Mushrooms and Mansfield

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Mushrooms and Mansfield

Post  elephantastic on Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:55 am

In Greatness strikes where it pleases, the author uses the motif of mushrooms to show the humanity of his subject. As he compares various things to mushrooms, we the readers see his humanity through the way he sees the world.

"No don't Jug." Whispered Constantia, whipsering quite fiercely. If it is weak. And her pale stare flew from the locked writing table-so safe- to the huge glittering wardrobe, and she began to breathe in a queer panting way. "Why shouldn't we be weak for once in our lives, Jug? It's quite excusable. Let's be weak- be weak, Jug. It's much nicer to be weak than to be strong."

I found this passage to be an interesting contrast with the one that came after. Constantia is weak by being strong in a very strange way. Also, the line, "why shouldn't we be weak for once in our lives" struck me, because from my perspective it feels as if they have been weak for most of their lives. Also, the fear of the two sisters of the wardrobe felt half ridiculous and half sad, as if they've been controlled their whole lives.

elephantastic

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Re: Mushrooms and Mansfield

Post  MaryShelley on Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:33 am

What you are saying in your response is true, but you are not yet grappling w the text. In the passage you quote, the description of Constantia is particularly interesting and should be pointed out in making your point. "And her pale stare flew...and she began to breathe in a queer panting way." She is in a panic, her vision unsteady, almost hyperventilating. It is an altered state. Her terror is in the face of her father's "huge, glittering" almost magical "wardrobe." Even his things have power over her.

Yes, their notion that they are rarely weak is another example of the distortion of their perspective.

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