F&H and Austen

hallieod at indigo.ie hallieod at indigo.ie
Fri Jan 10 06:44:09 EST 2003


Sallyo:

>  > Katta wrote:
>>  " I do wish Tom would have the sense to stay away from the romanticism at
>>  the very least
>>  until Polly has finished university."
>>
>>  In an ideal world yes, but in the world of F&H he'd have been at the
>bottom
>>  of Laurel's pool long before Polly's finals. Or would her platonic
>>  friendship have been enough to save him? "Tam Lin"'s line about saving
>your
>>  'true love' suggests otherwise...
>
>Why wouldn't she go to university anyway? And (shame on me) I don't remember
>what Polly was planning to do as a profession. Was university necessary for
>that?

I don't think the point was whether or not she'd have gone to 
university anyway - but rather that Tom's time would have run out if 
he'd waited for her to be old enough to be (appropriately) 
romantically involved.

Given the basis of the ballad, I don't think platonic friendship 
would have saved him - though if DWJ had wanted to re-write that 
aspect of it, no one better to do so!  But it is a problem in some 
ways, though I've never before heard of someone being turned off F&H 
*purely* because of the potentially abusive nature of the 
relationship.  For some reason, which I can't quite put my finger on, 
no matter how many re-reads I do, it never feels uncomfortable 
reading it.  The problem always seems to come up in discussions, when 
it's more an intellectual exercise of figuring out why this doesn't 
make it feel like a fantasy Lolita or something.  Possibly - and this 
is fairly flimsy as reasoning, I admit - it has something to do with 
the way we see through Polly's eyes, and see the friendship and 
shared heroism as most important, and developing before the sexual 
attraction.  And Tom never makes *her* feel uncomfortable; in fact, 
quite the opposite.

Nice that you de-lurked, Charlie!


Hallie.


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