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|Intro to Col Brandon - The Overshadowed Colonel
Written by Pennie
(9/19/2006 3:02 a.m.)
For my focus I am looking at Col Brandon. We are introduced to him in chapter 7 as being silent & grave. Sir John apologises to the young ladies for not being able to get much company in the form of smart young men, so right away we are given a sense that Col Brandon is not someone who could be expected to be of consequence to the Dashwoods. Mrs Jennings is given as a consolation to brighten up the company, not Col Brandon:
as she was a very cheerful, agreeable woman, he hoped the young ladies would not find it so very dull as they might imagine
Here the colonel is being overshadowed by Mrs Jennings.
The colonel however provides a good contrast to the other occupants of Barton Park. He is 'sensible', 'gentlemanlike', and is the only one to pay attention to Marianne's playing. She does notice this. Her appreciation of his taste however is once again overshadowed - this time by her thoughts that he is too old. Another poster has already commented on the hilarious lines she gives about his age. Due to his age and silent nature, Marianne believes him to be incapable of any feeling.
In chapter 8 Col Brandon is now an object of Mrs Jennings' jokes about matchmaking. Her intentions are good, however this has the effect of making him an object of scorn to Marianne who describes at his age and infirmity at great length. Once again any appreciation of him is overshadowed by eventual scorn. Poor Brandon! Not a good start.
We find in chapter 8 that we wears a flannel waistcoat. How practical of him!
Another poster mentioned how Edward is discussed at great length before we hear him speak, and I noticed some parallels between him and Col Brandon. Both are assumed to be in love with a woman by other women (Mrs D & Marianne/Mrs J), both are quiet but have gentlemanike manners, both do not make speeches until their 'love affairs' have been heavily discussed - Col Brandon does not make any speeches in these chapters, and both the women they are supposedly in love with deny any relationship. The difference is in the two women. Elinor laughs at others conjectures and tries to explain that they are not correct. Marianne is horrified, gets emotional, and insults the colonel.
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