Literature/Passage based questions
What is meant by "methods and concerns" here? Please help.Thanks.
JANE AUSTEN: Sense and Sensibility
Write a critical appreciation of the following passage, relating it to Austen’s methods and concerns in the novel as a whole.
The young ladies went, and Lady Middleton was happily preserved from the frightful
solitude which had threatened her. The insipidity of the meeting was exactly such as
Elinor had expected; it produced not one novelty of thought or expression, and
nothing could be less interesting than the whole of their discourse both in the diningparlour
and drawing-room: to the latter, the children accompanied them, and while
they remained there, she was too well convinced of the impossibility of engaging
Lucy’s attention to attempt it. They quitted it only with the removal of the tea-things.
The card-table was then placed, and Elinor began to wonder at herself for having
ever entertained a hope of finding time for conversation at the Park. They all rose up
in preparation for a round game.
‘I am glad,’ said Lady Middleton to Lucy, ‘you are not going to finish poor little
Annamaria’s basket this evening; for I am sure it must hurt your eyes to work
filagree by candlelight. And we will make the dear little love some amends for her
disappointment to-morrow, and then I hope she will not much mind it.’
This hint was enough; Lucy recollected herself instantly and replied, ‘Indeed, you
are very much mistaken, Lady Middleton; I am only waiting to know whether you can
make your party without me, or I should have been at my filagree already. I would
not disappoint the little angel for all the world; and if you want me at the card-table
now, I am resolved to finish the basket after supper.’
‘You are very good; I hope it won’t hurt your eyes – will you ring the bell for some
working candles? My poor little girl would be sadly disappointed, I know, if the
basket was not finished to-morrow, for though I told her it certainly would not, I am
sure she depends upon having it done.’
Lucy directly drew her work-table near her, and reseated herself with an alacrity and
cheerfulness which seemed to infer that she could taste no greater delight than in
making a filagree basket for a spoilt child.
Lady Middleton proposed a rubber of casino to the others. No one made any
objection but Marianne, who, with her usual inattention to the forms of general
civility, exclaimed, ‘Your ladyship will have the goodness to excuse me – you know I
detest cards. I shall go to the pianoforte; I have not touched it since it was tuned.’
And without further ceremony, she turned away and walked to the instrument.
Lady Middleton looked as if she thanked heaven that she had never made so rude a
Methods means the writing choices that the author uses, including atmosphere (mood), tone (word choice), literary devices, syntax, dialogue, characterization, point of view, etc. Also, what do these choices add to the meaning of what the author is trying to say?
Concerns means author's purpose and theme. What does Austen say about life and human nature in the novel, and what is it about this passage that best exemplifies that?
I hope this helps.