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|Thoughts on Brandon
Written by James S.
(10/15/2006 11:15 a.m.)
CB has been a mystery to me. His passivity toward Marianne. He had a good deal of time to court her in the pre-Willoughby era. Yes, Marianne was luke warm, put off by his age. But he seemed easily discouraged. Why? Brandon has Delaford, has three thousand pounds yearly, as Mrs. Jennings points out (his champion), has had an excellent military career, is welcome in good social circles, and is now a gentleman of leisure with the means and time to provide for a family.
Yes, CB has been disappointed in love, but it happened long ago.
His story of Big Eliza and Little Eliza. You just have to throw up your hands with this man. He wants Eliza's child to have a different fate than her mother. So, he names her after her Mum? This illustrates better than anything Brandon's reluctance to get over things.
The time to tell the Dashwoods about Willoughby is when he learns of it, not months later. Yes, they may misunderstand. And Portugal may declare war on England. Take the consequences, but, above all, be decisive. CB chooses to fight a duel and not to tell Marianne. In other words, he chose to do something possibly illegal rather than face the prospect of a plain talk with the woman he loves.
Let us recall that CB left England when Eliza the First married his brother. Isn't this a bit of an overreaction? He could have moved to London, quietly kept tabs on the marriage, and been there when Eliza went to pieces. Brandon acts from emotion, rather than good sense. Ironically, he would be a good match for Marianne if he would exert himself.
I would like to have Brandon as an opponent in any kind of sporting match. If he lost, he would move to the next county. :)
His courtship of Marianne is perhaps the most indirect, most time consuming and wobbly in history. Like a wind up toy with one leg fallen off, Brandon may get there, eventually.
It should be said, that, in my opinion, JA enjoyed creating characters with feet of clay. Not heroes and heroines without a single fault. I have said all this about Brandon with, at the same time, affection for the character.
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