Você está na página 1de 1

A TERRIBLE TIME TO BE ALIVE LETTER TWO

Letter written in Cairns, in November Aunt fay has just finished a novel and for emphasis, asks for forgiveness of a certain overexcitement she repeats the word wonderful many time to show her emotions. She underestimated Alice in the first letter and has to pay 500 for a bet. Alices decision to buy a word processor with the money alarms her since she believes it must somehow interfere with the creative process. If God had meant us to type, wed have a keyboard instead of fingers shows her one of her argument against the word processer. She advices Alice throughout the letter not to buy it. Muse is a symbol for creativity and stimulus and Aunt Fay personifies this concept. It is prodding with a bony finger the writer leaning over his or her shoulder. Cities Virginia Woolfs comment about the Angel of the House, a stereotyped, very acceptable image for the perfect woman and mother. (the citation in page 24 explains it very well) This is followed by a comment about Jane Austen. She suggests that Lady Susan is different from Austens other works because it is not conventional as her other books. Fay suggests that she was chided by her family in order to keep Jane Austen respectable, ladylike and unalarming. Fay talks about how writers must respond to their time. She points out that the personality of the writer does not matter but the time in which the writer writes does. The writer must write out of a time (the setting) whether its for or against that period and must have the knowledge about it. She also shows that readers cannot appreciate the works of an author since their response come from their own life and experiences. Fay encourages Alice to understand how Austen may have been more radical than she is generally credited: Do not be misled: she is not ignorant, merely discreet: not innocent, merely graceful. She uses Pride and Prejudice as an example of a novel that challenges the social beliefs of the time. Fay suggests that we with Austen have agreed that Elizabeth should marry for love, unlike Charlotte who married out of necessity. This is shown as challenging the conventions of the society at that time; women did not marry for love during that time. Compares the living conditions of Austens period and Weldons period. Jane Austens period was described as A place without detergents or tissues or tarmaced roads or railway train, or piped water, let alone electricity or gas or coal; where energy was provided by coal, and wood, and the muscle of human beings, and that was all. She described Weldons period as nothing like Austens period, showing a great difference between the two societies of different times (200yrs difference) but same place. Fay persuades Alice in this letter to change her views on Mrs Bennet. She described Mrs Bennet as a woman who made a fool of herself because her politeness warredwith desperation. Mrs Bennet was justified by Fay as she said in her letter, No wonder Mrs Bennet, driven half-mad by anxiety for her five unmarried daughters, knowing they would be unprovided for when her husband died, as indeed would she, made a fool of herself in public, husband-hunting on her girls behalf. Fay then moves on to say the necessity of marriage during that time then talks about the negative aspects of marriage between 1650 and 1850, once the woman has married. She basically described that married women were her husbands property and she did not have any right. He could beat her if he wants, could divorce her if she committed adultery but she could not divorce him if he committed the same sin, etc. (page 31 middle paragraph) She talks more about a married womans role in life, comparing it between the rich and the poor. In both cases, the results were pretty much the same except for the fact that the rich woman had less work to do around the house, since she has maids and servants than the poor woman, who had to work to support her family. She then ends the letter saying that Alices mother has written to her after many ears. She admits that she is a feminist and says that she knows that Alices father feels that she is dangerous to the structure of society in general and marriage in particular.