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Written by Stephanie
(10/12/2012 10:17 p.m.)
Mrs. Jennings! Can you read her monologues without smiling and shaking your head? Ch. 30 is a rich vein of *blinks* and *boggles*
"I won't disturb [Marianne] any longer, for she had better have her cry out at once and have done with it. The Parrys and Sandersons luckily are coming to-night, you know, and that will amuse her."
What? Have her cry out at once? Even if Marianne were just an ordinary teenager with a broken heart, as presumably Mrs. Jennings's Mary and Charlotte were once, would she think one cry would allow her to put such a disappointment behind her? And it being Marianne, who takes everything to heart, who expected to marry Willoughby and has just learned this morning that all hope is vain, means that anyone who can say her despair can be handled that quickly, knows her not at all!
And the company she offers as Marianne's palliation... Has Mrs. Jennings ever seen Marianne light up at the idea of card parties, or gossipy chat?
Then we see her offer Marianne delicacies and whatever news the rumour mill has ground out. She is so kind -- and her kindness has no traction at all, for it is not tailored to its target.
Then all this bit about Miss Grey's money being so necessary to Willoughby. How on Earth could anyone know THAT? They say he is all to pieces? They (whoever they are) make an educated guess, and state it as fact. They tell a good tale, and Mrs. Jennings repeats it, without ever questioning it.
Even when Elinor asks that Mrs. Jennings simply let Marianne sleep, she mentions 'naming her own supper.' Food is to be the treatment for the malady...
Then she assures Elinor that Sir John and her daughters would NEVER mention Willoughby in front of Marianne -- but even she does not REALLY believe that, for she finishes the sentence by saying she will tell them not to.
Then she describes Col. Brandon chuckling over the news! Does she know the Colonel even a little? He is truly as thoughtful and considerate as she claims her daughters and Sir John is, and would never be delighted that anyone is suffering.
In another post, I mentioned her descriptions of Delaford, lacking any attractions centering on the Col., whose good nature, high principles, and considerate feelings SHOULD be of the highest importance to someone like Marianne, just now suffering under very different treatment from a very different man. When he does show up, she proves that her longer knowledge of him has not given her half the insight into his character that Elinor has gained in less than a year's acquaintance!
And while her kindheartedness is shown in her thinking of everything she might do, I am with Elinor in seeing the exaggeration of her efforts, all in the wrong direction, with some little amusement, even as I am worried for Marianne. Col. Brandon, too, speaks of Marianne's sufferings, Elinor's burden under the news, and, knowing the two through observation better than Mrs. Jennings, his concern as he ponders if he can do anything to help is obvious.
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