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|Marianne and the language of absolutes
Written by Barbara
(9/10/2009 1:48 a.m.)
Something I am really noticing in this group read is how often Marianne will speak or think in absolute terms. That is, she thinks in terms of 'always' or 'never' and will not admit that there can be any grey area or differing opinion.
Here are a few examples I found in the first section:
(Ch. 3 I ) could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with my own.
...the more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love.
(Ch. 4) the kind of approbation which Elinor described as excited in him by the drawings of other people, was very far from that rapturous delight, which, in her opinion, could alone be called taste.
(Ch. 7) ...in the opinion of Marianne and Margaret [Colonel Brandon was ]an absolute old bachelor...
His pleasure in music, though it amounted not to that extatic delight which alone could sympathize with her own, was estimable when contrasted against the horrible insensibility of the others; and she was reasonable enough to allow that a man of five-and-thirty might well have outlived all acuteness of feeling and every exquisite power of enjoyment.
So to Marianne, there is only one kind of taste that is good taste (the same as her own) and only one way to express it. Someone who does not have the same feelings she has does not have any true or proper feelings, and the only man she could love must have every single quality she is looking for, or no one will do.
She is seeing the world in very black and white terms with absolutely no grey area and no allowance for any difference of taste, feeling opinion, etc.
It's interesting to me that Marianne, while younger, is far more sure of her opinions than Elinor is, even though their mother relies on Elinor's advice.
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