Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Coda on the Coda

I just need to follow up on yesterday's Lady Susan post, because I finished it right after.  (Aside: that's the problem with ebooks; you can never tell how much endmatter there is; 20% of the book left can be where the story ends!)

So it turns out that the story ends rather abruptly, and the conclusion to all the storylines is wrapped up in a little afterword.  Like, X finds out Y and can never see Z again, and the last letter ends and the afterword tells you who went where and married whom.  I'll admit, it was a letdown; still very much worth reading, but I think going in thinking of it as a fragment helped me a lot.

Also, I wanted to add a thought on Jane Austen--are there any men in Jane Austen (except the heroes) who have any clue what's going on?  Like, I feel like in each book there's maybe one guy who's smart enough to realize how much of life is being played out at the whims of the female characters, but other than the occasional Knightley, no male ever recognizes who is trustworthy or in need or what. 

Does Mansfield Park have a single gentelman in the know?  Well, I guess the bad boy brother.  Wait, the bad boys always get it--Willoughby knew the game, since he was playing it.  But every husband and many of the young men are just letting the world sweep them around at its whims.

Essentially, with a few exceptions, Austen's women are much smarter than her men, especially in their native realm.

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