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|The difference in upbringing
Written by Elizabeth K
(9/10/2009 3:32 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Would you then say that ..., penned by Reeba
I am not suggesting that that is the case with every youth, and as there is similarity between Mama Dashwood and Marianne, perhaps Marianne will continue to think and act in the same vein as we have seen so far, in Chapters 1-8. My main point, however, is that Marianne is unlikely to stay the same as her 16-year-old self for the rest of her life; although perhaps her nature may generally be inclined towards that particular manner. I think an important point is the difference in the lives of Mrs Dashwood and Marianne: I cannot recall whether JA states the age at which Mrs Dashwood married but let us say that she married at age 21 or 22, and as she married a man of quite considerable property, she clearly comes from a fairly privileged family. In which case, Mrs Dashwood has spent roughly half of her life as the rich wife of a man belonging to the gentry. Up until the point of their move to Barton Cottage, she has had servants to do everything for her and has not had to trouble her thoughts as to mundane everyday concerns. JA tells us that she is a woman who "had never saved in her life".
My point here is life experience and life lessons. As the Dashwoods have been thrown onto quite hard times now and they must learn to economise on such luxuries to which they were accustomed at Norland, Marianne is more likely, in my very humble opinion, to learn more about the world and (to use that phrase again!) life experience than Mrs Dashwood. As we all know, a middle to upper class genteel Regency woman's job was to make a good marriage and although Marianne will still be expected to marry as well as she possibly can, I am willing to bet that she might learn a lot more life lessons and grow up along the path to matrimony than Mama Dashwood did.
This experience may teach Marianne a bit of the real world and that there is grey and red and blue and every other colour of the rainbow between the plain black and white that her 16 and 17-year-old self sees. As I said, Marianne is at an easily influenced age and whether she continues to follow the ‘cult’ of sensibility or not depends, in part, on the type of life she leads from this point on. Her mother was brought up as a lady of leisure; Marianne might not be so fortunate.
However, this is just my conjecture and speculation. Maybe Marianne will retain the type of thoughts and feelings which she has at the beginning of S&S. We’ll just have to wait until the end to find out! :-)
And thank you for linking Barbara's very interesting post, BTW. I had already read it earlier and there is much in it on which to mull over and discuss.
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