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Thread: Wickham??? Please Help!!!

  1. #1
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    Question Wickham??? Please Help!!!

    I have to do this chart thing explaining the changes in Elizabeth, Jane and Wickham, for my english class.
    in the first volume, does wickham propose to miss knig????
    my teacher said that he does, and i didnt think so.
    so im really confused right now.
    if he does, please give me a page number because i need to provide support!!!(ugh)

  2. #2
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
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    Admittedly, in chapter 27 in a conversation about Wickham and Miss King between Elizabeth Bennet and her aunt Mrs Gardiner, it does say: 'If [Miss King] does not object to it, then why should we?', but I don't think that is any proof that he proposed.

    Attentions and attachments were quite clear things to the community that nearly always ended in a proposal. If that was accepted or not was the question, though. But, an engagement was only announced after it was accomplished, and not earlier. So it seems quite unlikely that, seen the embarrassment of a 'no' from Miss King, the news of a mere proposal of Mr Wickham would have got out. The law of discretion would not have allowed that because it woud have hurt Mr Wickham's honour. Remember how Lizzie deals with her 'no' to Mr Darcy: she tells nothing of it to Carlotte, although she is her friend. Mr Darcy also tells no-one, because it is embarrassing. Why would a Miss King then go and tell the rest of the community about a proposal of Mr Wickham? If she has accepted it, she could, but then remains the question why they broke it off. That was certainly an affront, even worse than a mere 'no'.

    It is liable that something did happen, however, later or earlier than the conversation and that Mrs Gardiner and her niece are just discussing something as gossip always does... Discussing without any material proof, but supposing that Miss King is going to get a proposal of Wickham.

    I don't quite agree with your teacher.

    By the way: page numbers are quite impossible to give... Different editions can have different page numbers. Better to give the chapter number. You can look it up on this forum by clicking on the 'searchable text' button and then looking for a particular word. Or click on the chapter and then do 'crtl f' (crtl-button, hold it in and then press the f-key, a box should come up somewhere that gets you the opportunity to search the exiting page for a particular word). Volumes are also not the same in every edition, better give the range of chapters. Hoping I helped you
    Last edited by kiki1982; 12-03-2009 at 04:45 AM.
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'me ne se vide ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scne VII)

  3. #3
    Woman from Maine sciencefan's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    I did a text search for miss king here:
    but I didn't find anything that would help you.

    Chapter 27-
    "Mrs. Gardiner then rallied her niece on Wickham's desertion, and complimented her on bearing it so well.

    ``But, my dear Elizabeth,'' she added, ``what sort of girl is Miss King? I should be sorry to think our friend mercenary.''

    ``Pray, my dear aunt, what is the difference in matrimonial affairs, between the mercenary and the prudent motive? Where does discretion end, and avarice begin? Last Christmas you were afraid of his marrying me, because it would be imprudent; and now, because he is trying to get a girl with only ten thousand pounds, you want to find out that he is mercenary.''

    ``If you will only tell me what sort of girl Miss King is, I shall know what to think.''

    ``She is a very good kind of girl, I believe. I know no harm of her.''

    ``But he paid her not the smallest attention, till her grandfather's death made her mistress of this fortune.''

    ``No -- why should he? If it was not allowable for him to gain my affections, because I had no money, what occasion could there be for making love to a girl whom he did not care about, and who was equally poor?''

    ``But there seems indelicacy in directing his attentions towards her, so soon after this event.''

    ``A man in distressed circumstances has not time for all those elegant decorums which other people may observe. If she does not object to it, why should we?''

    ``Her not objecting, does not justify him. It only shews her being deficient in something herself -- sense or feeling.''"

    I'm thinking of the conversation Lizzy's sisters have with her when they meet her at the Inn on her way back from her stay with Charlotte after she's married.
    ah... found it... chapter 39

    "There is no danger of Wickham's marrying Mary King. There's for you! She is gone down to her uncle at Liverpool; gone to stay. Wickham is safe.''

    ``And Mary King is safe!'' added Elizabeth; ``safe from a connection imprudent as to fortune.''

    ``She is a great fool for going away, if she liked him.''

    ``But I hope there is no strong attachment on either side,'' said Jane.

    ``I am sure there is not on his. I will answer for it he never cared three straws about her. Who could about such a nasty little freckled thing?''

    Elizabeth was shocked to think that, however incapable of such coarseness of expression herself, the coarseness of the sentiment was little other than her own breast had formerly harboured and fancied liberal!"

    In my opinion, Wickham, was attempting to court Miss King. If there had been a broken engagement, I think the girls would have gossiped about IT also. As it is, Elizabeth declares that Mary King is safe from any further mercenary efforts by Wickham. And there is no great disgrace to gossip about.

    "There is no danger of Wickham's marrying Mary King."
    If he had proposed to her and they were engaged, this language would have been different. Austen might have said, "Wickham's engagement to Mary King has been broken!" or some such thing. I understand Austen is subtle, but assuming there was an engagement probably goes a bit too far.

    Also... "Wickham is safe."
    Safe from what? Safe from the possibility of becoming engaged.

    Although I grant you, it's possible he could have proposed and she got whisked away after he asked for her hand, but it's more likely a prudent relative saw the vulture and shuttled her away... since his modus operandi was elopement.
    Last edited by sciencefan; 12-03-2009 at 09:57 AM.
    I became a widow in April of 2009.

  4. #4
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
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    Iagree. Thank you for the additional info .
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'me ne se vide ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scne VII)

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