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|Appearances and Engagements...
Written by Moni
(9/17/2009 10:00 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Men of mystery, penned by Ivonne
Focussing on Edward (GR focus) and doubling back a bit, I can't help thinking that both Elinor and Marianne are disadvantaged in some ways, together, similarly. In both their cases, they are paid attentions by Edward and Willoughby, respectively, at different times, only to be abruptly discouraged away from it by matriarchal type power and influence figures.
In both cases, the attachment has formed rather quickly, and Edward and Elinor had come to the attention of her mother, who quickly assumed an attachment would result out of it. With Marianne and Willoughby, she assumes the same, only to have the same disappointment result from it.
Was she right in both cases to assume an attachment would follow? What brought about these thoughts is the exchange between Elinor and her mother, on the subject of engagements, and the appearance of them, in Chapter 15, which takes place after the latter has come out of her room.
Elinor says she doesn't need proof of Marianne and Willoughby's affections, but proof of their engagement. Yet her mother says she needs proof of neither. What is the rule of the day here? Was the appearance of engagement enough, or was Mrs Dashwood way behind the social mores, as her daughter seems to want more certainty?
Elinor seems to think an excuse for Willoughby to leave is to give the engagement some secrecy or concealment from Mrs Smith by quitting Devonshire for a little while. So it is all a bit up in the air, it seems. There is a great deal of mystery about at the moment in the novel!
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