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|Marianne needs a SUTH!
Written by Mary Anne
(9/25/2006 7:59 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Marianne resolved to undervalue Brandon's merits, penned by Barbara
"Brandon is just the kind of man," said Willoughby one day, when they were talking of him together, "whom every body speaks well of, and nobody cares about; whom all are delighted to see, and nobody remembers to talk to."
"That is exactly what I think of him," cried Marianne.
It's clever the way Austen can show in one line from Marianne how she goes from being a young lady of very decided opinions (wrongheaded, a good many of them, but decided nonetheless) to parroting whatever nonsense Willoughby chooses to spout. And if I had a parrot like that, I'd take it back to the pet store and demand a refund. ;-)
It's ironic that hardly two paragraphs earlier, we see this:
"Marianne began now to perceive that the desperation which had seized her at sixteen and a half, of ever seeing a man who could satisfy her ideas of perfection, had been rash and unjustifiable." [italics added] Did I say Austen was clever? Make that brilliant: such economy of language and a maximum of ironic foreshadowing, plus humour.
Yes, Marianne is definitely making herself agreeable to Willoughby by chiming in with whatever he says. But it's a bit chilling to think how short a time it's been since she was willing to listen respectfully to Brandon and afforded him some compassion. Willoughby is definitely a bad influence on her.
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