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|Dashwood Sisters, chapters 9 to 16
Written by Robbin
(9/30/2006 1:18 a.m.)
It was nice to find so much of Margaret in chapters nine to sixteen; although a surprise it was a pleasant one. Marianne and Margaret seem to have a good relationship and I do not think it is surprising since they both take after their mother in their sensibilities. During their walk in Chapter 9 Marianne leads Margaret along extolling the natural wonders around them and Margaret is a rapt and agreeable to her sister’s directions. I thought this was sweet and rather childlike—walking against the wind, turning their faces to the sun and running down the steep hill with all possible speed with of course lots of laughter I think.
It is obvious from the Mr. F incident in Chapter 12 that Marianne and Margaret talk, and I suspect Marianne may enjoy being a big sister although this particular incident did not turn out well. I think it is evidence of their good relationship that Marianne lets Willoughby have a lock of her hair in front of Margaret, that or she is so engrossed in Willoughby that she does not remember her. Margaret seems unable to keep a confidence and just like the Mr. F incident she cannot keep what she saw of Marianne and Willoughby to herself and tells Elinor.
Elinor has a much different relationship with Margaret than Marianne and there are no mutual feelings of childlike companionship about it; the only situation in which we see them react to each other is when Margaret tells Elinor about the lock of Marianne’s hair. Margaret begins by telling Elinor that Marianne and Willoughby will marry soon to which Elinor points out it is something she says a lot without any evidence. At first, Elinor is also skeptical about what Margaret saw with regards to Marianne giving him a lock of hair but is finally persuaded. Elinor treats Margaret like a child, a big-sister relationship verging on a mother-daughter relationship perhaps because Elinor feels she must be very sensible to make up for her mothers frequent lapses in sense.
In these chapters, Elinor is more and more chiding and advising Marianne to no avail—the more in love Marianne becomes the wilder she gets with Willoughby—he is definitely a bad influence--Queen Mab, the visit to Allenham and Marianne joining Willoughby in abusing Brandon in Chapter 10 are the worst offenses IMO. Elinor and Marianne seem to be growing apart as sisters in chapters nine to sixteen because Marianne is so focused on Willoughby which is natural to some degree; she is also oblivious to Elinor’s feelings while in the mist of Willoughby. In Chapter 11, “This was the season of happiness to Marianne. Her heart was devoted to Willoughby…” and “Elinor's happiness was not so great. Her heart was not so much at ease…”
Elinor must try to act as an advisor to Marianne because Mrs. Dashwood is completely useless in managing her and I have a very great feeling she would act the same way herself. I think Elinor’s role at times seems to be almost a surrogate for her mother and it takes away from her relationship with her sisters, doing the most harm to Elinor and Marianne’s relationship. I feel it takes away from the sharing of experiences to some extent—it also does not help them with their problems understanding each others character and behavior. I think both Elinor and Marianne have strong feelings for the other and when Willoughby leaves Elinor is deeply concerned for Marianne. I think the most affectionate moment for me between the sister’s during these chapters was when Marianne pulls herself out of her grief to be happy for Elinor when Edward arrives in Chapter 16. :D
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