By Nibs on
Monday, May 11, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Even if we say that Agnes made a mistake, of course she had always the best of intentions
I hardly think Agnes' habit of overlooking both her father's alcoholism and David's drunkenness can be due to good intentions. And waiting around for David when Agnes can find happiness elsewhere and David has clearly already found happiness - what good does that do? It's a clingingness and an inability to let go as much as it is loyalty.
Not only when she lets her father enter partnership with Uriah, but even a long after this, Agnes is not very sure that Uriah is a bad person, as she says to David, "he professes humility and gratitude - with truth, perhaps: I hope so"... She is afraid of him, but even David is more sure about Uriah's evil.
Here there are one of two situations because Uriah's evil is so obvious. Agnes is either in denial - ignoring and allowing the obvious in the hopes that everyone will just get along - or she is naive and proving to be a bad judge of character, which is also the source of all the mistakes made by David, Dora, Clara Copperfield, Emily, Mr. Wickfield, Betsey Trotwood, etc., etc. If that is the case we can also say that Agnes makes more mistakes than Peggotty, who knew Murdstone was evil immediately. It's not a good idea to try and classify mistakes because all mistakes are still mistakes.
It's fine to dislike Agnes' personality but not to claim she is "unreal". She laughs, cries, gets angry, gets embarrassed, makes poor decisions and mistakes, makes good decisions, turns into a pushover for the sake of keeping the peace, and feels and loves. I don't see how you can call that unreal, and it may be hard to imagine a real-life Agnes unless you've met one (I basically have). Dickens evidently met one in Mary Hogarth. Agnes is just as human as Dora, the only difference being that Agnes can actually handle things without freaking out. (Sorry Dora, but it's true.)