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|Detecting the Miss Dashwoods
Written by Robbin
(10/28/2012 8:54 p.m.)
When Elinor and Marianne are at Gray’s the second lady is immune to her surroundings but Elinor notices “three or four very broad stares” (33) are bestowed on them by a certain puppy, Robert Ferrars. After “bestowing another glance on the Miss Dashwoods” he “walked off with an happy air of real conceit and affected indifference” (33). In the past I have taken this as Robert’s usual winning way with women but John’s sudden appearance at Elinor’s side suggests otherwise. I never noticed it before but I think Robert’s real conceit and affected indifference is because he recognized them as John’s sisters and enjoyed knowing who they were while they knew not his identity. It reminds me of his feelings after stealing Lucy from Edward: “He was proud of his conquest, proud of tricking Edward, and very proud of marrying privately without his mother's consent” (50). Robert is so darn smug!
How did Robert recognize Elinor and Marianne? I have never heard of it but John might possess a likeness of his sisters that Robert has seen, nor have I heard that Robert interrogated the clerk at Grey’s counter or that John pointed his sisters out to Robert and then, rattled at their sudden appearance, slipped away unnoticed to gather his wits and excuses before presenting himself to Elinor. All this surely could be but I think it was mostly Edward’s doing. John told Elinor that Edward told them, John, Fanny, Robert and Mrs. Ferrars I assume, “a most charming account” of Barton Cottage. It being the “most complete thing of its kind…that ever was, and you all seemed to enjoy it beyond anything” (33). I think Edward’s must have said a great deal about Elinor and company, especially Elinor. I imagine Edward described too much, to passionately just as he did before alerting Lucy to Elinor’s existence.
How’s that? (:D)
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