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|Exactly formed to engage Marianne's heart? (long)
Written by Robbin
(9/12/2009 12:53 a.m.)
Marianne seems quite impressed with Willoughby who makes a horseless but dashing entrance and interesting exit in Ch. 9. In Ch. 3 poor Edward made a sad showing against some of Marianne’s ideas of what a young man ought to be lamenting “the more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love” so as of Ch. 10 how does Willoughby compare to Marianne’s dream man.
Marianne said of Edward, “his figure is not striking -- it has none of that grace” so her young man must cut a striking and graceful figure. Willoughby’s person is “uncommonly handsome” and he has “manly beauty and more than common gracefulness” and to Marianne “His person and air were equal to what her fancy had ever drawn for the hero of a favourite story” per Ch. 9.
Marianne thought Edward’s “eyes want all that spirit, that fire, which at once announce virtue and intelligence.” so her young man must be eager (like her) and gallant as in a favorite story. Willoughby carried “her into the house with so little previous formality, there was a rapidity of thought which particularly recommended the action to her” per Ch. 9 and he has “good abilities, quick imagination, lively spirits, and open, affectionate manners… not only a captivating person, but a natural ardour of mind” per Ch. 10.
Marianne feared Edward “has no real taste. …He admires as a lover, not as a connoisseur. To satisfy me, those characters must be united.” and Marianne declared “I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with my own.” In Ch. 10 ,“Their taste was strikingly alike. The same books, the same passages were idolized by each” but does he truly share her taste? The narrator also says “if any difference [of opinion] appeared, any objection arose …he acquiesced in all her decisions, caught all her enthusiasm”. To so easily give way suggests Willoughby tastes are not so firmly fixed despite any “raptures” he may have expressed.
Marianne lamented Edward’s lackluster reading - Oh mama! how spiritless, how tame was Edward's manner in reading to us last night!" so her young man must be passionate and animated in his speech—somewhat of an orator or actor? In Ch. 10 Marianne and Willoughby “read, they talked, they sang together; his musical talents were considerable; and he read with all the sensibility and spirit which Edward had unfortunately wanted” so he seems to have some natural talent for performing.
Marianne’s surprised me: “He must have all Edward's virtues, and his person and manners must ornament his goodness with every possible charm." Willoughby certainly has all possible outward charms but of his heart I think there is little to judge by. In Ch. 3 Marianne said " Edward is very amiable” and in Ch.4 "I have the highest opinion in the world of his goodness and sense. I think him everything that is worthy and amiable" and finally " I shall no more see imperfection in his face, than I now do in his heart" which seems another reflection on Edward’s goodness. No specific acts of goodness are related to compare to Willoughby so I ask has he done anything which does not seem good. I wonder about his always agreeing with Marianne as I stated above and I think his criticism of Col Brandon (Ch. 10) is not just or very kind and seems rather resentful. Is Willoughby plagued by an undercooked potato or does he resent the dear colonel and why?
Willoughby met Marianne’s criteria better than I would expect a random guy on a hill to do and even seems right in the home he will eventually inherit from his aunt because Allenham is their [Elinor & Marianne’s] favorite village and the house reminded “them a little of Norland” in Ch. 9. (:D)
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