Group Response to Cranford V

From reading the last two instalments, I’ve found humour in observing how the ladies of Cranford entertain themselves. Given the tediousness of the town, even seemingly minor news from the outside world creates a huge stir among the ladies; whenever a visitor comes to town, the towns people raves with excitement and intrigue. Most of the ladies follow a repetitive monotonous routine, so any alterations to their repetitive lifestyles are exciting and talked about at length within the group.

Chapter 11 exemplifies how little excitement occurs in the town, as the Miss Pole, Miss Matty and Mary talk obsessively about the mysterious visitors that were taken into care by a lady they encountered on their journey to find the old knitting woman. Mary even describes the encounter as an adventure, as she is elated by what seems to be a fairly underwhelming experience. Miss Matty and Mary’s obsession is shown when they return home after talking to Miss Pole, as Mary says “We talked about it all the evening, turning it in every possible light, and we went to bed anxious for the morning, when we should surely hear from someone what Mr. Hoggins thought and recommended…”(82). Later on in the chapter, Miss Pole and Lady Glenmire get into an argument about whether there is any weight to the rumours of robberies occurring in Cranford, and it seems as if Miss Pole badly wants it to be true because it is so rare for something exciting like this to happen in the town.

Chapter 12 begins with Mary speculating as to whether or not Aga Jenkyns is actually Miss Matty’s brother Peter that ran away from Cranford at a young age. I find the backstory of Peter to be interesting, as he is a rather mysterious character up to this point, and I am curious to find out what condition he is in. At this point it is entirely possible that Mary is grasping at straws, as she along with the other ladies tend to seek out excitement and intrigue at every opportunity they can. Later on in the chapter, a rumour emerges that Lady Glenmire is engaged to Mr Hoggins. All of the ladies rave in excitement, as none of them are married, and love interests in this town are few and far between. Both of these chapters reaffirm the tediousness of the town, as even the slightest news excites the ladies.

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