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|Why do we see so little of Edward Ferrars?
Written by Tess
(9/18/2012 8:09 a.m.)
Edward and Elinor are said to be attached in chapter three. Her mother "loves him already" in chapter three. Elinor gives him high praise and Marianne considers them engaged in chapter four. Meanwhile, we still haven't heard him say a single word! They are separated in chapter five, and then he speaks (to ask where the Dashwoods' new house is).
In fact, Edward is such a non-presence in the very first chapters, that filmmakers have practically no choice except to compensate with scenes that are not in the book. There are no scenes in the book. At all.
I don't want to step in Austenuations territory, so I'll just say that in other novels, we usually get some dialogue and characerization for the hero, so why don't we get any here? I don't think that Austen was still mastering her craft, because Northanger Abbey preceded Sense and Sensibility and the hero of that novel is very well fleshed out. So, she must have done it on purpose. Of course, these are still the early chapters, so Edward may get character development later.
The dialogue between Elinor and Marianne in chapter four is interesting in itself. They are talking about Edward. Elinor is giving him what is, for her, unusually warm praise. Marianne seems to think he is deficient is taste, whatever that means. (Not cultured enough?) She doesn't want to insult her sister, though, so she doesn't say as much as she thinks (which is rare for her, but she doesn't do a bad job, so I suppose she could tell the occasional white lie if she really wanted to and practised a little). And one cannot easily fathom if Elinor is the one who is prejudiced in favor of Edward (being in love) or if Marianne is too judgemental and fastidious, as usual.
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