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|Uniquely suited to each other
Written by Robbin
(10/23/2012 10:13 a.m.)
The whole family perceived it [Edward’s not being in spirits], and Mrs. Dashwood, attributing it to some want of liberality in his mother, sat down to table indignant against all selfish parents. (17)
There is a pleasing kind of similarity and counter balances in Elinor’s and Edward’s situations that I think has made them a good match. They are each the odd one out in their family of a mother and two siblings. They each, if we can forgive Edward the youthful folly of Lucy, seem to deal with life in a more rational manner than their intimate family members. Of course Elinor is listened to, her input valued and is often able to persuade while I think poor Edward’s suggestions likely, more often than not, fell on death ears. Unlike Edward, Elinor is much beloved although her rational outlook, calm temper and desire to govern her feelings often puzzle her mother and sisters. Edward’s family is equally puzzled by his unaccountable loyalty to his own ideas, disdain for fashion and lack of ambition (19) but unlike Mrs. Dashwood’s example, Mrs. Ferrars strives to bring Edward around to her way of thinking. I assume Edward has weathered a great deal of badgering and wheedling as Mrs. Ferrars’ whimsy dictates. Elinor must deal with her sisters and Mrs. Dashwood’s excess sensibility and refusal to govern their emotions—this effectively prevents Elinor from confiding in them (23) after Lucy reveals the engagement. She understands there is no comfort to be found in their excesses even if they are on her behalf. Edward must deal with the absence of natural emotions and an incredible lack of sensibility in his family. From their attitude after his disinheritance (37) it seems likely had they perceived Edward’s isolation it might have been thought just punishment for his intellectual independence. Their families’ behavior could not be more different yet often had the same effect of isolating, to different degrees, Elinor and Edward. Now that Edward is free (48) I hope he wastes no time securing Elinor’s hand. I think Miss Austen has created them to be uniquely suited for each other. (:D)
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