Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
Written by Jan
(9/30/2006 7:17 a.m.)
Looking back at previous chapters, there are several occasions when Elinor doubts Edward's feelings for her. In CH4 she says "I am by no means assured of his regard for me" and we are told "the longer they were together, the more doubtful seemed the nature of his regard; and sometimes, for a few painful minutes, she believed it to be no more than friendship."
His farewell to Elinor was the same as to Marianne and he avoided being left alone with Elinor.
After all that, she doesn't expect him to come to Barton soon as she tells her mother that the spare room is not likely to be needed for some time.
Then at the end of chapter 16 he arrives and perhaps at this point, Elinor feels a moment of happiness as this is a sign that he does care for her. The moment can't have lasted more than a few minutes though because
"On Edward's side, more particularly, there was a deficiency of all that a lover ought to look and say on such an occasion. He was confused, seemed scarcely sensible of pleasure in seeing them, looked neither rapturous nor gay, said little but what was forced from him by questions, and distinguished Elinor by no mark of affection."
Then he says he has already been in Devonshire for 2 weeks. It's Marianne who expresses surprise on hearing that but Elinor must have felt that as a blow surely. He says that he was staying with friends near Plymouth. What must Elinor have made of that news as she tried to digest it? Would she be thinking....'What friends? Not such close friends that they've ever been mentioned before but obviously more important than me... in Plymouth? He must have passed within 4 miles of my front door 2 weeks ago in order to get to Plymouth but didn't come to see me.'
I know we aren't told the train of Elinor's thought but,
"His coldness and reserve mortified her severely: she was vexed and half angry; but resolving to regulate her behaviour to him by the past rather than the present, she avoided every appearance of resentment or displeasure.."
After all the feelings of doubt she had before about Edward's affection for her, the news that he had almost passed her door, coupled by his behaviour must have compounded those doubts and I wonder if at this point (end of CH16) she has even a glimmer of hope that her feelings for him are reciprocated.
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.