Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
Written by Chandra S
(10/8/2012 4:48 p.m.)
It almost seems true, betimes, that old Mrs. Bennet was right - "those who do not complain are never pitied." I confess in all of my previous readings of S&S, I had never felt really terribly sorry for Elinor. I mean, yes, she liked a boy, and yes, she found that he was not available, but so goes the world, etc., etc. She behaves so well, and exerts herself pretending to be okay so effectively, that even I was taken in. This reading I paid much more particular attention to the beginning of Ch. 26, in the carriage:
"Elinor... could not witness the rapture of delightful expectation which filled the whole soul and beamed in the eyes of Marianne, without feeling how blank was her own prospect, how cheerless her own state of mind in the comparison, and how gladly she would engage in the solicitude of Marianne's situation to have the same animating object in view, the same possibility of hope.
JA is so subtle here - first with the very subdued, limited description of Elinor and Edward at Norland Park, then with the descriptions of Elinor's reactions to his visit and Lucy's attacks - that I almost fell for it as gullibly as Marianne and Mrs. D. She does not seem to be "violently in love" and she does not seem to be heartbroken, so it does not seem so very tragic.
Reading the passage above is the first time I was ever truly struck with the sadness of her situation - she does love him, she not only knows that she can never marry him but she also can not share her sadness with any other living person. That sadness finally strikes me as truly sad.
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.