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|JA seems to have favoured reserve
Written by Tracy W
(9/25/2005 8:03 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Silence about the engagement, penned by Ann G.
JA seems to have favoured reserve about love matters. In P&P Jane decides not to talk about Bingley and Elizabeth respects that decision, but Mrs Bennet does not. In S&S Elinor, who keeps quiet about what she is suffering because of Edward Ferrars, seems to have JA's respect for that, while Marianne is shown as causing herself a serious illness by indulging her emotions.
Also in S&S, Elinor is portrayed as doing a good thing by persuading Mrs Jennings and others not to mention Willoughby to Marianne after he breaks her heart.
I see the value of talking things through, but it doesn't always help. Once I, like Anne, gave up something I wanted very much for a family matter. (Unlike Anne I had no need to be persuaded into the decision, in fact I made my mind up as soon as I could think straight.) I don't regret it even now, but though the benefits far outweighted the costs, the costs were still very real. And I couldn't cope with people bringing them forcefully to my attention. Several times I had to leave the room when faced with family members praising my decision and even crying brought no relief. What did work was getting back to work and having other things to think about. Perhaps it would have been better to talk things out, but it was more than I could bear at the time. (I did talk to several confidants about my emotions about the event that caused my decision, and that was helpful.)
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