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Hyacinth was portrayed as self-absorbed, and proud, but, did anyone else get the feeling that out of all the family characters portrayed by Fanny Fern, he was the one that ever got even close to being halfway nice to Ruth, and therefore, got the most favorable description of all the relatives? I feel that, at least as far as I have read, Hyacinth at times,is almost nice to Ruth, where the others are portrayed as caring nothing for her. Mabye in Fanny Fern's life, her brother was the only one of her ralatives that she didn't have a huge vengence for.

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2000


I also think that he was the only one that acted as if he cared for her. But he also could have acted that way knowing that she had some money while she was still married, but even after Harry died, for a short time he acted like he cared. To me he was very selfish, and by seeming to others that he cared he could possibly benefit himself in some way. But when Ruth was on the streets, Hyacinth didn't have anything to do with her. He wouldn't want to hurt his own image would he? I think that he only acted nice to her at times to benefit from it somehow!

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2000

I also thought that Hyacinth was halfway nice to Ruth, in the first reading that is. In the second reading, however, I noticed that Hyacinth wanted nothing to do with Ruth after the death of Harry. He would not provide Ruth with any money. I thought this was very poor of him to not support his grieving sister who had no way of making an income. He also did not ask Ruth and the girls to come live with him, because that would have lowered his social standing after he married a rich wife. I think that Ruth is all alone in this story and has no one to turn to.

-- Anonymous, February 10, 2000

What a guy, I think it just runs in the family. How lovely RUth managed to escape the selfishness of this family is unknown. Hyacinth is only a want-to-be social climber and God forbid if he would have shown the least bit of sympathy and kindness toward his sister after her Harry died. I believe he was trying to keep his place on the social ladder and Ruth was not his class of people now. Someone might talk about him and his low-life sister. If you really think about it, Ruth was left with two children and no means of support. Hyacinth basicly turned his back to her. What kind of person could do that.

-- Anonymous, February 11, 2000

In Ruth's young life I think she was striving for someone to love and for someone who would love her back so she would do anything to gain that love. Any little hint of kindness; therefore, would have been held onto to fulfill what she was missing in her life. Ruth on the other hand also realized Hyacinth's selfishness, but she also saw that he didn't really go out of his way to be cruel to her. So I think Fanny really didn't care to show much vengeance towards her brother as for let's say her inlaws who were constantly degratiing her.

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2000

I disagree with this statement. I can't recall a time when she spoke highly of him. If anything, her convictions were ones that had hope for kind treatment-yet he never gave any. She choose not to recognize him in the end either. I feel she pretty much knew she hadn't a chance with her family-if she did, it was conditional, not unconditional love. If he did show kindness, i would clasify it as a sense of duty, not necessarily kindness.

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2000

I feel that at the beginning of the book he was very negative toward Ruth just after Harry died I got the feeling that he felt as if she was just trying to get someones support so she did not have to work. But before he found out that Ruth was "Floy" he thought that "Floy's" work was very good and did not have any negative comments about her work. However after he found out that Ruth was "Floy" he began to make fun of her work at first, and then he after he found out how much everyone liked her work he became a very strong supporter of "Floy".

-- Anonymous, May 31, 2000

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