Thursday, June 14, 2012

6/14 - Round Table Discussion

We'll try something a little different today.

Representing Northanger Abbey - General Tilney
Reprensenting Sense and Sensibility - Sir John Middleton, Mr John Dashwood
Representing Pride and Prejudice - Mr Bennet
Representing Mansfield Park - Sir Thomas Bertram, Mr Price
Representing Emma - Mr Woodhouse, Mr Weston, Mr John Knightley
Representing Persuasion - Sir Walter Elliot

L4: LW4 is seething about H4 "postponing" Mother's Day, and would like Father's Day revenge.

Mr Weston has some sympathy for LW4. He recalls how the first Mrs Weston, now deceased, while not immune to the charms of matrimony, longed still for the benefits that had been hers of being Miss Churchill of Enscombe.

Mr John Dashwood expresses concern over the expenditure desired by LW4 in the celebration of what was an entirely artificial holiday invented solely for the purpose of screwing hard-inesting property-holders out of their insufficient supply of capital.

Mr John Knightley is too concerned over the social system that takes children away from their parents and puts them into foster care in the first place. He and Mrs Knightley agree that they could never think well of anyone whon proposed or accepted such a solution (looking at Mr Weston).

Sir Thomas Bertram reminds Mr John Knightley that a superfluity of children and a want of almost everything else might make any parent resort to the kindness of strangers.

Mr Price considers agreeing with Sir Thomas (his wife's sister's husband) but decides to remain quiet and pour himself another glass of wine.

General Tilney thinks the fostering of unrelated children rather feeble and wet.

Sir Walter Elliot sides entirely with H4. LW4 is surely graced beyond her station (as, he is convinced, was Lady Elliot in her time) in having such a husband, and Sir Walter could never see the point in any holiday dedicated to wives and mothers anyway.

Mr Woodhouse cannot agree with Sir Walter, and think it grievously wrong of H4 to neglect any attention due to a lady. He is only glad that LW4 is no longer a bride, as that would magnify the offence.

Mr Bennet wonders if LW4 and H4 might be interested in augmenting their numbers through the addition of the two, or perhaps three, youngest Bennet daughters.

Sir John Middleton cannot comprehend H4 at all. He revels in holidays, all of which provide him with excellent excuses to throw a ball or at least a dinner party.

PFCE advises LW4 to show the children that scorekeeping can never begin too early, a most important life lesson.

L3: LW3 has just survived a difficult visit from F3, and asks a strange question.

Mr Price can see nothing at all wrong with F3's conduct. However, as he never bothers to read any of the greeting cards he occasionally receives, he advises LW3 to save her penny.

Mr John Knightley finds the idea of the remembrance of the day being confined to a card considerably appealing, given Mrs Knightley's devoted fondness for elaborate celebrations.

General Tilney marvels that LW3 should be attempting such independence from her father, a move which he considers extremely unwise.

Sir John Middleton thinks that F3's odd humours must be the result of living alone for long years without liking it, and thinks that more constant society would improve his disposition.

Mr Woodhouse cannot imagine how any father could possibly speak so to his own daughter.

Mr Bennet cannot fathom F3's conduct. If he liked LW3, he'd never have behaved in such a manner, and, if he didn't like LW3, he wouldn't have visited her.

Sir Thomas Bertram cannot approve of F3's conduct, but cannot approve of LW3 failing to do her duty by F3. He points out how Fanny Price always remembered her duty to her Aunt Norris.

Mr John Dashwood thinks that a sum of twenty pounds, such as he was recently tempted to offer his stepmother for the relief of herself and her daughters, vastly superiour to a card.

Sir Walter Elliot marvels that LW3 apparently was not in the habit of doing anything more to mark the day.

Mr Weston believes the original error to have been making up only a party of two for the purchase of the automobile in the first place. Like the ball at the Crown Inn, such an event required the presence of a greater number of counselors, such as Miss Bates, with her unparalleled genius for finding happiness in virtually any situation.

PFCE advises LW3 that she really is selecting the most trivial point on which to focus, and chides the Prudecutor for not inquiring into exactly how SF3 heard about the occasion in question in sufficient detail to spark the controversy. Almost very neatly concealed by LW3.

L2: LW2 would like to intervene on F2's behalf if at all feasible in the matter of alimony.

Sir Walter Elliot sides entirely with F2 as a gentleman in distressed circumstances. He presumes that F2 has already mortgaged as far as possible without selling, and advises him to quit his estate if need be and even allow it to be let to another. It was entirely right and proper for F2 to consult his favourite child (whom Sir Walter assumes LW2 to be), just as his own favourite, Elizabeth, made the useful if insufficient suggestions of not refurnishing the drawing-room, cutting off some unnecessary charities and not bringing Anne her usual annual present from London.

Mr John Dashwood has nothing to say and wishes to leave the room to make sure that Mrs John Dashwood is not getting any interesting new ideas. He is thankful that his mother-in-law, Mrs Ferrars, resolutely opposes divorce.

Mr Woodhouse thinks it very sad that the couple have parted, but cannot comprehend the financial aspects of the case without Mr (George) Knightley's explaining it to him.

Mr Price marvels that F2 could have afforded the divorce at all in the first place.

General Tilney glories in F2's inadequate foresight in choice of a profession, the Army being always secure.

Mr Weston cannot entirely regret a total separation if it's for the good of the children. He is used to unreasonable demands, but thinks F2 surely has some legal recourse.

Sir Thomas Bertram thinks F2 precipitate in his consulting LW2, which ought to have been an absolute last resort.

Sir John Middleton can't comprehend the thought of divorcing, and wonders whether a bit more company would have fixed P2s' problems.

Mr John Knightley cannot approve of divorcing a wife, especially after undergoing so many of the miseries he imagines F2 to have suffered. Not marrying in the first place would have been something different.

Mr Bennet calculates that, whatever the amount of alimony, especially if she took Lydia and Kitty with her, he would be barely ten pounds per annum worse off without Mrs Bennet than with her. If he knew any pretty young women to replace his wife, he might be interested in the idea.

PFCE thinks this is a technical question.

L1: LW1 doesn't really like having a pre-gay son but resents F1's bullying more.

Mr John Kinghtley feels for LW1 somewhat, as he wants his boys to be hardy and cannot entirely approve of his father-in-law's treatment of them. He also would not have taken Miss Woodhouse without her thirty thousand pounds, but then he was a younger son.

Sir John Middleton thinks the boy will get anything untoward beaten out of him once he goes to school; what else are schools for?

Mr Price thinks LW1 is a wimp who ought to apply the strap himself.

Mr Woodhouse cannot understand why anyone would play roughly with boys or expect them to "man up". He is always careful, when little Henry or John asks for the use of his knife, to tell the little boys that knives are only for grandpappas, and marvels that they like their uncle's tossing them to the ceiling and catching them.

General Tilney will have to base his response on the information yet to be received about which of the men involved served in the Army, but he can hazard a guess.

Mr Bennet would be so overjoyed to have a son that he would not care about the boy's orientation. However, while Mrs Bennet would be even more overjoyed, she would insist on heterosexuality in him because of the entail of the family estate.

Sir Walter Elliot thinks that baronets may do as they please, so long as they pass on the estate as whole as they received it.

Mr John Dashwood only wishes that his wife's brothers had both turned out the way S1 appears to be headed. That would have enriched Fanny considerably.

Sir Thomas Bertram, concerned about the dues owed to society, would not sanction truly improper conduct were his son to exhibit such. He would always provide the lad with the maintenance that was his due, but would be wary of personal support of conduct outside the boundary.

Mr Weston would be naturally loath to see ill will in the treatment of F1, but cannot approve of LW1's attitude in the slightest, thinking that LW1 ought to be as proud of his son as any father could be.

PFCE advises LW1 and W1 that they have less time than they think in which to become comfortable with the possibility of having a gay child and indeed even the actuality. These days, middle school is not uncommon. Should they find that they cannot become comfortable, they would be better advised to be consistent, buy S1 off, and give him something to reject clearly and unconditionally rather than dangle conditional approval that finds him caught up in the web of seeking their approval for decades before he has the sense to give up.

That will serve as moral for today.

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