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|I wonder if ...
Written by Anselm
(9/10/2009 10:55 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Would you then say that ..., penned by Reeba
...Mrs Dashwood had picked up her sensibility, in which she is so obviously of the same mind as her daughter Marianne, in her youth (c1780-90) and had it indulged during her time with Henry, who perhaps made few practical demands on her of the type that would bring her "down to earth". She continues to display this blissful ignorance of mundane matters in the chapters we're reading this week, and it would be difficult to see how the habit of a lifetime will ever be broken. Meanwhile she indulges her daughter's similar tendancies, the fad for sensibility having shown no signs of abating during Marianne's youth in 1800-1810, although there had been a definite reaction against the excesses of this cult for some time.
In any case, it strikes me that there's a balance to be struck here (one which JA manages beautifully) between the experience of a young 16-17 year old girl with mixed-up hormones for whom everything is new and wonderful, and a middle-class fashion for emotional refinement, sometimes carried to excess - especially by just such a young, "eager" (JA's term in Ch.1) girl. Whatever we say about her, we can't forget either of these elements, so thanks to both Elizabeth K and Reeba for bringing both of these to mind.
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