t e r s c o n c e r n i n g L y d i a ' s elopement, i s t o be brought "on-stage"  w i t h the s u f f e r i n g h e r o i n e .  The change i n o n l y  the hero and h e r o i n e , which they, d i r e c t p r i m a r i l y . a t one another while the;/ r e s t .of the world, unchanged^' sees them i n t h e i r characteristic masks, can no l o n g e r be c o n s i d e r e d a s u f f i c i e n t l y s t r o n g moral c o n c l u s i o n . I t becomes more d i f f i c u l t f o r a Mrs. Bennett,  Lady  C a t h e r i n e o r Mr. C o l l i n s t o l i v e on a f t e r the f i n a l page i n o r d e r t o m a i n t a i n comic c o n s i s t e n c y .  Education  moves f u r t h e r away from the comic s u r f a c e towards the deep impulses  o f growth.  . l B o t h R.W. Chapman i n h i s "Index o f C h a r a c t e r s , E t e . " f o r P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e (p. 414) and G.L. Apperson i n A Jane Austen D i c t i o n a r y (Oxford: Kemp H a l l Press Ltd., 1932) b e l i e v e t h a t Chamberlayne i s a member o f the M i l i t i a . I f e e l t h a t i t i s more l i k e l y t h a t he i s a servant at the F o r s t e r s , e s p e c i a l l y c o n s i d e r i n g the g e n e r a l a t t i t u d e s towards servants expressed i n the n o v e l , i . e . H i l l , p. 289. O n a v i s i t t o a London G a l l e r y , Jane Austen saw "a s m a l l p o r t r a i t of Mrs. B i n g l e y , e x c e s s i v e l y l i k e h e r . . . but t h e r e was no Mrs. Darcy" ( L e t t e r s , p. 309) T h i s suggests t h a t Austen, l i k e many readers, p i c t u r e d E l i z a b e t h v e r b a l l y , by what she s a i d , r a t h e r than visually. 2  ^The n o v e l ' s o r i g i n a l t i t l e Minor Works, f a c i n g page 242. 4  Frye,  p.  was  "First  Impressions",  456.  6See Dorothy Van Ghent, The E n g l i s h Novel: Form and F u n c t i o n (New York: H o l t , R i n e h a r t and Winston, I960) f o r a diagram o f the p l o t s t r u c t u r e , p. 105. L i o n e l T r i l l i n g , " M a n s f i e l d Park", i n C r i t i c a l E s s a y s , p. 128. See a l s o D a v i d Daiches, A C r i t i c a l H i s t o r y o f E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e i n Two Volumes (New York: The Ronald P r e s s Company, 1970), f o r a r h a p t u r ous image o f P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e as a dance on a " t r i m l y kept g r a s s p l o t " , p. 752. 7  S e e H a z l i t t , the opening chapter c h i l d ' s d e l i g h t i n the use o f masks. 8  ^ H a z l i t t , p.  14.  discusses  the  Chapter  Four  Mansfield  Park  In M a n s f i e l d Park Austen, f o rthe f i r s t questions the nature o f education.  time  While maintaining  the concept o f e d u c a t i o n u n i f i e d by r e a c t i o n t o a s o c i a l delusion developed i n Pride  and P r e j u d i c e , t h e n o v e l  e x p l o r e s two new a r e a s o f c o n f l i c t :  the problem o f  environment and e d u c a t i o n o r n a t u r e and n u r t u r e , and education's function i n society. Abbey, Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y  While i n Northanger  and P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e  the p r o d u c t o f the e d u c a t i v e p r o c e s s has been a young l a d y o f w i t and r e s o u r c e s , i n M a n s f i e l d P a r k Fanny P r i c e possesses l i t t l e a t t r a c t the reader.  surface v i t a l i t y  a n d no w i t t o  Combining the tragicomedy o f  S e n s e a n d S e n s i b i l i t y w i t h t h e mask m a n i p u l a t i o n o f " Pride  and P r e j u d i c e , t h e n o v e l e x p l o r e s t h e l i m i t s  o f human a d a p t a b i l i t y t o e x t e r n a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s w i t h i n a deluded society.  I n t h i s way A u s t e n d i v e r t s  attention  from t h e comic f l o w e r i n g o f e d u c a t i o n towards s t e a d y growth. The h e a v i l y b i o g r a p h i c a l o p e n i n g c h a p t e r s d e a l i n g w i t h Fanny's a r r i v a l  at M a n s f i e l d Park introduce the  nature-nurture c o n f l i c t .  Mrs. N b r r i s  characteristically  c o n c e i v e s o f e d u c a t i o n as t h e magic panacea f o r a l l e v i l s  of b i r t h : j'Give a g i r l an e d u c a t i o n , and i n t r o d u c e h e r p r o p e r l y i n t o the world, and t e n to one but she has the means o f s e t t l i n g w e l l , without f u r t h e r expense to any body." (p. 6) S i r Thomas, although e s s e n t i a l l y agreeing w i t h N o r r i s , f e a r s the p o s s i b i l i t y o f an e v i l  Mrs.  nature:  "Should h e r d i s p o s i t i o n be r e a l l y bad . . . we must n o t , f o r our own c h i l d r e n ' s sake, continue h e r i n the f a m i l y ; but t h e r e i s no reason t o suspect so g r e a t an e v i l . (p. 10) Fanny a r r i v e s : somewhat d e l i c a t e and puny . . . s m a l l o f her age, w i t h no glow o f complexion, nor any o t h e r s t r i k i n g beauty; e x c e e d i n g l y shy, and s h r i n k i n g from n o t i c e ; but h e r a i r , though awkward, was n o t v u l g a r , h e r v o i c e was sweet, and when she spoke h e r countenance was p r e t t y , (pp. 11-12) The  f i r s t stage o f Fanny's e d u c a t i o n , l i k e  Catherine  Morland's, c o n s i s t s o f an a d a p t a t i o n t o e x i s t i n g patterns: The p l a c e became l e s s strange, and the people l e s s f o r m i d a b l e ; and i f t h e r e were some amongst them whom she c o u l d n o t cease to f e a r , she began at l e a s t to know t h e i r ways, and to c a t c h the b e s t manner o f conforming to them. (p. 17) Conforming t o the w i l l o f o t h e r s and c o n c e a l i n g h e r own  "good q u a l i t i e s " ( p . 21)  c r e a t e s a p a t t e r n more  d i f f i c u l t t o break than C a t h e r i n e ' s G o t h i c f a n t a s y . Fanny's f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n , begun w i t h the h e l p o f Edmund and the governess, does not c u r t a i l her  broadens h e r thought  imitation:  but  He knew h e r t o be c l e v e r , to have a quick app r e h e n s i o n as w e l l as good sense, and a fondness f o r r e a d i n g , which, p r o p e r l y d i r e c t e d must be an e d u c a t i o n i n i t s e l f . Miss Lee taught h e r French, and h e a r d h e r r e a d the d a i l y p o r t i o n o f H i s t o r y , but he recommended the books which charmed h e r l e i s u r e hours, he encouraged h e r t a s t e , and c o r r e c t e d h e r judgment; he made r e a d i n g u s e f u l by t a l k i n g to h e r o f what she read, and heightened i t s a t t r a c t i o n by j u d i c i o u s p r a i s e , (p. 22) T e a c h i n g where a d e s i r e t o p l e a s e e x i s t s , Edmund's e d u c a t i o n f u n c t i o n s to improve Fanny, j u s t as Fanny's e d u c a t i o n l a t e r f u n c t i o n s to improve h e r Susan (p. 397).  The  sister,  adaptation to pattern gives  Fanny a l e a r n e d a p p r e c i a t i o n o f nature so t h a t  she  expresses h e r r e g r e t f o r the l o s s o f Sotherton's avenue o f oaks w i t h Cowper s l i n e s "'Ye 1  f a l l e n avenues,  once more I mourn your f a t e u n m e r i t e d " ( p . 1  56).  Later  f  on the evening a f t e r news has reached M a n s f i e l d t h a t S i r Thomas w i l l r e t u r n i n November, Fanny and Edmund l o o k out a window: "Here's harmony!" s a i d she, "Here's repose! Here's what may l e a v e a l l p a i n t i n g and a l l music b e h i n d , and what p o e t r y o n l y can attempt t o d e s c r i b e . . . . When I l o o k out on such a n i g h t as t h i s , I f e e l as i f t h e r e c o u l d be n e i t h e r wickedness n o r sorrow i n the world; and there c e r t a i n l y would be l e s s o f both i f the s u b l i m i t y of Nature were more attended t o . . ." "I l i k e t o h e a r your enthusiasm, Fanny. I t i s a l o v e l y n i g h t , and they are much to be p i t i e d who have not been taught to f e e l as you do" (p. 113). G r a d u a l l y Fanny's e d u c a t i o n moves towards s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n embodied i n another a e s t h e t i c of nature.  However,  i n s t e a d o f u s i n g the a e s t h e t i c of n a t u r e as an a i d to r e c o g n i s i n g i n t r i n s i c worth i n o t h e r s , as E l i z a b e t h B e n n e t t does, Fanny,  a l e s s - a c t i v e h e r o i n e , uses i t to  r e c o g n i s e h e r own worth and e v e n t u a l l y to f r e e h e r s e l f from dependance on Edmund. U n f o r t u n a t e l y Fanny's e d u c a t i o n takes p l a c e w i t h i n a s o c i e t y which demands r e g u l a r i z e d o r c o n v e n t i o n a l behaviour.  I n o r d e r t o e x i s t i n s o c i e t y she must  c o n s t r u c t , through h e r moral e d u c a t i o n , a s o c i a l " c h a r a c t e r " , which w i l l s t a n d f o r h e r i n s o c i e t y ' s t r a n s a c t i o n s , w h i l e a t the same time she must m a i n t a i n h e r own  individual feeling.  Edmund e l u c i d a t e s t h i s  r e l a t i o n s h i p when he speaks t o Miss Crawford o f the clergyman's s o c i a l  role:  "He . . . has the charge o f a l l t h a t i s o f the f i r s t importance t o mankind, i n d i v i d u a l l y o r c o l l e c t i v e l y c o n s i d e r e d , t e m p o r a l l y and e t e r n a l l y — . . . the g u a r d i a n s h i p o f r e l i g i o n and morals, and consequently o f the manners which r e s u l t from t h e i r i n f l u e n c e . . . . The manners I speak o f might r a t h e r be c a l l e d conduct, perhaps, the r e s u l t o f good p r i n c i p l e s : the e f f e c t i n s h o r t o f o f those d o c t r i n e s which i t i s t h e i r duty t o t e a c h and recommend (pp. 92-93). A g a i n s t the n a t u r a l background o f Sotherton's w i l d e r n e s s , Edmund attempts to d i s t i n g u i s h between manners founded on s o c i a l p r o p r i e t y and conduct founded on f i r m p r i n c i p l e s . B e h i n d every a c t i o n i n M a n s f i e l d Park the danger o f t u r n i n g p r o p e r conduct i n t o cermonious manner, poses  a constant t h r e a t .  The planned j o u r n e y to  Maria's  b r i d a l home, Sotherton, becomes a l o n g ceremonious d i s c u s s i o n o f who  s h a l l r i d e i n what c a r r i a g e o r  whether Fanny s h o u l d go; motives,  everyone conceals' h i s  true  the v a r i o u s f e e l i n g s f o r Henry Crawford, b e h i n d  a facade o f s o c i a l p l e a s a n t r i e s (pp. 76-79).  At  S o t h e r t o n J u l i a and Mary Crawford's r e d u c t i o n o f d a i l y p r a y e r s and marriage on who  t o ceremonious a c t i o n s depending  i s s t a n d i n g b e f o r e the a l t a r i n S o t h e r t o n  chapel  (pp. 86-89) prepares f o r the a c t u a l wedding o f Maria and Mr.  Rushworth:  I t was a v e r y p r o p e r wedding. The b r i d e was e l e g a n t l y d r e s s e d — t h e two bridesmaids were d u l y i n f e r i o r — h e r f a t h e r gave h e r a w a y — h e r mother stood w i t h s a l t s i n her hand, e x p e c t i n g to be a g i t a t e d — h e r aunt t r i e d t o c r y — t h e s e r v i c e was i m p r e s s i v e l y read by Dr. Grant. Nothing coulad be o b j e c t e d t o when i t came under the d i s c u s s i o n o f the neighbourhood, except t h a t the c a r r i a g e which conveyed the b r i d e and bridegroom and J u l i a from the church door to Sotherton, was the same c h a i s e Mr. Rushworth had used f o r a twelvemonth b e f o r e .  (p. The  203)  whole o c c a s i o n , robbed o f any f e e l i n g , has become  mere p r o p r i e t y .  This d i s s o c i a t i o n of s e n s i b i l i t y  can  o n l y be h e a l e d w i t h the s u c c e s s f u l c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a functional " s o c i a l character". her with  a sound  < character;  Fanny's e d u c a t i o n p r o v i d e s Maria Bertram's does  not: S i r Thomas . . . became aware how unfavourable to the c h a r a c t e r of any young people, must be the t o t a l l y o p p o s i t e treatment which Maria and J u l i a  had been always e x p e r i e n c i n g at home, where the e x c e s s i v e indulgence and f l a t t e r y o f t h e i r aunt had been c o n t i n u a l l y c o n t r a s t e d w i t h h i s own s e v e r i t y . . . . bad as i t was, he g r a d u a l l y grew to f e e l t h a t i t had not been the most d i r e f u l mistake i n h i s p l a n o f e d u c a t i o n . Something must have been wanting w i t h i n , o r time would have worn away much o f i t s i l l e f f e c t . Re f e a r e d t h a t p r i n c i p l e , a c t i v e p r i n c i p l e , had been wanting, t h a t t h e y had never been p r o p e r l y taught t o govern t h e i r i n c l i n a t i o n s and tempers, b y t t h a t sense o f duty which can alone s u f f i c e . . . . M a r i a had d e s t r o y e d h e r own c h a r a c t e r (pp. 462-465). L a c k i n g p r i n c i p l e , M a r i a ' s conduct d e s t r o y s h e r s o c i a l mask. Both Henry and Mary Crawford have inadequate masks and s u f f e r from what Denis Donahue c a l l s ?  social  "The  two g r e a t temptations which l i e across the path o f t r u t h i n Jane Austen's f i c t i o n 'selfishness'."^  . . . 'charm' and  Miss Crawford's s p r i g h t l i n e s s o f mind,  "her t a l e n t s f o r the l i g h t and l i v e l y " (p, 81), almost obscures the s e l f i s h n e s s which she i s c o n s c i o u s o f h e r s i & f (p. 68).  L i k e h i s s i s t e r , Henry Crawford has  not been n u r t u r e d i n the b e s t o f households.  Possessed  o f a p l e a s i n g c h a r a c t e r , he s e t s out t o break Fanny's h e a r t , o r r a t h e r t o make i t over i n h i s own "I w i l l not I o n l y want t o t h i n k as possessions  image:  do h e r any harm, dear l i t t l e s o u l ! h e r t o l o o k k i n d l y on me . . . ' I t h i n k , be i n t e r e s t e d i n a l l my and p l e a s u r e s . " (p. 231)  U n s u c c e s s f u l u n t i l he makes Fanny's b r o t h e r a l i e u t e n a n t , through the i n t e r c e s s i o n o f h i s u n c l e , the A d m i r a l , Henry f u r t h e r improves on h i s v i s i t t o  Portsmouth.  However, the b e n e f i c i a l e f f e c t s o f the acquaintance  cannot overcome h i s poor e d u c a t i o n and l a c k o f p r i n c i p l e : Henry Crawford, r u i n e d b y e a r l y independence and bad domestic example, i n d u l g e d i n the f r e a k s o f a cold-bHiooded v a n i t y a l i t t l e too l o n g . . . . Would he have persevered, and u p - r i g h t l y , Fanny must have been h i s reward (p. 467). Our c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f the mmotives o r circumstances b e h i n d the Crawfords' a c t i o n s does not always p r e v e n t our f e e l i n g sympathetic t o t h e i r v i t a l i t y .  Both o f  them, l i k e E l i z a b e t h and Darcy, are aware o f the ceremonious p r o p r i e t y o f the deluded s o c i e t y i n which they l i v e .  F i n a l l y Austen asks us t o judge them on  e t h i c a l r a t h e r than a e s t h e t i c grounds, a s s e s s i n g t h e i r s e l f i s h conduct r a t h e r than t h e i r engaging manners. The p a s s i o n f o r c r e a t i n g c h a r a c t e r s o r ceremony c r e a t e s much o f the n o v e l ' s s u r f a c e comedy.  But  M a n s f i e l d Park has a deep comic rhythm as wells; Fanny's i n d i v i d u a l growth, which at times opposes the s u r f a c e comedy on e t h i c a l grounds.  The o u t s t a n d i n g example  o f s u r f a c e comedy, the assumption o f a c h a r a c t e r uns u i t e d to a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l role or a character not c r e a t e d from one's own e x p e r i e n c e , o c c u r s i n the p l a y sequence  a f t e r Mr. Y a t e s a r r i v a l at M a n s f i e l d .  L i o n e l T r i l l i n g emphasises the moral a s p e c t s o f t h i s sequence  at the expense o f the comic:  The p l a y i s Kotzebue's L o v e r ' s Vows and i t d e a l s w i t h i l l i c i t l o v e and a b a s t a r d , but Jane Austen, as h e r l e t t e r s and n o v e l s c l e a r l y show, was n o t a prude. Some o f the scenes o f the p l a y permit  Henry Crawford t o make l o v e i n p u b l i c , but t h i s i s not s a i d t o be d e c i s i v e l y o b j e c t i o n a b l e . What i s d e c i s i v e i s a t r a d i t i o n a l , almost p r i m i t i v e , f e e l i n g about dramatic impersonation. . . . the f e a r t h a t the impersonation o f a bad o r i n f e r i o r c h a r a c t e r w i l l have a h a r m f u l e f f e c t upon the impersonator, t h a t , indeed, the impersonation o f any o t h e r s e l f w i l l d i m i n i s h the i n t e g r i t y o f the r e a l s e l f . 2  While  some o f the c h a r a c t e r s do l o s e t h e i r  integrity  the comic r a t h e r than moral l o s s stems from the  selec-  t i o n o f the p l a y , the l a t e r s e l e c t i o n o f r o l e s and the i n a d e q u a c i e s o f some o f the performers, a l l of which p a r o d i e s the normal process o f e d u c a t i o n . f a s h i o n , Henry Crawford  In S a t u r n a l i a n  admits:  "I c o u l d be f o o l enough a t t h i s moment t o undertake any c h a r a c t e r t h a t ever was w r i t t e n . . . I c o u l d r a n t o r storm, o r s i g h , o r cut capers i n any t r a g e d y o r comedy i n the E n g l i s h language." (p. Not o n l y does Tom Bertram  123)  a b d i c a t e h i s r o l e as h e i r -  apparent, i n the r e v e r s e d world o f the p l a y he becomes a member o f the servant c l a s s , a rhyming b u t l e r . Overthrowing  h i s absent f a t h e r s moral u n i v e r s e , he 1  t r a n s f o r m s the b i l l i a r d room i n t o the t h e a t r e and h i s f a t h e r ' s room i n t o a p l a c e where make-up and d i s g u i s e s are put on: "the doors at the f a r t h e r end, communicating w i t h each o t h e r as they may be made t o do i n f i v e minutes, by merely moving the bookcase i n my f a t h e r ' s room . . . my f a t h e r ' s room w i l l be an e x c e l l e n t greenroom. I t seems to j o i n the b i l l i a r d - r o o m on purpose, (p. 125) Only Fanny sees a l l the ceremony a t t a c h e d t o s e l e c t i n g  a p l a y as the r e s u l t o f d i s g u i s e d  self-interest:  Fanny l o o k e d on and l i s t e n e d , n o t unamused to observe the s e l f i s h n e s s which, more o r l e s s d i s g u i s e d , seemed t o govern them a l l , and wondering how i t would end. (p. 131) I n s t e a d o f ending,.the parody becomes more i n t e n s e . The f i r s t  c a s t i n g o b j e c t i v e , t r y i n g t o matehh a p a r t  w i t h a c t i n g a b i l i t y , l i k e matching conduct w i t h p r i n c i p l e s , soon g i v e s way t o " t y p e - c a s t i n g " , r o l e s w i t h p h y s i c a l appearances.  matching  When Crawford suggests  t h a t J u l i a p l a y Amelia, Tom Bertram i n s i s t s on Mary Crawford because girlish,  "Amelia s h o u l d be a s m a l l ,  light,  s k i p p i n g f i g u r e " and "Miss Crawford  l o o k s the p a r t " ( p . 135).  . . .  The r e v e r s e o f the e x t e r i o r  w o r l d i m p l i c i t i n the c r e a t e d w o r l d o f L o v e r ' s Vows, one o f the most complex s t r u c t u r a l d e v i c e s e v e r u s e d by Austen, p r i s e n t s a comedy o f s o c i a l d e l u s i o n s . u n l i k e P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e where s o c i a l  However,  delusions  o b j e c t i f i e d i n money and marriage were r e v i t a l i z e d , M a n s f i e l d Park does not condone the f a l s e of r o l e s .  assumption  To r e c o g n i s e f a l s e l y assumed r o l e s has  become so d i f f i c u l t ,  even the hero and heroine are  v i c t i m s o f the Crawfords' f i n e e x t e r i o r s , t h a t f a l s e assumption  any  s o c i a l d i s g u i s e , however comic,  mmust be -regarded as dangerous  and u n e t h i c a l .  Austen's  o t h e r treatments o f m o r a l i t y have tended to accept  manners, r i g h t conduct and r e s p e c t a b i l i t y as symbols f o r s u p e r i o r e t h i c s . too e x c e s s i v e  appropriate  I f economic s t a t u s became  an element o f s o c i a l r e s p e c t a b i l i t y ,  as  i n Northanger Abbey and Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , the l o v e r s were s e c l u d e d from the p r e v a i l i n g s o c i a l d e l u s i o n . The  peaceful co-existence  o f d e l u s i o n and  understanding  i n P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e n e c e s s i t a t e d a c e r t a i n amount o f r e - l o c a t i o n accomplished through Darcy's wealth. In the p r e v i o u s n o v e l s moral e v i l s had e i t h e r been a b s t r a c t o r d i s t a n c e d with a b l u r o f r e s p e c t a b i l i t y : the Thorpes fade  away, C o l o n e l Brandon's b a s t a r d  t u r n s out not to be h i s , L y d i a and Wickham f o r m a l r e s p e c t a b i l i t y i n marriage. Park, those who  Not  do wrong are punished:  child  achieve  so i n M a n s f i e l d Mrs.  Norris,  the o n l y c h a r a c t e r e x c e s s i v e l y m a t e r i a l i s t i c , i s e x i l e d w i t h Maria,  Tom  Bertram l o s e s h i s h e a l t h , S i r  Thomas l o s e s h i s daughters and the Sotherton  connection,  Mary Crawford l o s e s Edmund, and Maria Rushworth l o s e s her r e s p e c t a b i l i t y .  No  s e c l u s i o n i s permitted.  peaceful co-existence  or t i d y  Lady Bertram, Fanny, Edmund,  S i r Thomas and Susan do, however, b e g i n to grow. Having l e a r n e d h i s l e s s o n , Tom health.  The  Bertram r e c o v e r s h i s  s p l i t between comic, ceremonious p r o p r i e t y  and s e r i o u s p r i n c i p l e d conduct, does not destroy main c h a r a c t e r s .  The  comedy o f f o r t u n a t e  the  circumstance,  vitality  and symmetry, g l o r i o u s l y achieved i n P r i d e  and  P r e j u d i c e . h a s no place i n the darker world o f M a n s f i e l d Park; the absence o f s p a r k l i n g w i t suggests t r a g i c o m i c d e l i g h t i n the growtn of the  a quieter  individual.  B o t h Edmund and Fanny must a s s i m i l a t e experience and use i t t o f u n c t i o n i n a r e g e n e r a t i v e p a t t e r n . Edmund, more e r r a t i c than Fanny, succumbs to tne temptations  o f Mary C r a w f o r d s n a t u r a l manner, 1  withdraws, i s ordained, almost  succumbs again,  e v e n t u a l l y d i s c e r n i n g Mary's s e l f i s h n e s s , he  and,  finds  Fanny, the o b j e c t o f h i s n u r t u r i n g , the worthy r e c i p i e n t of h i s love.  §?anny p r e s e n t s a p i c t u r e o f  steady growth as she l e a n s t o a s s e r t h e r s e l f . u a l l y she breaks  Grad-  away from dependence on Edmund,  f i r s t by not approving h i s d e c i s i o n to act i n the p l a y (pp. 155-156) and l a t e r by r e f u s i n g t o advise him M i s s Crawford to  (p. 269).  about  Her l a t e r r e f u s a l to conform  the wishes o f S i r Thomas and Henry Crawford, b r e a k i n g  the e a r l y p a t t e r n o f adaptability and compliance, f u r t h e r comic growth.  The  l a r g e s t p a t t e r n which she  must break, c r e a t e d by h e r i m a g i n a t i o n , concerns family.  shows  her  Her v i s i t to Portsmouth, a s t r u c t u r a l device  which balances the attempt to overthrow s o c i a l  order  i n the p l a y sequence, c r e a t e s an expanded v i s i o n o f the world.  Her own  home, l i k e the p l a y , i s c h a o t i c :  W i l l i a m was g o n e ; — a n d the home he had l e f t h e r i n w a s — F a n n y c o u l d n o t c o n c e a l i t from h e r s e l f — i n almost e v e r y r e s p e c t the r e v e r s e of what she would have wished. I t was the abode o f n o i s e , d i s o r d e r , i m p r o p r i e t y . Nobody was i n t h e i r r i g h t p l a c e , n o t h i n g was done as i t ought to be. (pp. 388-389) The p h y s i c a l d e b i l i t a t i o n which Fanny s u f f e r s i n Portsmouth,  matches the moral d e b i l i t a t i o n  by the o t h e r s because  o f the p l a y .  suffered  The r e t u r n t o  M a n s f i e l d Park, almost a r e t r e a t i n t o a green world, b r i n g s Fanny home to a p l a c e where the a e s t h e t i c o f nature promoting the apprehension o f what l i e s b e h i n d s o c i a l masks, has made some r a d i c a l changes.  Maria,  Mrs. N o r r i s and t h e Crawfords have gone; Fanny r e t u r n s with  spring: Her eye f e l l every where on lawns and p l a n t a t i o n s of the f r e s h e s t green; and the t r e e s , though not f u l l y c l o t h e d , were i n t h a t d e l i g h t f u l s t a t e when f u r t h e r beauty i s known t o be at hand (p. 446).  F o c u s i n g on the accumulation o f experience i n a more p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y determined manner, Austen a l l o w s us to  see Fanny from the age o f t e n t i l l  the time o f h e r  marriage without p u r e l y s e q u e n t i a l a u t h o r i a l commentary l i k e t h a t g i v e n i n Northanger Abbey: "Monday,  Tuesday,  Wednesday, Thursday, F r i d a y and Saturday have now passed i n review b e f o r e the r e a d e r " ( p . 9 7 ) . I n s t e a d o f p a r c e l l i n g events i n t h i s p r e c i s e manner, Austen, when she does e n t e r the n o v e l , d i s c u s s e s time v e r y ambiguously:  I p u r p o s e l y a b s t a i n from dates on t h i s o c c a s i o n , t h a t every one may be a t l i b e r t y t o f i x t h e i r own . . . I o n l y i n t r e a t every body to b e l i e v e t h a t e x a c t l y at the time when i t was q u i t e n a t u r a l t h a t i t s h o u l d be so, and n o t a week e a r l i e r , Edmund d i d cease t o care about Mary Crawford, and became as anxious t o marry Fanny, as Fanny h e r s e l f c o u l d d e s i r e , (p. 570) T h i s comment, s h i f t s , the cause f o r s o c i a l o r i n d i v i d u a l changes from the e x t e r i o r form o f the world, whether chronol o g i c a l l y a p p o r t i o n e d time o r f o r t u n a t e circumstance, to i n t e r i o r e x p e r i e n c e .  I n t h i s way the deep rhythms o f  growing l o v e and i n d i v i d u a l growth are brought t o a n a t u r a l u n i o n , e x p e r i e n c e d and ready t o c o n t r i b u t e to the new s o c i a l  growth.  As serene and o r g a n i c as the c o n c l u s i o n i s , i t s t i l l l e a v e s some a r t i s t i c problems.  The r e s t r i c t i o n  o f s u r f a c e comic elements t o a p r i m a r i l y immoral  posi-  t i o n and the i n c r e a s e d emphasis on i n n e r d e l i g h t c r e a t e s a problem f o r the r e a d e r who f e e l s sympathetic t o a l l the comic elements.  The condemnation  o f imaginative  and a r t i s t i c v i t a l i t y i n Henry and Mary Crawford i s p a r t i c u l a r l y d i f f i c u l t to appreciate.  Austen,  herself,  must have f e l t the a t t r a c t i v e n e s s o f comic i m a g i n a t i o n f o r i n Emma she attempts t o marry i m a g i n a t i o n t o reason.  Footnotes i D e n i s Donahue, "A View o f M a n s f i e l d Park" i n C r i t i c a l E s s a y s on Jane Austen, ed. B.C. Southam (London: Routledge & Kegan P a u l , 1968), p. 45. 2  Trilling,  " M a n s f i e l d Park", p. 132.  Chapter  Four  Emma  The n o v e l ' s f i r s t sentence  c l e a r l y shows Emma  Woodhouse as o l d e r and f u r t h e r removed from a f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n but j u s t as i n e x p e r i e n c e d as any o f the p r e v i o u s Austen h e r o i n e s : Emma Woodhouse, handsome, c l e v e r , and r i g h , w i t h a comfortable home and a happy d i s p o s i t i o n , seemed t o u n i t e some o f the b e s t b l e s s i n g s o f e x i s t e n c e ; and had l i v e d n e a r l y twenty-one years i n the world w i t h v e r y l i t t l e t o d i s t r e s s o r vex her. (p. 5) The marriage  o f her governess,  Miss T a y l o r , t o Mr.  Weston, l e a v e s Emma i n g r e a t danger o f s u f f e r i n g from i n t e l l e c t u a l solitude. She d e a r l y l o v e d her f a t h e r , but he was no companion f o r h e r i n c o n v e r s a t i o n , r a t i o n a l or p l a y f u l , (p. 7) Emma's ardent c r i t i c , Mr. K n i g h t l e y , f e e l s t h a t she w i l l not r e c e i v e a r a t i o n a l e d u c a t i o n from the h a b i t of  reading: "Emma has been meaning t o read more ever s i n c e she"was twelve years o l d . I have seen a g r e a t many l i s t s o f h e r drawing up a t v a r i o u s times o f books t h a t she meant t o r e a d r e g u l a r l y through . . . and I dare say she may have made out a v e r y good l i s t now. But I have done w i t h expecting' any course o f steady r e a d i n g from Emma. She w i l l never submit t o any t h i n g r e q u i r i n g i n d u s t r y and p a t i e n c e , and a s u b j e c t i o n of the f a n c y t o the understanding, (p. 37)  Emma possesses t h a t a t t r a c t i v e n e s s o f c h a r a c t e r which  Henry and Mary Crawford  displayed i n their  active  although immoral use o f c r e a t i v e i m a g i n a t i o n .  Given  "the power o f h a v i n g r a t h e r too much h e r own way," (p.  5) which d e s t r o y s any s o c i a l r e s t r a i n t s , and  t h i n k i n g she has"made the match" (p. 11) between M i s s T a y l o r and Mr. Weston, Emma's f a n c y s e l e c t s H a r r i e t Smith t o be made over, as h e r companion, "a g i r l who wanted o n l y a l i t t l e more knowledge and elegance t o be  q u i t e p e r f e c t " ( p . 23).  A r e v e r s e o f the f u n c t i o n a l i s m  of  e d u c a t i o n i n M a n s f i e l d Park where Fanny's e d u c a t i o n  h e l p e d h e r s i s t e r , Susan, Emma's e d u c a t i o n i n s t e a d o f a l l e v i a t i n g a p a i n f u l s i t u a t i o n causes H a r r i e t t o f e e l d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h a reasonably p l e a s a n t one, h e r attachment t o the M a r t i n s .  The e f f e c t becomes more  comic when Emma f a n c i e s a r t i f i c i a l  surges o f " v i t a l  f e e l i n g " b y matching H a r r i e t and Mr.  Elton:  She thought i t would be an e x c e l l e n t match; and o n l y too p a l p a b l y d e s i r a b l e , n a t u r a l and probable, f o r h e r t o have any m e r i t i n p l a n n i n g i t . . . . I t was n o t l i k e l y , however, t h a t any_body s h o u l d have e q u a l l e d h e r i n the date o f the p l a n , as i t had e n t e r e d h e r b r a i n d u r i n g the f i r s t evening of H a r r i e t ' s coming t o H a r t f i e l d . (pp. 34-35) L i k e C a t h e r i n e ' s G o t h i c f a n t a s y , Emma's i m a g i n a t i o n q u i c k l y g l o s s e s over r e a l i s t i c elements, "a want o f elegance  o f f e a t u r e " i n Mr. E l t o n , t o f i n d him "a  v e r y p l e a s i n g young man, a young man whom any woman not f a s t i d i o u s might l i k e " ( p . 35).  The power o f  Emma's fancy d e s t r o y s t h e good e f f e c t s o f e d u c a t i o n , the a b i l i t y t o make d i s c e r n i n g judgments (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y ) and the c a p a c i t y f o r human sympathy ( P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e ) .  Emma f i r s t l o s e s h e r a r t i s t i c  s e n s i b i l i t y , improving  on H a r r i e t ' s a c t u a l dimensions  w h i l e p a i n t i n g h e r p i c t u r e (p. 4 7 ) , then the moral s c r u p l e which would n o t have allowed h e r t o r o m a n t i c i z e H a r r i e t ' s b a s t a r d y (p. 27) and f i n a l l y h e r . c a p a c i t y t o sympathi z e with the f a u l t s o f others. o f e d u c a t i o n through  The l o s s o f these forms  f a n c i f u l s e l f - d e c e i t and t h e i r  subsequent r e c o v e r y through the agency o f Mr. K n i g h t l e y p r o v i d e the comic s u r f a c e and the deep comedy o f Emma s e d u c a t i o n . 1  The  comedy i n Emma p r e s e n t s t h e consummation o f  Austen's former work.  I n Horthanger Abbey s u r f a c e  comedy developes from s t a t i c burlesque c a r i c a t u r e s and the deep comedy o f growing l o v e d e r i v e s from t h e overcoming o f e x t e r i o r f r u s t r a t i o n s . tragicomedy burlesque  The e d u c a t i o n  i n Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y undermined the  and emphasises, perseverence  and the a l l e v i a t i o n  o f e x c e s s i v e sense and e x c e s s i v e s e n s i b i l i t y sympathy.  through  through  P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e r e i n t r o d u c e s elements  of burlesque  c a r i c a t u r e and emphasises the growing l o v e  between Darcy and E l i z a b e t h , c o n n e c t i n g them  through  the  d i s c o v e r y o f s o c i e t y ' s deluded view o f people as  objects.  The ceremonious p r o p r i e t y and the growth t o  independence o f the h e r o i n e p r o v i d e sources o f comedy i n M a n s f i e l d Park. works have major a r t i s t i c problems. comedy  A l l o f these Outward forms o f  i n Northanger Abbey p r e v e n t an adequate r e -  p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the h e r o i n e . unified  ethically- c o n f l i c t i n g  C o r r e c t i n g t h i s inadequacy w i t h a  e d u c a t i o n , more s u b j e c t i v e a n a l y s i s o f the  h e r o i n e s and the i n t r o d u c t i o n o f t r a g i c  elements i n  experience i n Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y allowis, e t h i c a l p r o o f s t o overbalance the comic and dramatic s t r u c t u r e , f o r c i n g the l o v e r s to r e t r e a t from a m a l i c i o u s  society.  The comic e d u c a t i o n i n P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e , the d i s covery o f the p r e v a i l i n g  s o c i a l d e l u s i o n and the r e -  v i t a l i z a t i o n of s o c i a l l y r i g i d i f i e d structures, the  s u b j e c t i v e a n a l y s i s o f the hero and h e r o i n e .  h e r o i n e ' s r e c o v e r y i n M a n s f i e l d Park o n l y the  curtails The  introduce®  c o n f l i c t between the condemned, but at times,  attractive  comic s u r f a c e and the e t h i c a l l y approved  deep comic growth, l e a v i n g the r e a d e r d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h the judgments he has to make w h i l e a p p r e c i a t i n g the  f a c t t h a t the l o v e r s ' u n i o n i s n o t s e c l u d e d .  these r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s and t h e i r a r t i s t i c  All  problems  i n d i c a t e t h a t Austen i s t r y i n g t o achieve an a r t i s t i c u n i o n o f the s u r f a c e and deep comic elements w h i l e  -oo-  maintaining a c l e a r l y defined e t h i c a l structure.  Emma  p r e s e n t s t h i s u n i o n by d e a l i n g with the e d u c a t i o n o f the two  f a c u l t i e s w i t h access t o the s u r f a c e and deep  comic elements, fancy and understanding. the s u b t l e t y o f the t r a g i c internalization  By i n c r e a s i n g  elements through g r e a t e r  and r e s t r i c t i n g the l o c a t i o n  t o Highbury,  Austen maintains the e d u c a t i o n o f sympathy but evades the o b t r u s i v e e t h i c s p r e s e n t i n Sense and and M a n s f i e l d Park.  Sensibility  Making the s o c i a l d e l u s i o n a  f a u l t o f the f a c u l t y o f f a n c y r a t h e r than the f a u l t o f r i g d d i f i e d s o c i a l o r moral s t r u c t u r e s avoids the excessive a t t r a c t i o n  t o s u r f a c e elements present i n  Northanger Abbey and P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e . robs no one  o f the c a p a c i t y t o f e e l or t o  Austen reason,  c r e a t i n g a f r u i t f u l and e v e n t f u l s o c i e t y and s a v i n g the n o v e l from b u r l e s q u e . In Highbury, Austen c r e a t e s a m a t e r i a l and mental cornucopia.  None o f h e r p r e v i o u s n o v e l s have so many  r e f e r e n c e s t o food: who cold  dispense  pork and apples go t o the  Bateses,  cake to t h e i r g u e s t s ; s t r a w b e r r i e s and a  supper are produced at Donwell Abbey; the Weston's  b a l l at The  Crown has  a sit-down  d i n n e r ; the  have a d i n n e r ; the Woodhouses r e c i p r o c a t e ; a t a k e s p l a c e at Box H i l l ; at H a r t f i e l d .  The  Coles picnic  and t e a i s f r e q u e n t l y taken  reason f o r Mr. E l t o n ' s p r o p o s a l to  Emma, whom he imagines i s i n l o v e w i t h him, Emma c o n s i d e r s t o be an overindulgence i n "Mr. Weston's good wine"(p. 129), i r o n i c a l l y s u g g e s t i n g the l i n k between material a n d m e n t a l  fmitfulness.  i n such run-away f a n c i e s :  Highbury abounds  Mr. Woodhouse imagines him-  s e l f i n danger o f s i c k n e s s ; Mrs. E l t o n imagines t h a t she and h e r husband are s o c i a l l e a d e r s ; H a r r i e t  imagines  Mr. E l t o n r e t u r n s her l o v e and t h e n l l a t e r imagines t h e same t h i n g w i t h Mr. K n i g h t l e y ;  Mr. and Mrs. Weston  f a n c y a u n i o n between Emma and Frank C h u r c h i l l . O f c o u r s e , Emma's own f a n c i e s c r e a t e the n o v e l ' s major a c t i o n :  she imagines a p a s t and a m a r r i e d  f u t u r e f o r H a r r i e t Smith; she imagines an i n t e r e s t between Mr. Dixon and Jane F a i r f a x ; and, she imagines herself infallible.  The Frank C h u r c h i l l - J a n e  Fairfax  d i s g u i s e d engagement d e c e i v e s the Highbury i n h a b i t a n t s , promoting a good number o f d e l u s i o n s .  The m o t i f o f  d i s g u i s e becomes both comic and p a t h e t i c when Miss B a t e s ' nimble and e r r a t i c c h a t t e r causes everyone, and e s p e c i a l l y Emma, t o b e l i e v e she has no reason and consequently no f e e l i n g s .  I r o n i c a l l y Miss B a t e s '  speech i s no d i s g u i s e a t a l l ; q u i t e a c c u r a t e l y she says, "'What i s b e f o r e me, I see'"(p. 176), what she sees, she t e l l s .  1  Although she possesses no i m a g i n a t i o n ,  she makes no use o f h e r reason.  Reason a l s o achieves  a f r u i t f u l s t a t u r e i n Highbury.  Jane F a i r f a x , one o f  the most reasonable c h a r a c t e r s , combines beauty and accomplishments  w i t h a c a p a c i t y f o r moral e r r o r , which  t h e r e a d e r r e g r e t s because  o f the person Jane i s , r a t h e r  than the m o r a l i t y she s i n s a g a i n s t . his  D i s t i n g u i s h e d by  f o r t h r i g h t a t t i t u d e s t o p r a c t i c a l l i f e , Mr. K n i g h t l e y  a l s o possesses v e r b a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l w i t . of wit,  Instead  r o b b i n g him oif humour o r g i v i n g him a p u r e l y i r o n i c Austen allows K n i g h t l e y some seemingly  word-play,  disinterested  i n c l u d i n g a b i - l i n g u a l pun on Frank  Churchill:  "Emma, your amiable young man can be amiable i n French, n o t i n E n g l i s h . He may be v e r y •amiable,' have v e r y good manners, and be v e r y agreeable; but he can have no E n g l i s h d e l i c a c y towards the f e e l i n g s o f o t h e r people: n o t h i n g r e a l l y amiable about him." (p. 149) T h i s t o t a l s o c i a l f e c u n d i t y , an e x t e n s i o n o f " v i t a l f e e l i n g " , c o n t r a s t s , b u t does n o t always c o n f l i c t w i t h , Emma's f a n c i e s which c r e a t e a r t i f i c i a l surges o f v i t a l feeling.  The a c t i v i t y o f Highbury, when Emma and  H a r r i e t go t o Fords the day a f t e r the Coles* d i n n e r p a r t y , n o t o n l y r e f l e c t s the s t a t e o f Emma's mind b u t a l s o i l l u s t r a t e s the p a r t i c u l a r c o n t r a s t between s u r f a c e and deep comedy: H a r r i e t , tempted by every t h i n g and swayed by h a l f a word, was always v e r y l o n g a t a purchase; and w h i l e she was s t i l l hanging o v e r the muslins and changing hem-mind, Emma went t o the door f o r  amusementl—Much c o u l d not he hoped from the t r a f f i c o f even the b u s i e s t p a r t o f H i g h b u r y ; — Mr. P e r r y walking h a s t i l y by, Mr. W i l l i a m Cox l e t t i n g h i m s e l f i n a t the o f f i c e door, Mr. C o l e ' s c a r r i a g e horses r e t u r n i n g from e x e r c i s e , o r a s t r a y l e t t e r - b o y on an o b s t i n a t e mule, were the l i v e l i e s t o b j e c t s she c o u l d presume t o expect; and when h e r eyes f e l l o n l y on the b u t c h e r w i t h h i s t r a y , a t i d y o l d woman t r a v e l l i n g homewards from shop w i t h h e r f u l l basket, two c u r s q u a i r r e l l i n g o v e r a d i r t y bone, and a s t r i n g o f dawdling c h i l d r e n around the baker's l i t t l e bow-window e y e i n g the g i n g e r b r e a d , she knew she had no reason t o comp l a i n , and was amused enough; q u i t e enough s t i l l to s t a n d a t the door. A mind l i v e l y and a t ease, can do w i t h s e e i n g n o t h i n g , and can see n o t h i n g t h a t does n o t answer, (p. 233, my i t a l i c s ) Emma expects t o see f a m i l i a r objects, and people  doing  busy j o b s ; i n s t e a d she sees l i v e l y human, b u t anonymous, a c t i v i t y .  R e a l i t y ' s a c t i v i t y more than matches  t h a t o f h e r i m a g i n a t i o n ; i n f a c t , i t shows the sphere o f Emma's v i s i o n o f l i f e .  limited  Somehow Emma's  a t t r a c t i v e , f a n c i f u l i m a g i n a t i o n , the s u r f a c e comedy, must be s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y a l l i g n e d w i t h the comedy o f Highbury's None o f Austen's  deeper  vitality. p r e v i o u s n o v e l s l i n k comedy and  e d u c a t i o n through sympathy w i t h the appearance o f s p o n t a n e i t y t h a t Emma possesses.  By l o s i n g  artistic,  moral and s o c i a l s e n s i b i l i t y under the s p e l l o f h e r s e l f - d e c e i v i n g f a n c i e s and r e g a i n i n g them w i t h the h e l p o f experience and l o v e , Emma l e a r n s the p o s i t i v e , v i t a l q u a l i t y o f understanding.  Although Jane F a i r f a x ' s  s u p e r i o r p l a y i n g prompts Emma t o p r a c t i c e " v i g o u r o u s l y an hour and a h a l f " ( p . 231), i t i s . h e r attachment.to Mr.  Knightley  that  b e g i n s t o r e t u r n t o Emma the  artistic  s e n s i b i l i t y she s a c r i f i c e d while drawing H a r r i e t . L i k e E l i z a b e t h Bennett on a s i m i l i a r v i s i t , Emma, a t Donwell Abbey, K n i g h t l e y s home, shows h e r n a t u r a l 1  taste: She f e l t a l l the honest p r i d e and complacency which h e r a l l i a n c e w i t h the p r e s e n t and f u t u r e p r o p r i e t o r c o u l d f a i r l y warrant . . . i t s abundance o f timber i n rows and avenues, which n e i t h e r f a s h i o n n o r extravagance had r o o t e d up . . . the d e l i c i o u s shade o f a broad short avenue o f l i m e s , which s t r e t c h i n g beyond the garden a t an e q u a l d i s t a n c e from the r i v e r , seemed the f i n i s h o f the p l e a s u r e g r o u n d s . — I t l e d t o n o t h i n g ; n o t h i n g but a view a t the end over a low stone w a l l w i t h h i g h p i l l a r s , which seemed i n t e n d e d , i n t h e i r e r e c t i o n to g i v e the appearance o f an approach t o the house, which n e v e r had been t h e r e . D i s p u t a b l e , however, as might be the t a s t e o f such a t e r m i n a t i o n , i t was i n i t s e l f a charming walk (pp. 358-360). The p i c t u r e s q u e s t y l e which might have d e l i g h t e d a young Marianne Dashwood does not m e r i t a p p r o v a l here, p r o v i d i n g i n s t e a d an i r o n i c comment on Emma's a r t i f i c i a l and i m a g i n a t i v e c o n c e p t i o n o f h e r own "approach" t o Donwell Abbey through "young Henry", h e r s i s t e r , son.  While Emma has enough a r t i s t i c  Isabella's  taste t o reject  the  f a l s e approach i n i t s o b j e c t i f i e d form, she does  not  y e t see the f a l s e approach o f h e r i m a g i n a t i o n .  The f o l l o w i n g day Emma shows the e x t e n t o f h e r symp a t h e t i c d e f i c i e n c y as she and Frank C h u r c h i l l amuse themselves by s p e c u l a t i n g on the thoughts o f the other p i c n i c e r s .  Frank says t h a t Emma  "only demands from each o f you e i t h e r one t h i n g v e r y c l e v e r . . . o r two t h i n g s moderately c l e v e r — o r three t h i n g s v e r y d u l l indeed" (p. 370). L i k e Mrs. J e n n i n g s , Miss Bates, p a t h e t i c a l l y w i t h h e r own l i m i t a t i o n s ,  familiar  exclaims:  "then I need not be uneasy . . . I s h a l l be sure to say t h r e e d u l l t h i n g s as soon as ever I open my mouth, shan't I ? " (p. 370). Emma, whose fancy has r e l e a s e d h e r wit from any l i m i t a t i o n s o f moral o r c i v i l r e a l i t i e s ,  falls:  Emma c o u l d not r e s i s t . "Ah! ma'am, b u t t h e r e may be a d i f f i c u l t y . Pardon m e — b u t you w i l l be l i m i t e d as t o number— o n l y t h r e e a t once." (p. 370) T h i s , t o the woman whom Emma has p r e v i o u s l y d e s c r i b e d to H a r r i e t as one o f the most sympathetic  people i n  Highbury: "she i s o n l y too good natured and too s i l l y t o s u i t me; b u t i n g e n e r a l she i s v e r y much t o t h e t a s t e o f every body . . . I r e a l l y b e l i e v e i f she had o n l y a s h i l l i n g i n the world, she would be v e r y l i k e l y t o g i v e away sixpence o f i t " (p. 8 5 ) . Emma's behaviour,  a form o f s u r f a c e comedy performed  merely f o r e f f e c t , b e t r a y s h e r l a c k o f f e e l i n g f o r the k i n d d u l l n e s s o f every day l i f e . speaks o f h e r i n s u l t t o Miss  When K n i g h t l e y  Bates:  Emma r e c o l l e c t e d , blushed, was s o r r y , b u t t r i e d t o laugh i t o f f . "Nay, how c o u l d I h e l p s a y i n g what I did? . . . I dare say she d i d not understand me." (p. 374) K n i g h t l e y does not, however, a l l o w Emma's f a n c y t o  obscure the reason o r f e e l i n g s o f o t h e r s : "Were she a woman o f f o r t u n e , I would l e a v e every harmless a b s u r d i t y t o take i t s chance . . . Were she y o u r equal i n s i t u a t i o n . . . She i s poor; she has sunk from the comforts she was b o r n t o ; and i f she l i v e t o o l d age must probably s i n k more. H e r s i t u a t i o n s h o u l d secure your compassion." (p. 375) K n i g h t l e y d i s c l o s e s the t r a g e d y o f Highbury, the i n e q u a l i t y o f s i t u a t i o n i n the l a n d o f p l e n t y , which o n l y good manners and good sense c a n compassionately counteract.  On the surfac§ Highbury g l i t t e r s , b u t t h i s s u r f a c e can  o n l y be maintained through a knowledge o f the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s and c h a r i t a b l e , n o t f a n c i f u l , to  r e s o l v e them.  attempts  I n t h i s way Emma a l i g n s s u r f a c e and  deep comedy but, u n l i k e P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e , the n o v e l does n o t achieve i t s r e s o l u t i o n through the r e v i t a l ization o f r i g i d i f i e d structures.  The s o c i a l  system  i s f l e x i b l e ; one can move down the c l a s s - s c a l e , l i k e M i s s B a t e s , o r w i t h some d i f f i c u l t y and good manners one can move up, l i k e the C o l e s . as l o n g as no one i s denied  A l l i s w e l l i n Highbury  h i s own humanity.  Emma's i n s u l t denies M i s s B a t e s h e r i n d i v i d u a l i t y , and reduces Emma t o t h e s t a t u r e o f the a r t i f i c i a l Mrs. E l t o n .  Repentent, Emma pays an e a r l y  morning  c a l l the next day t o M i s s Bates and makes every attempt at  civility.  Moving from repentence t o sympathy, Emma  i n q u i r e s a f t e r Jane.  Miss B a t e s , i n h e r most l u c i d  speech o f the n o v e l , d e t a i l s Jane's acceptance o f employment.  T h i s f u r t h e r evidence  of social-scale  arouses Emma's sympathy even more: Her h e a r t had been l o n g growing k i n d e r towards Jane; and t h i s p i c t u r e o f h e r present s u f f e r i n g s a c t e d as a cure o f every former ungenerous susp i c i o n , and l e f t h e r n o t h i n g b u t p i t y . . . She spoke as she f e l t with e a r n e s t r e g r e t and s o l i c i t u d e (pp. 379-380). As w e l l as a l l e v i a t i n g the s i t u a t i o n i n which she has p l a c e d Miss B a t e s , Emma's sympathy  counteracts  h e r e a r l i e r f a n c i f u l s u s p i c i o n s o f Jane's attachment to Mr. Dixon. Mr.  When H a r r i e t confesses h e r l o v e f o r  K n i g h t l e y , Emma's sympathetic  f u l l y conscious. own  She immediately  realizes that her  attachment t o Donwell Abbey i s the r e s u l t o f h e r  attachment t o i t s owner. to  e d u c a t i o n becomes  T h i s l a s t l e s s o n , the h a r d e s t  b e a r because w i t h i t she must acknowledge h e r own  v a n i t y and s e l f - d e l u s i o n , becomes a double l e s s o n i n sympathy.  The c r e a t o r o f H a r r i e t ' s i l l u s i o n s must n o t  d e s t r o y H a r r i e t ; the i m a g i n a t i o n must acknowledge i t s p r e v i o u s l a c k o f reason  and compassion.  The h e i g h t  of H a r r i e t ' s a s p i r a t i o n s promotes the r e g e n e r a t i o n o f Emma's moral s e n s i b i l i t y .  C l a s s l e v e l s e x i s t f o r the  p r o t e c t i o n o f the i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h i n them; i f she h a d l e f t H a r r i e t alone, no harm would have been done. T h i s f u r t h e r acknowledgement o f the importance o f s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s and Mr.  Knightley's d e c l a r a t i o n o f love  complete Emma's e d u c a t i o n .  Although t h i s  comes m a i n l y through Emma's attachment  realization  t o the reason-  able Mr. K n i g h t l e y , the n o v e l does n o t subordinate s e n s i b i l i t y t o sense, o r i m a g i n a t i o n t o reason. No r e s o l u t i o n can take p l a c e , no "new s o c i a l u n i t " can form, without the h e l p o f i m a g i n a t i o n .  Emma and  K n i g h t l e y do n o t f e e l able t o marry without the support and consent o f the most i m a g i n a t i v e Mr. Woodhouse: I n t h i s s t a t e o f suspense they were b e f r i e n d e d not by any sudden i l l u m i n a t i o n o f Mr. Woodhouse's mind, o r any wonderful change o f h i s nervous system, b u t by the o p e r a t i o n o f the same system i n another way.—Mrs. Weston's poultry-house was robbed one n i g h t o f a l l h e r t u r k i e s — e v i d e n t l y by the i n g e n u i t y o f man. Other p o u l t r y - y a r d s i n the neighbourhood a l s o s u f f e r r e d . — P i l f e r i n g was housebreaking t o Mr. Woodhouse's f e a r s . . . . The s t r e n g t h , r e s o l u t i o n , and presence o f mind o f the Mr. K n i g h t l e y s , commanded h i s f u l l e s t a t t e n d ance, (pp. 483-484) A t h r e a t t o Highbury's f e c u r i d i t y , the p o u l t r y t h e f t becomes a p e r s o n a l t h r e a t t o the o n l y c h a r a c t e r who consistently r e s i s t s change, promoting a r e s o l u t i o n through "the o p e r a t i o n o f the same system i n another way." still  The c o r n u c o p i a o f Highbury, i t s i m a g i n a t i o n , e x i s t s , b u t i n s t e a d o f working a g a i n s t Emma  by c o n f l i c t i n g w i t h the deeper human aims, i t works f o r h e r , rewarding h e r e d u c a t i o n . I n M a n s f i e l d Park and Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y the h e r o i n e s were educated through exposure t o t r a g i c  f o r c e s which d i r e c t e d them towards the v i t a l p a t t e r n s of  life.  I n P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e and, t o a l i m i t e d  degree, g o r t h a n g e r Abbey, the h e r o i n e s were educated from r i g i d t o f l e x i b l e p a t t e r n s o f l i f e  through  fortui-  tous c i r c u m s t a n c e s , chance meetings and r e l e a s e d f r u s t r a tions.  I n Emma the power o f c a p r i c i o u s i m a g i n a t i o n  u n i f i e s the two t y p e s o f e d u c a t i o n .  Emma*s s e l f -  r e a l i z a t i o n stems from h e r n e a r t r a g i c attempts t o impose form on an e x t e r n a l w o r l d a l r e a d y endowed w$th humane and reasonable forms.  F o r t u n a t e circumstance,  such  as the p o u l t r y t h e f t , i n c r e a s e s the sense o f s o c i a l vitality.  A s i n Fanny P r i c e ' s education,, the'comic  process o f  Emma's e d u c a t i o n makes f u n c t i o n a l what Emma has l e a r n e d f o r m a l l y as moral decorum and p r o p e r  social  behaviour. I f Highbury h a d any f a u l t f o r Austen, i t might be t h e f a u l t o f I l l y r i a ,  a w o r l d o f i m a g i n a t i o n and  dreams come t r u e , which a t times obscures c o n s i d e r a t i o n s b y f o c u s i n g on i n d i v i d u a l s .  ethical In  P e r s u a s i o n Austen e x p l o r e s the r e l a t i o n o f the to  individual  the comic s o c i e t y i n l e s s i m a g i n a t i v e surroundings,  t r y i n g t o c r e a t e a more p l a u s i b l e s o l u t i o n t o the c o n f l i c t s o f reason and emotion,  e t h i c s and a e s t h e t i c s .  Footnotes i S e e Mary L a s c e l l e s , Jane Austen and Her A r t , rev.ed. (London: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1963), f o r an a n a l y s i s o f M i s s B a t e s ' speech as t a n g e n t i a l r a t h e r than e r r a t i c (pp. 93-9S) and h e r f u n c t i o n i n Emma as the r e t e l l e r o f a l l the events i n Highbury (pp. 177-178).  (1939;  Chapter S i x  Persuasion  P e r s u a s i o n r e s o l v e s many o f the a r t i s t i c  and e t h i c a l  problems which t h e c o n f l i c t between reason and emotion have p r e s e n t e d i n the e a r l i e r n o v e l s .  I n Anne E l l i o t ,  Austen re-examines the p a s s i v e o r i n c a p a c i t a t e d h e r o i n e . P o s s e s s i n g n e i t h e r E l i z a b e t h Bennett's Woodhouse's i m a g i n a t i v e v i t a l i t y ,  w i t n o r Emma  she descends from t h e  l i n e o f h e r o i n e s which i n c l u d e s E l i n o r Dashwood, Jane Bennett  and Fanny P r i c e .  t h e i r youth o r beauty.  However, she does n o t possess L i k e a l l t h r e e , Anne perseveres  i n h e r attachment t o t h e man o f h e r choice d e s p i t e s o c i a l obstacles.  Only M a n s f i e l d Park r i v a l s  Persuasion  f o r a w i d e l y t r a v e l l e d view o f both s o c i a l and p h y s i c a l worlds.  Surface comedy, a g a i n the product o f r i g i d  p a t t e r n i n g , n e v e r f a r from the b u r l e s q u e ,  conflicts  w i t h the deep comedy o f p e r s i s t e n t l o v e .  Education,  observed  t o moral  o n l y as b e h a v i o u r n o t as an Index  judgment o r human sympathy, now serves t o u n i t e Wentworth, a v i c t i m o f r i g i d s o c i a l p a t t e r n s , and the p e r s e v e r i n g Anne. L i k e Fanny, Anne uses h e r f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n t o  r e h a b i l i t a t e someone e l s e . the man  She  a d v i s e s C a p t a i n Benwick,  to l a t e r save Wentworth from a f a l s e  marriage,  t o r e a d "a l a r g e r allowance o f prose i n h i s d a i l y study" e s p e c i a l l y memoirs of c h a r a c t e r s o f worth and s u f f e r i n g . . . as c a l c u l a t e d t o rouse and f o r t i f y the mind by the h i g h e s t p r e c e p t s , and the s t r o n g e s t examples o f moral and r e l i g i o u s endurances (p. 101). When she finds h e r s e l f the c o n f i d a n t e o f everyone U p p e r c r o s s , Anne's b e h a v i o u r e x h i b i t s the  at  completeness  o f h e r moral e d u c a t i o n : She c o u l d do l i t t l e more than l i s t e n p a t i e n t l y , s o f t e n every g r i e v a n c e , and excuse each to the o t h e r ; g i v e them a l l h i n t s o f the forbearance n e c e s s a r y between such n e a r neighbours, and make those h i n t s broadest which were meant f o r h e r s i s t e r ' s b e n e f i t , (p.46) W e l l - s c h o o l e d i n decorum and c i v i l i t y and capable o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g and a s s e s s i n g the a c t i o n s o f o t h e r s , Anne attempts t o r e c o n c i l e a complex s i t u a t i o n . The  a r r i v a l o f C a p t a i n Wentworth and the ensuing t a n g l e d  r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h the Musgrove s i s t e r s and C h a r l e s H a y t e r expose the major d e f i c i e n c y i n Anne's c h a r a c t e r , her i n a b i l i t y to act.  She expresses a s i l e n t wish t h a t  h e r r o l e as moral mediator might have a r t i s t i c  scope:  Anne longed f o r the power o f r e p r e s e n t i n g t o them a l l t h a t they were about, and o f p o i n t i n g out some o f the e v i l s they were exposing:themselves t o . She d i d not a t t r i b u t e g u i l e to any o f them. (p. 82) Anne becomes more a c t i v e as the n o v e l develops.  Instead of maintaining a r t i s t i c  detachment, she becomes  a moral exemplar f o r C a p t a i n Wentworth by participating i n  actively  society:  Her c h a r a c t e r was now f i x e d on h i s mind as perf e c t i o n i t s e l f , m a i n t a i n i n g the l o v e l i e s t medium . o f f o r t i t u d e and g e n t l e n e s s . . . A t Lyme, he had r e c e i v e d l e s s o n s o f more than one s o r t . The p a s s i n g a d m i r a t i o n o f Mr. E l l i o t had a t l e a s t roused him, and the scenes on the Cobb, and at C a p t a i n H a r v i l l e ' s had f i x e d h e r s u p e r i o r i t y . (pp. 241-242) Anne achieves the c a p a c i t y to a c t through of dislocations.  a series  Cast out o f K e l l y n c h by her f a t h e r ' s  i n a d e q u a c i e s , i n s t a l l e d as v i s i t o r at Uppercross,  and  then as v i s i t o r t o Lyme and Bath, Anne becomes more active  as h e r v i s i o n o f the world expands.  Austen uses the d e s c r i p t i o n heroine's f e e l i n g s .  Again  o f s e t t i n g to echo the  In much the same way  t h a t the  s t r e e t i n f r o n t o f Ford's r e f l e c t e d the a c t i v i t y o f Emma's mind, the d e s c r i p t i o n creates a perfect  o f Lyme and i t s e n v i r o n s  s e t t i n g f o r Anne:  Charmouth, w i t h i t s h i g h grounds, and e x t e n s i v e sweeps o f country, and s t i l l more i t s sweet r e t i r e d bay, backed by dark c l i f f s , where fragments o f low rock among the sands make i t the h a p p i e s t spot f o r watching the f l o w o f the t i d e , f o r s i t t i n g i n unwearied contemplation (p. 95) R e t i r e d sweetness and "unwearied contemplation" a c t e r i z e Anne i n h e r p a s s i v e r o l e . r e s t r a i n t s of her family's s t e r i l e position  char-  But f r e e d from the sense o f s o c i a l  and a i d e d by the changed s e t t i n g , Anne blooms  a g a i n and a c t s when L o u i s a has h e r n e a r f a t a l  fall  on t h e i r f i n a l day i n Lyme. B e l i e v i n g i n .nature r a t h e r than artiflciality,; Anne r e g r e t f u l l y accompanies to  Lady  Russell  Bath: Lady R u s s e l l . . . e n t e r i n g Bath on a wet a f t e r n o o n . .' . amidst the dash o f o t h e r c a r r i a g e s , the heavy rumble o f c a r t s and drays, the bawling o f newsmen, muffin-men and milkmen . . . made no p r o t e s t . . . . Anne d i d not share these f e e l i n g s . She p e r s i s t e d i n a v e r y determined, though faery s i l e n t , d i s i n c l i n a t i o n f o r Bath; caught the f i r s t dim view o f the e x t e n s i v e b u i l d i n g s , smoking i n the r a i n , without any wish o f s e e i n g them b e t t e r (p. .135).  D e t e s t i n g the a r t i f i c i a l i t y  o f Bath's s o c i e t y , Anne  t e l l s Wentworth, at Lady Dalrymple's c o n c e r t , t h a t the Lyme experience was not i n the l e a s t  distressing:  "The l a s t few hours were c e r t a i n l y v e r y p a i n f u l . . . but when p a i n i s over, the remembrance of i t o f t e n becomes a p l e a s u r e . One does not l o v e a p l a c e the l e s s f o r h a v i n g s u f f e r r e d i n i t , u n l e s s i t has been a l l s u f f e r i n g , n o t h i n g but s u f f e r i n g — w h i c h was by no means the case at Lyme. . . . So much n o v e l t y and beauty! I have t r a v e l l e d so l i t t l e , t h a t e v e r y f r e s h p l a c e would be i n t e r e s t i n g t o m e — b u t t h e r e i s r e a l beauty i n Lyme" (pp. 183-184). the sentiment i s Although^more o p t i m i s t i c t h a n Keats's " i n the v e r y temple  o f D e l i g h t / V e i l ' d Melancholy has h e r sovran  shrine,"  1  the mixture o f s t r o n g emotions, j o y and  sorrow " r e c o l l e c t e d i n t r a n q u i l l i t y "  2  suggests t h a t  emotional as w e l l as i n t e l l e c t u a l sympathy has been absorbed i n t o the p r o c e s s o f e d u c a t i o n .  Made comic  i n s t e a d o f t r a g i c through the agency o f memory which  expands the d i s t a n c e from which the experience i s viewed, emotional  sympathy r e i n f o r c e s the p o s i t i v e  a c t i o n s a t Lyme, p r e p a r i n g f o r the s t r e n g t h o f Anne's attachment to Mrs. Smith i n B a t h .  Langer's concept  o f " v i t a l f e e l i n g " g i v e n e x p r e s s i o n , would t o Anne's e d u c a t i o n ; feelings*  applyy  she g a i n s the a b i l i t y t o a c t and d i s p l a y h e r  Both the r a t i o n a l mind and the i r r a t i o n a l  emotions educate Anne from p a s s i v e perseverence t o a d i s p l a y o f s t r o n g emotion when she speaks t o C a p t a i n H a r v i l l e o f Benwick's a f f e c t i o n f o r L o u i s a Musgrove: "Oh!" c r i e d Anne e a g e r l y , " I hope I do j u s t i c e t o a l l t h a t i s f e l t by you, and by those who resemble you. God f o r b i d t h a t I s h o u l d undervalue the warm and f a i t h f u l f e e l i n g s o f any o f my f e l l o w - c r e a t u r e s . . . . A l l the p r i v i l e g e t h a t I c l a i m f o r my own sex ( i t i s n o t a v e r y e n v i a b l e one, you need n o t covet i t ) i s t h a t o f l o v i n g l o n g e s t , when e x i s t e n c e o r when hope i s gone." ( p . 235) The  s u r f a c e s o c i a l world, b e s e t with comic  delusions  o f h e i r a r c h y , from which Wentworth, Anne's o p p o s i t e , makes h i s way t o a knowledge o f the v i g a l o f conduct, proves as much a h a z a r d union  as Anne's p a s s i v i t y .  principles  t o the loversfe  The danger l i e s i n Wentworth's  acceptance o f s u r f a c e a c t i o n s and judgments.  He  e x h i b i t s t h i s tendancy i n the c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h L o u i s a Musgrove which Anne  overhears:  "Your s i s t e r i s an amiable c r e a t u r e ; b u t vours i s the c h a r a c t e r o f d e c i s i o n and firmness . . . I t i s the worst e v i l o f t o o y i e l d i n g and i n d e c i s i v e  a c h a r a c t e r , t h a t no i n f l u e n c e over i t can he depended on. . . . Here i s a nut . . . To exe m p l i f y , a b e a u t i f u l g l o s s y "nut, which, b l e s s e d with o r i g i n a l s t r e n g t h , has o u t l i v e d a l l the storms o f autumn. Not a puncture, not a weak spot any where . . . My f i r s t wish f o r a l l , whom I am i n t e r e s t e d i n , i s t h a t they should be f i r m . " (p. Such d e t e r m i n a t i o n  without  88)  a conception of p r i n c i p l e  o n l y teaches L o u i s a to a c t f o r c e f u l l y , not  rationally,  i n the e x p e c t a t i o n o f reward, a l e s s o n which Wentworth r e g r e t s when L o u i s a  "determines" to jump down the  s t e p s a t Lyme and f a l l s to  Anne, a f t e r she has  (p. 109).  In h i s confession  accepted h i s p r o p o s a l , he  t h a t h i s p r i d e prevented  him  admits  from r e c o g n i s i n g h e r  worth: In h i s p r e c e d i n g attempts to a t t a c h h i m s e l f to L o u i s a Musgrove (the attempts o f angry pridel) . . . he had not understood the p e r f e c t e x c e l l e n c e o f the mind w i t h which L o u i s a ' s c o u l d so i l l b e a r a comparison . . . He had l e a r n t to d i s t i n g u i s h between the s t e a d i n e s s o f p r i n c i p l e and the o b s t i n a c y o f s e l f - w i l l , between the d a r i n g s o f heedlessness and the r e s o l u t i o n o f a c o l l e c t e d mind. (p. 242) Such unwarranted p r i d e dominates the n o v e l ' s comedy where i t i s mocked as f a l s e v a n i t y . Elliot,  surface S i r Walter  and h i s daughters, E l i z a b e t h and Mary, t y p i f y  f a l s e l y based p r i d e . circumstance  R e s i s t i n g change and  with more vigou? than Mr.  present  Woodhouse, S i r  W a l t e r r e t r e a t s i n t o the Baronetage where he found o c c u p a t i o n f o r an i d l e hour, and c o n s o l a t i o n i n a d i s t r e s s e d one . . . any unwelcome s e n s a t i o n s , a r i s i n g from domestic a f f a i r s , changed n a t u r a l l y i n t o p i t y and contempt ( p . 3 ) .  L i k e the burlesque p o r t r a i t u r e o f Northanger Abbey, though l e s s benevolent, the p i c t u r e o f S i r Walter g i v e n i n the n o v e l ' s opening pages draws the l i m i t s o f h i s past present  and f u t u r e  actions:  V a n i t y was the b e g i n n i n g and the end o f S i r W a l t e r ' E l l i o t ' s c h a r a c t e r ; v a n i t y o f person and s i t u a t i o n , (p. 4) Opposed to the E l l i o t s  and a t times t o C a p t a i n  are the C r o f t s who r e n t K e l l y n c h H a l l . excessive  sense o f p e r s o n a l  i s always o v e r t u r n i n g )  Having no  dignity ( t h e i r carriage  n o r p e r s o n a l v a n i t y (the A d m i r a l  removes the m i r r o r s from S i r W a l t e r ' s d r e s s i n g p. 128), t h e y represent  Wentworth  room,  the happy normalcy and deep  comic v i t a l i t y o f a well-matched couple.  Anne ac-  knowledges them as the p r o p e r owners o f the K e l l y n c h n a t u r a l world: she had i n f a c t so h i g h an o p i n i o n o f the C r o f t s . . . t h a t howeger s o r r y and ashamed f o r the n e c e s s i t y o f the removal, she c o u l d n o t b u t i n c o n s c i e n c e f e e l t h a t they were gone who deserved not t o stay, and t h a t K e l l y n c h - h a l l had passed i n t o b e t t e r hands than i t s owners', (p. 125) However, the Musgroves r a t h e r than the C r o f t s prove t o be the major e d u c a t i n g  f o r c e f o r Wentworth.  In spite  o f the outwardly l u d i c r o u s and o f f e n s i v e e f f u s i o n s o f Mrs.  Musgrove,over h e r son whom a l i v e nobody had  c a r e d f o r , Wentworth, a f t e r a minimal d i s p l a y o f d i s t a s t e , commiserates w i t h h e r : There was a momentary e x p r e s s i o n i n C a p t a i n Wentworth's face . . . a c e r t a i n glance o f h i s  b r i g h t eye, a c u r l o f h i s handsome mouth, which c o n v i n c e d Anne, t h a t i n s t e a d o f s h a r i n g i n Mrs. Musgrove's k i n d wishes as t o h e r son, he had p r o b a b l y been a t some p a i n s to g e t r i d o f him . . . i n another moment he was p e r f e c t l y c o l l e c t e d and s e r i o u s . . . Mrs. Musgrove was o f a comfortable s u b s t a n t i a l s i z e , i n f i n i t e l y more f i t t e d by nature to express good cheer and good humour, than tenderness and sentiment . . . P e r s o n a l s i z e and mental sorrow have c e r t a i n l y no n e c e s s a r y prop o r t i o n s . A l a r g e b u l k y f i g u r e has as deep a r i g h t t o be i n deep a f f l i c t i o n , as the most g r a c e f u l s e t o f limbs i n the world. But f a i r o r not f a i r , there are unbecoming c o n j u n c t i o n s , which reason w i l l p a t r o n i z e i n v a i n , — w h i c h t a s t e cannot t o l e r a t e , — w h i c h r i d i c u l e w i l l s e i z e . (pp. 67^68) Wentworth, h a r d l y i n a p o s i t i o n to r i d i c u l e the j u n c t i o n o f appearance and r e a l i t y o r reason  con-  and  emotion, l e a r n s even more from L o u i s a ' s f a l s e d e t e r mination.  J u s t as s t r o n g emotion r e c o l l e c t e d i n  t r a n q u i l l i t y forms p a r t o f Anne's education, t u r n i n g t r a g e d y i n t o comedy w i t h the a b s o r p t i o n o f the i n c i d e n t s at Lyme i n t o a l a r g e r v i s i o n o f l i f e , emotion r e c o l l e c t e d l u d i c r o u s l y and f a l s e  false  determination  a c t e d upon n e a r t r a g i c a l l y , promote Wentworth's r e c o g n i t i o n o f Anne's worth.  Once C a p t a i n Benwick f a l l s  i n l o v e with L o u i s a , Wentworth b e g i n s to descend  from  the s u r f a c e comedy t o the deep comedy o f l o v e . B o t h Anne's l e a r n e d c a p a c i t y f o r a c t i o n  and  Wentworth*s a c q u i r e d a b i l i t y t o d i s c r i m i n a t e between s u r f a c e v a l u e s and r e a l worth f r e e them from restraints.  The  frustrating  r e s t r a i n t s o f f a m i l y and Lady R u s s e l l  who,  when o f f e r i n g a d v i c e ,  parent"(p.  346),  youth"(p. 30).  "was  i n the p l a c e o f a  f o r c e d Anne " i n t o prudence i n h e r F r e e d from the r e s t r a i n i n g  o f h i s p r i d e , o n l y j e a l o u s y o f Mr. E l l i o t  effects  (p.  241)  prevents Wentworth from d e c l a r i n g h i m s e l f u n t i l  he  overhears Anne speaking  with C a p t a i n H a r v i l l e .  With  the overcoming o f these  o b s t a c l e s , he proposes  the comic r e s o l u t i o n takes p l a c e .  and  With the comic  r e s o l u t i o n comes a v i t a l p h y s i c a l r e g e n e r a t i o n .  The  sense o f p h y s i c a l beauty, p a r o d i e d as v a n i t y i n S i r W a l t e r , r e c e i v e s i t s proper r e h a b i l i t a t i o n i n Anne through the power o f a f f e c t i o n .  When Wentworth  tells  her: "to my eye you c o u l d never a l t e r " f^hej s m i l e d and l e t i t pass. . . . the value oT such homage was i n e x p r e s s i b l y i n c r e a s e d t o Anne, by "comparing i t with former words, and f e e l i n g i t t o be the r e s u l t , not the cause o f a r e v i v a l o f h i s warm attachment, (p. 243) I n s t e a d o f seinmonizing,  Anne's inward comment allows  the r e s t o r a t i o n o f the balanced between a e s t h e t i c s and e t h i c s t o take p l a c e n a t u r a l l y .  The  central figure  o f moral good, the d e t e s t o r o f a r t i f i c i a l i t y , has  an e x t e r i o r equal to her moral beauty.  now  This  r e s t o r a t i o n c r e a t e s an atmosphere o f u n s e l f i s h n e s s . The magnanimity o f Anne's not speaking  recalls  E l i z a b e t h B e n n e t t ' s d e c i s i o n not t o tease Darcy o r Mr.  Woodhouse's f i n a l  act of imagination.  But,  w h i l e b o t h P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e and Emma s t r i v e  to  maintain  the smooth s u r f a c e o f s o c i a l appearance,  Persuasion  l o o k s on the damaging e v i l s o f p r i d e  i n S i r W a l t e r and charm i n Mr. E l l i o t  only to laughingly  d i s m i s s them. Because P e r s u a s i o n appearing  d i f f e r s so s h a r p l y from Emma,  t o r e t r e a t from t h a t e x c i t i n g ,  "green w o r l d " o f Highbury t o a burlesque a t t i t u d e s and i n d i v i d u a l posings, thought the n o v e l was u n f i n i s h e d .  of social  some c r i t i c s have 3  the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e i n P e r s u a s i o n , between those  imaginative,  In particular, divided sharply  c h a r a c t e r s concerned with appearance and  p o s i t i o n and those who are warmly human and u n s e l f conscious,  allows f o r as many d i s g u i s e s as are present  i n M a n s f i e l d Park.  B u t t h e e t h i c a l elements i n the  comic r e s o l u t i o n suggest anything but r e t r e a t . S i r W a l t e r and E l i z a b e t h do n o t r e c d i v e a punishment e q u a l t o t h a t o f Mrs. one  r e a l l y worries  N o r r i s o r J u l i a Rushworth.  No  about S i r W a l t e r who " ' w i l l never  s e t t h e Thames on f i r e ' " ( p . 32). As f o r h i s daughter, whom " T h i r t e e n w i n t e r s '  r e v o l v i n g f r o s t s had seen . . .  opening every b a l l o f c r e d i t which a scanty neighbourhood a f f o r d e d " ( p . 7 ) , no one i s p a i n e d t o hear t h a t she  "must l o n g f e e l t h a t t o f l a t t e r and f o l l o w o t h e r s ,  without b e i n g f l a t t e r e d and f o l l o w e d i n t u r n , i s b u t a s t a t e o f h a l f enjoyment"(p. 251). Even Mr. E l l i o t ,  the wearer o f a more i n c i d i o u s d i s g u i s e , may  receive  his  j u s t , but humourous, reward from the f a l s e  (p.  23),  4  "Penelope"  Mrs. C l a y :  He soon q u i t t e d Bath; and on Mrs. C l a y ' s q u i t t i n g i t l i k e w i s e soon afterwards, and b e i n g next heard o f as e s t a b l i s h e d under h i s p r o t e c t i o n i n London, i t was e v i d e n t how double a game he had been, p l a y i n g . . . Mrs. C l a y ' s a f f e c t i o n s had overpowered h e r i n t e r e s t , and she had s a c r i f i c e d , f o r the young man's sake, the p o s s i b i l i t y o f scheming l o n g e r f o r S i r Walter. She has a b i l i t i e s , as w e l l as a f f e c t i o n s ; and i t i s now a d o u b t f u l p o i n t whether h i s cunning, o r h e r s , may f i n a l l y c a r r y the day; whether a f t e r p r e v e n t i n g h e r from b e i n g the wife of S i r Walter, he may not be wheedled and c a r e s s e d at l a s t i n t o making h e r the wif§ o f S i r W i l l i a m . (p. 250, my i t a l i c s ) The  abrupt change t o the p r e s e n t tense suggests t h a t  the comic w o r l d w i l l go on t o d e l i v e r i t s own poetic j u s t i c e .  vital,  I f Mr. E l l i o t i s t o be punished, the  punishment w i l l e q u a l h i s crimes.  Anything but a r e t r e a t ,  the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f s u r f a c e and deep comedy i n P e r s u a s i o n i s the l e a s t d i s s a t i s f y i n g o f a l l o f Austen's  resolutions.  By c r e a t i n g a comic p r o c e s s invfc&h Anne's e d u c a t i o n t o e x p r e s s i o n i n the s u r f a c e w o r l d and Wentworth*s e d u c a t i o n to  the r e c o g n i t i o n o f deep f e e l i n g balance the two  of  comedy by r e a c h i n g toward one  another,  Austen  u n i t e s the e f f e c t s o f f o r t u n a t e circumstance v i t a l individual delight.  types  and  Major events such as the  C r o f t s r e n t i n g K e l l y n c h , L o u i s a ' s f a l l at Lyme, Mrs. Smith's  appearance  at B a t h , f o r t u n a t e circumstances  which move Wentworth and Anne c l o s e r t o g e t h e r , a l t e r n a t e  w i t h seemingly minor occurances  as Anne's o v e r h e a r i n g  Wentworth and L o u i s a , or Wentworth's o v e r h e a r i n g Anne and C a p t a i n H a r v i l l e .  The hero and h e r o i n e  achieve  more than the t r a g i c o m i c e d u c a t i o n o f E l i n o r Dashwood or  Fanny P r i c e , more than the sympathetic  educationoo'f  Emma Woodhouse; they achieve a p e r f e c t u n i o n o f s u r f a c e and depth.  P e r s u a s i o n appears t o be  a f i n i s h e d novel,  n o t o n l y because o f Austen's comment to h e r n i e c e on its  readiness f o r p u b l i c a t i o n ,  treatment  6  but a l s o because  of the c h a r a c t e r s and the a c t i o n , the comedy  and the e d u c a t i o n , grows out o f e v e r y t h i n g she previously written.  have f a l l e n away.  has  With such a growth, such a  p e r f e c t union, p e r n i c i o u s a r t i s t i c  what Mrs.  Austen  and e t h i c a l problems  Austen has l e a r n e d about her  craft  Smith has l e a r n e d about g o s s i p :  " I t does not come t o me i n q u i t e so d i r e c t a l i n e as t h a t ; i t takes a bend o r two, but n o t h i n g of consequence. The stream i s as good as at f i r s t the l i t t l e r u b b i s h i t c o l l e c t s i n the t u r n i n g s i s e a s i l y moved away." (pp. 204-205) F o r Austen, first",  the "stream"  i s not o n l y "as good as a t  i t has r e v e a l e d s u r p r i s i n g depth and  vitality.  Footnotes J o h n K e a t s , "Ode on Melancholy", The P o e t i c a l Works o f John Keats, ed. H.W. Garrod (Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1958T7 P- 275, 11. 25-26. ; x  W i l l i a m Wordsworth, "Preface t o the Second E d i t i o n o f L y r i c a l B a l l a d s " , i n The Major C r i t i c s : The Development o f E n g l i s h L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m , ed. C h a r l e s S. Holmes, e t a l . (New York: A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1965), p. 204. 2  ^See W.A. C r a i k , Jane Austen: The S i x Novels (London: Methuen & Co. L t d . , 1965), p. 188. T h e numerous Homeric r e f e r e n c e s suggest t h a t P e r s u a s i o n might he seen as a reworking o f the r e t u r n o f Odysseus, from Penelope's p o i n t o f view (the t r u e Penelope, Anne E l l i o t ) . 4  5"I have a something ready f o r P u b l i c a t i o n , which may perhaps appear about a twelvementh henc4." ( L e t t e r s , p. 484) "You w i l l n o t l i k e i t , so you need n o t be impatient. You may perhaps l i k e the H e r o i n e , as she i s almost too good f o r me." ( L e t t e r s , p. 487)  — £><S'  Afterword  From t h i s examination o f Austen's we  s i x novels  can observe t h a t f i v e major concerns are t r e a t e d  as aspects o f the comic e d u c a t i o n : reason, i m a g i n a t i o n , a e s t h e t i c s and e t h i c s .  emotion,  I n the main,  the c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r s can be d i v i d e d i n t o those attempt  who  t o impdse s u p e r f i c i a l and o f t e n r i g i d p a t t e r n s  d e r i v e d from these f i v e concerns on the e x i s t i n g s t r u c t u r e o f r e a l i t y and are c o m i c a l l y educated  through  the b r e a k i n g o f those p a t t e r n s and the e s t a b l i s h i n g o f new  p e r s p e c t i v e s , and those who,  w i t h a deep u n d e r s t a n d i n g  o f these concerns, are educated t o a s u r f a c e e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e i r i n n e r v i t a l i t y through the comic a c t i o n o f f r u s t r a t i o n and  release.  I n Northanger Abbey C a t h e r i n e Morland,  victimized  by h e r Gothic i m a g i n a t i o n , g a i n s p r a c t i c a l a e s t h e t i c and e t h i c a l v a l u e s from h e r emotional  attachment  to Henry T i l n e y , a c h a r a c t e r o f reason and w i t .  Surface  comedy o r i g i n a t i n g i n p a r o d i e d a e s t h e t i c s e n s i b i l i t y ; g i v e s way  t o the deep comedy of growing  love.  Northanger  Abbey f a i l s a r t i s t i c a l l y , however, because the r e a d e r  does not know enough of the i n t e r i o r i d e n t i t i e s of the c h a r a c t e r s ; the s u r f a c e comedy i s more v i t a l . Attempting to c o r r e c t t h i s d e f i c i e n c y i n Sense and  S e n s i b i l i t y . Austen employs double  heroines,  E l i n o r and Marianne, reason and emotion or deep comedy and  s u r f a c e comedy.  picturesque, g i v e s way Edward.  Marianne's t a s t e f o r the  a f a l s e a e s t h e t i c , opposes and  Gothic  eventually  to the a e s t h e t i c of nature espoused by E l i n o r , c o n t r a s t e d w i t h her more  expressive  s i s t e r , must l e a r n to g i v e s u r f a c e e x p r e s s i o n to the l o v e she f e e l s deeply.  The  education  o f sympathy,  enacted with the h e l p o f L u c y S t e e l e and Willoughby who  have a n e a r l y t r a g i c e f f e c t upon the  heroines,  causes the l o s s of s e l f i s h n e s s , whether reasonable emotional, surrounding  and c r e a t e s an expanded u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the world.  N e i t h e r Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y  Northanger Abbey can provide  an e t h i c a l l y  I  n  nor  satisfying  s o c i e t y , and the l o v e r s are t h e r e f o r e secluded end o f the  or  at the  novels.  P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e Darcy and E l i z a b e t h , both  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f reason and emotion, are v i c t i m s o f the p r e v a i l i n g s o c i a l d e l u s i o n , the dehuminization  of  people i n t o o b j e c t s .  as  E l i z a b e t h ' s education  occurs  she t u r n s from the f a l s e a e s t h e t i c and e t h i c o f appearance, embodied i n Wickham, to the t r u e a e s t h e t i c o f unadorned n a t u r e .  Darcy i s educated by what E l i z a b e t h  t e l l s him o f h i s appearance when he proposes.  Both  move from an i n a c c u r a t e p e r c e p t i o n -of s u r f a c e v a l u e s , where n e i t h e r i s p a r t i c u l a r l y self-aware, r e a l i z a t i o n and a deep understanding  to s e l f -  o f t h e i r mutual  l o v e from which they r e v i t a l i z e the dehumanized s o c i a l values.  I n the s u c c e s s f u l r e s o l u t i o n both c h a r a c t e r s  umph over the s o c i a l p a t t e r n o f r i g i d  tri-  objectification.  A n o t h e r p a s s i v e h e r o i n e , Fanny P r i c e i n M a n s f i e l d Park r e i n t r o d u c e s s t r o n g e t h i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s as she g r a d u a l l y l e a r n s t o express h e r s e l f .  She and Edmund,  b o t h b e l i e v i n g i n the deep v a l u e s o f l i f e ,  balance  Mary and Henry Crawford who b e l i e v e i n s u r f a c e The  values.  c r e a t o r s o f s u r f a c e comedy, which depends on the  f a l s e a e s t h e t i c and e t h i c o f ceremony and s e l f - i n t e r e s t e d manners, are punished and the p r a c t i t i o n e r s o f the deep comedy o f growing l o v e are rewarded.  This r e s o l u t i o n  does n o t prove e n t i r e l y s a t i s f a c t o r y because here,  as i n  Northanger Abbey, the s u r f a c e comedy c o n t a i n s a c e r t a i n amount o f v i t a l i t y ,  e s p e c i a l l y i n the c h a r a c t e r s o f Mary  and Henry, which the deep comedy needs. I n Emma Austen r e t u r n s t o a s e p a r a t i o n o f deep comedy and  s u r f a c e comedy i n Mr.. K n i g h t l e y and Emma.  imagination  Emma's  tempts h e r t o t r y to r e s t r u c t u r e t h e a l r e a d y  d u c t i v e Highbury s o c i e t y .  pro-  Again a f a l s e a e s t h e t i c , revealed  by Emma's a l t e r a t i o n o f a c t u a l i t y i n H a r r i e t ' s port r a i t , g i v e s way t o a t r u e a e s t h e t i c o f nature.  ±y  G r a d u a l l y Emma's i m a g i n a t i v e pre-conceptions  are eroded  by r e a l i t y and f i n a l l y destroyed through her understanding o f h e r own  of M i s s Bates's  —  sympathetic  s i t u a t i o n and the r e c o g n i t i o n  love f o r Knightley.  However, sensing  danger o f the c a p i t u l a t i o n o f emotion and  the  imagination  to p e r v a s i v e reason, Austen d e f i n i t e l y e s t a b l i s h e s Highbury as an i m a g i n a t i v e s o c i e t y .  But,  a well-defined  and f u n c t i o n a l e t h i c i s not always c l e a r i n Highbury where i n d i v i d u a l i m a g i n a t i o n may  at any time attempt  t o r i g i d i f y the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . I n h e r f i n a l n o v e l , P e r s u a s i o n . Austen attempts to s o l v e t h i s e t h i c a l d e f i c i e n c y by having Anne r e p r e s e n t the deep comedy and Wentworth the surface comedy. Anne's a c q u i s i t i o n o f emotional  e x p r e s s i o n meets  Wentworth's r e c o g n i t i o n of h e r l o v e amid a world prone to d e l u s i o n s o f f i x e d s o c i a l order. ment o f the deluded  Partial  c h a r a c t e r s , r a t h e r than  punishtotal  banishment, c o n s t i t u t e s p a r t o f the benevolent  ethical  r e s o l u t i o n , but the p e r f e c t match o f Anne and Wentworth developes i t even more p o w e r f u l l y .  The  aesthetic of  n a t u r a l beauty and emotion, " r e c o l l e c t e d i n t r a n q u i l l i t y " , suggests  a u n i o n o f a e s t h e t i c s with the e t h i c  of  temperance o r p a t i e n c e . The problems faced and t h e i r attempted s o l u t i o n s i n the s i x n o v e l s show t h a t the  fictional  worlds p a i n t e d  on "the l i t t l e h i t (two Inches wide)  o f I v o r y " l were l a r g e enough f o r a r t i s t i c s o p h i c a l contentions satisfaction.  and p h i l o -  o f s i z e and r e s o l u t i o n s o f  Footnotes •Austen, L e t t e r s , p.  469.  A Selected Bibliography  Addison, Joseph. The S p e c t a t o r . 4 v o l s . Ed. Donald F. Bond. Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1956. Apperson, G.L. A Jane Austen Dictionary. Kemp H a l l P r e s s L t d . , 1932.  Oxford:  Austen, Jane. Jane Austen's L e t t e r s : t o h e r s i s t e r Cassandra and o t h e r s . Ed. R.W. Chapman. 2nd ed., 1932; r p t . London: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1952. . The Works of Jane Austen. 6 v o l s . Ed. R.W. Chapman. London: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1954. Bergson, H e n r i . L a u g h t e r i n Comedy: An Essay on Comedy tt>y) George M e r e d i t h fand) L a u g h t e r Iby] H e n r i Bergson. Ed. Wylie Sypher. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1956. Chapman, R.W. J ane Austen: F a c t s and Problems. O x f o r d : Clarendon P r e s s , 1948. C r a i k , W.A. Jane Austen: The S i x Novels. Methuen & Co. L t d . , 1965.  London:  Daiches, David. A C r i t i c a l H i s t o r y o f E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e i n Two Volumes. New York: The Ronald Press Company, 1970. Donahue, Denis. "A View o f M a n s f i e l d Park" i n C r i t i c a l Essays on Jane Austen. Ed. B.C. Southam. London: Routledge & Kegan P a u l , 1968. F r y e , Northrop. "The Argument o f Comedy" i n T h e o r i e s o f Comedy. Ed. P a u l L a u t e r . New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964. G u a r i n i , G i a m b a t t i s t a . "The Compendium o f Tragicomic Poetry','"in L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m : P l a t o to Dry den. Ed. A l l a n " H. G i l b e r t . D e t r o i t : Wayne S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1962. H a z l i t t , W i l l i a m . L e c t u r e s on the E n g l i s h Comic W r i t e r s . London: T a y l o r and Hessey, 1819. K e a t s , John. The P o e t i c a l Works o f John Keats. Ed. H.W. Garrod. Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1958.  Langer, Susanne K. F e e l i n g and Form; A Theory o f A r t Developed from P h i l o s o p h y i n a New Key. London: B o u t ledge & Kegan P a u l L i m i t e d , 1953. L a s c e l l e s , Mary. Jane Austen and Her A r t . Rev. ed., 1939; r p t . London: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1963. L i t z , A. Walton. Jane Austen: A Study o f her A r t i s t i c Development. New York: O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1965. M e r e d i t h , George.  An Essay on Comedy.  See Bergson.  Rahv, P h i l l i p . The Mgtb and the Powerhouse. The Noonday P r e s s , 1966.  New  York:  Southam, B.C. J ane A u s t e n s L i t e r a r y ManuscriTPts: A study o f the n o v e l l i s t ' s development through the s u r v i v i n g papers. London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1964. 1  Trilling, Lionel. The L i b e r a l Imagination. The V i k i n g P r e s s , 1950.  New  York:  " M a n s f i e l d Park" i n Jane Austen: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l E s s a y s . Ed. Ian Watt. Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: P r e n t i c e H a l l , Inc., 1963. Van Ghent, Dorothy. The E n g l i s h N o v e l : Form and F u n c t i o n . New York: H o l t , R i n e h a r t and Winston, 1960. Watt,.Ian. "On Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y " i n Jane Austen: A C o l l e c t i o n o f C r i t i c a l E s s a y s . See T r i l l i n g . W i e s e n f a r t h , Joseph. The E r r a n d o f Form: An Essay of Jane Austen's A r t . New York: Fordham U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1967. Wordworth, W i l l i a m . "Preface t o the Second E d i t i o n o f L y r i c a l B a l l a d s " i n The Ma.ior C r i t i c s : The Development of E n g l i s h L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m . Ed. C h a r l e s S. Holmes, e t a l . New York: A l f r e d A. Knogf, 1965,  

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