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Written by Amy Marie
(10/8/2006 3:10 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, OMG, I completely agree!, penned by Amy Marie
Until fairly recently, I had regarded her as being almost flawless, especially when contrasted with Marianne, whose faults are so obvious and well documented we don't need to go over them here. Then I got a version of "Sense and Sensibility" with an introduction written by Margaret Anne Doody, which sort of opened my eyes a bit. Doody points out Elinor's less attractive qualities, such as her tendency to make snappy elder-sisterly-like remarks. In addition, Doody compares Elinor's love for Edward as being not really romantic love, but comparable to Mrs Ferrars' and Fanny Dashwood's protective, possessive solicitude for him. Nobody shoot me for that - they're not even my opinions, but Doody's!
I can see for myself what you mean about Elinor being judgemental and rather critical, especially of Lucy but also other characters such as the Palmers, Lady Middleton, and Mrs Jennings. She seems to have a very high opinion of herself and her own worth, almost amounting to conceit. However, most readers either don't pick up on this or don't blame her for it as her worth is genuinely high, especially in comparison with that of many other characters in the novel.
Overall, Elinor strikes me as rather uptight. I'd prefer to see a bit more spark. Lucy indeed, though her qualities are often refered to negatively - i.e. sly or cunning, is actually very clever and resourceful, and ingeniuous; especially if she is as conniving and manouevering as many down the thread have previously suggested: orchestrating the introduction to Sir John and Mrs Jennings, for example. And can she help it if she wasn't well educated. It's not her fault!
Even Elinor allows her natural cleverness.
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