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Old 11-20-2019, 09:09 AM   #75
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victoria View Post
I thought Helen felt genuine affection towards Rachael. However, there was an established hierarchy within the servant class as well. Helen was escaping with nothing but the few dollars in her pocket, and simply had no means to offer Rachael a position appropriate to her status. So asking if she’d seek another post was respectful, rather than presuming she’d take a job as ‘just as general servant’.
I shouldn't really hold Helen apart as especially self-absorbed in her treatment of servants as servants; I think being self-absorbed is a condition of her class. My real reason for focusing on Helen and Rachel is only that I think if Anne Brontė had meant this book as some sort statement about women's rights then the relationship between those two women would have been different, more equal. Instead, I'm inclined to think the book, from Anne's perspective, was probably about the dangers of drink and other excesses; that it wasn't women's rights that had to change, but that men should live responsibly (in the full Christian sense of that word). It is only a modern eye that tends to look at the story from the perspective of women's rights.
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