Posted by: rearadmiral | May 24, 2015

Happy long weekend(for many), more character studies

Found via My Jane Austen Book Club and Central Virginia Region of The Jane Austen Society of North America:

(this post contains an error, as pointed out by one of my favorite bloggers)
From Shmoop:
Character Analysis
Mr. Gardiner is Mrs. Bennet’s brother, but they’re not much alike:
Mr. Gardiner was a sensible, gentlemanlike man, greatly superior to his sister, as well by nature as education. The Netherfield ladies would have had difficulty in believing that a man who lived by trade, and within view of his own warehouses, could have been so well-bred and agreeable. Mrs. Gardiner, who was several years younger than Mrs. Bennet and Mrs. Phillips, was an amiable, intelligent, elegant woman, and a great favourite with all her Longbourn nieces. Between the two eldest and herself especially, there subsisted a particular regard. They had frequently been staying with her in town. (25.2)
Besides giving Elizabeth and Jane some much needed parental figures—seriously, those two need at least one sane and involved adult in their lives, right?—the Gardiners can also be seen as part of the whole discussion about what makes a gentleman. They’re born into the middle class—not the gentry, like Darcy—and Uncle Gardiner makes his money by working as a lawyer rather than by inheriting it. Yet, when Darcy meets them, he is totally floored by how he would never in million years be able to tell that they aren’t born gentlefolk.
Whew. That gives us a little hope for our own class status.

Character Analysis
We can’t help but feel a little bad for John. On one hand, he’s not exactly a good guy; after all, he basically leaves his sisters and stepmother penniless after their father dies. On the other hand, though, he didn’t want to do it, and he later feels guilty about it – his wife Fanny pressured him into keeping all of the inheritance money. Of course, his wife’s not entirely to blame, since he’s just as greedy and smarmy as she is (he practically salivates over the idea of being related to rich and dignified Colonel Brandon).
However, John isn’t completely bad at heart; he does seem to have some genuine affection for his sisters, since he’s always happy to see them, and in his own way, he wants to make sure they end up OK. He’s constantly asking Fanny if Elinor and Marianne can come and visit, or if he can give them little gifts of money to help them out, only to get shot down by his conscience-free, heartless wife. Because John is still a Dashwood, he’s not all bad, but because he’s under the influence of the Ferrars, he’s not all good, either.

I loved this modern teen version of Emma. I feared it might be too “Clueless”, but that was not the case. A bit of an “alarming” twist might make this one appropriate for older teens? I hope Claire LaZebnik writes takes on the two Austen novels she hasn’t modernized at some point. Also look for “Epic Fail”, “The Last Best Kiss”, and “The Trouble with Flirting”. Although the teen world is not usually a place I wish to read about, I’ve loved all of these. Thanks to Sarah Emsley for posting about series last year. -Kirk

Elinor’s expression, in one of the photo’s below, is priceless…..thought ballon….”I’ve sink low, oh so very low…”
Character Analysis
There’s really not that much to Mrs. Jennings. She’s a nice lady, but she can be on the annoying side (to put it mildly). Her roots are rather common – her husband was a businessman who made his fortune in a non-genteel way, through commerce – but she doesn’t let that stop her from attempting to infiltrate the social circles of the rich and important. She’s a social butterfly, whose only joy in life is a good gabfest; whether in London, Cleveland, or Barton, Mrs. Jennings simply has to have a lot of friends, family, and guests to talk to.
Mrs. Jennings generally has the best of intentions, even if she unwittingly puts her foot in her mouth all the time. She loves gossip, and she loves to tease her friends with the things she knows. For example, her favorite topics are Elinor and Marianne’s relationships with Edward and Willoughby, respectively; she never seems to know how far her boundaries extend. Propriety, convention, and tact don’t really disturb her much, and she simply doesn’t know where to stop once she starts. Her biggest flaw is her lack of perception – she’s a little slow on the uptake with regards to other people’s discomfort or annoyance, and she’s apt to push the subjects of her jokes a little too far (especially with regards to Marianne).
However, once Mrs. Jennings realizes that something is wrong, she’s an endlessly supportive friend. When Willoughby’s engagement emerges, for example, she keeps her promise to Elinor and doesn’t bring it up in front of Marianne, and her concern for her young charge is really quite touching. In the end, she’s simply a wholeheartedly nice woman, with an unfortunate passion for gossip.



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