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|Colonel Brandon: A Dashing Figure?
Written by BarbaraB
(9/29/2009 3:29 p.m.)
During the first week of the group read, when Colonel Brandon first came on stage, I was thinking of how heíd been in the East Indies. Iím not sure that information was imparted to us at that time but with the knowledge already in my head, it occurred to me how romantic it sounded along with some other things we have now learned about him. The Colonel, in fact, is quite dashing in his own way.
1. He has traveled to foreign lands. I was disgusted with Willoughby and Marianne when they were ridiculing Brandonís time in the East Indies. When Elinor said that she had had informative conversations with the Colonel, Marianne contemptuously replied that the Colonel probably cited nothing more than the heat and mosquitoes. This shows how she is definitely being influenced by Willoughby who himself made fun of Brandonís time there. I love the scene in S&S 2 where the Colonel leans over to Margaret and says the air is full of spices. I realize the climate is hot and the mosquitoes are bad along with other problems, no doubt, but along with the S&S2 description of spices I imagine an unbelievable range of colorsófrom its silks, muslins, calicos to the mountains, areas of lushness, incredible sunrises and sunsets, and the varying skin tones, etc.---, plus the unique culture and building structures. The point is, the Colonel has been to a very exotic country/ies and I think Marianne would have been impressed if she had allowed herself to be. (An added thanks to the S&S Gazetter)
2. He is passionate. We have become aware of the fact that the Colonel was deeply in love and planned to elope. This is the kind of act that springs from oneís sensibility. He has obviously been carrying the scars of the rupture of his planned marriage and the eventual downfall of his lover after having given in to the pressure to marry the Colonelís brother. On top of that, he had to suffer the knowledge of her demise and further as a witness of her death. Beneath the gravity and silence is a completely different man than what the world sees. Elinor, because she has gotten to know him beyond what is on the surface, has already discerned a great deal even before she learns of his former love.
3. He has thrown down the gauntletó-fought a duel! I am not saying whether it was right or wrong but the illegality of it gives it an added dimension of intrigue. Who would have thought it?
Willoughby sweeps into the story bigger than life, so obviously dashing and turns out to be a scoundrel/villain. Brandon on the other hand, silent and grave, but always concerned for the feelings of others, is quietly just as dashing and romantic and manages it with dignity.
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