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|Ch. 17 - 19. I smell a rat!
Written by Rachel G
(9/19/2009 8:13 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, But what's wrong with him? :-), penned by kathleen (elder)
In the early chapters of the novel, at Norland, we saw Edward exclusively through the eyes of the Dashwood ladies. He seemed to have many good qualities, and being a fan of Elinor, I was disposed to approve of him.
Now when he visits Barton, we see him directly for the first time. Much of what we see is very likeable, but I also find myself wondering whether he is being entirely truthful and open.
His manner towards Elinor is greatly changed. From the first he behaves with coldness and reserve, and though he thaws considerably, things clearly are not right:
Then there's the matter of him flushing of "colouring". The first time is with his rather emotional response when Marianne says he is reserved. It seems like an over-reaction to me, especially for a man of good abilities and solid education who is in his early twenties. Makes me wonder whether he is embarrassed because he has something to hide.
It happens again during the business with the hair ring, when he seems decidedly shifty. In fact the whole episode strikes me as not quite right. Why would he be wearing a ring with his sister's hair when she is so determined to force him into a lifestyle which repels him? But if it *is* Fanny's then why is he embarrassed about it? If the hair is Elinor's then he probably has good reason to be embarrassed. How on earth did he get hold of it? - It seems rather underhand and creepy to me. At least when Willoughby acquired a lock of Marianne's hair she was well aware that he was doing so.
Throughout his stay at Barton Edward appears depressed for unspecified reasons, and he seems determined to leave, despite having no apparent reason for doing so. All in all, during his stay at Barton, Mr Edward Ferrars seems less like a man with an open, affectionate heart, and more like a man with something to hide.
Or am I being overly suspicious?
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