An evil mother tries to force her daughter into a harmful marriage. Mrs. Susan was selfish, cruel and manipulative. She abused her children, betrayed her friends, and threw her weight around in horrible ways. Her original marriage plot fails, and Jane Austen fails to punish her for the shame and self-knowledge that the reader expects until the end of the novel. This may be because she is a bit of a fan of this deceitful and dour-headed character herself. After all, Lady Susan wielded power primarily to destroy other people’s homes and to try to torture her own daughter. In this work, Austen seems to divide herself into two parts. On the one hand, she delightedly displays the vital energy of a gifted, Bohemian lady, while at the same time rejecting the sexiness and selfish desires of her heroine’s story.
Mrs. Susan hopes to find another school for her daughter unless she gets married soon. Sympathetic Aunt Catherine had no idea of Mrs. Susan’s intentions, but she suspected that Frederica had had other reasons for dropping out of school than, as her mother claimed, an impatient attempt to escape the teacher’s education. And she believes that if you neglect early education, it will be difficult for children to make up for it when they grow up. Frederica stayed. She had a piano to play, but her aunt seldom heard her play. Similarly, there are many books in her room. But, she says, as a girl who has been running wild for the past 15 years, she can’t read them and won’t. Of course, what she said might be true, and Jane would probably agree with that. However, in this novel, Jane Austen’s purpose is not to talk about educational theory, but to expose the cruelty and hypocrisy of Lady Susan.
From the perspectives of Mrs. Susan, Mrs. Vernon, Mrs. Johnson, Master Reginald and other protagonists, the novel reveals the characters’ relations and ugliness, good and evil, and embodies the writing characteristics of the coexistence of multiple morality and the echo of narrators and their voices.