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|Farewell to Norland.
Written by Rachel G
(9/8/2009 6:19 a.m.)
Many were the tears shed by them in their last adieus to a place so much beloved. "Dear, dear Norland!" said Marianne, as she wandered alone before the house, on the last evening of their being there; "when shall I cease to regret you? -- when learn to feel a home elsewhere? -- Oh happy house! could you know what I suffer in now viewing you from this spot, from whence perhaps I may view you no more! -- And you, ye well-known trees! -- but you will continue the same. -- No leaf will decay because we are removed, nor any branch become motionless although we can observe you no longer! -- No; you will continue the same; unconscious of the pleasure or the regret you occasion, and insensible of any change in those who walk under your shade! -- But who will remain to enjoy you?"
I'm sure that Marianne's sadness is real, but this passage makes me feel that there is something not quite authentic about it all. Perhaps it is the fact that she is expressing herself in poetry rather than normal language.
They are all sad at leaving Norland. Margaret has spent most of her life there, Mrs Dashwood is leaving behind the last resting place of her beloved husband, and Elinor is being parted from a man for whom she cares deeply, leaving him among people who are dead set against their relationship. In fact Marianne has less of substance to leave behind than any of them, but it is Marianne who we are forced to 'watch', acting out her tragedy.
Yes I know she is actually on her own here, and I totally understand the impulse to be wander alone and feel the emotions. I do try to sympathise with Marianne, especially as she is so immature, but part of me finds her deeply irritating and wants to snarl “Drama Queen!”
Frankly I would rather be shown how Elinor is feeling at this time. Probably she is too busy protecting her mother from Fanny's insincerity and nastiness to wallow in sadness, and falls asleep determined to face the future with a positive attitude.
(Yes I am prejudiced – does it show?)
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