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|What long speeches
Written by Tom P2
(10/18/2012 6:28 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, The engagement reveal--poor Elinor!, penned by Barbara
Barbara> Any thoughts on this?
Those two impromptu speeches, from "Yes. But I did not love only him" to "openly shewing that I was very unhappy", are prodigiously long. As well as having the "Poor Elinor" reaction, I think "Wow, Elinor!" because she's so very poised and articulate.
This is a compliment to Marianne, even if she doesn't realise it. It places her at the other end of the spectrum from Robert Ferrars, who doesn't deserve any rational opposition, as mentioned in another thread.
I like the contrasting themes of the two speeches. The first one is outward-looking, with reference to the rest of the world. When Marianne doesn't relate to that, Elinor changes tack, and we get the inward-looking second speech, which deals with feelings. This inward/outward separation is in line with another Elinor-ism, from back in chapter 17: "My doctrine has never aimed at the subjection of the understanding. All I have ever attempted to influence has been the behaviour."
It's just as well that Marianne's promise, not to speak with bitterness, only extended to Lucy and Edward. Otherwise, it would have been broken by the end of the chapter, carrying Elinor along too! Marianne's indignation burst forth as soon as he quitted the room; ..., they all joined in a very spirited critique upon the party.
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