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|GR: Well you all...
Written by Tori Marie
(8/11/2003 1:03 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR Elinor's strength, penned by Barbara
...have convinced me. Sorta. ;-) I made a note about how her father's death seemed to have forced Elinor into a parental role but having read all your posts, I now think it must not be entirely new. However, I do think that Mr. Dashwood's death has both put greater emphasis on this situation and made it of much greater import.
] ...I rather tend to think that Elinor had to be the adult from a very young age...
I agree that Elinor must have always been a very responsible and sensible child. It's such a strong facet of her character that it would have come through, as you say, very early in life. It also seems to me that this is one of those character traits that will exert itself, whether it is wanted or not. ;-)
] ...and I have the thought that perhaps Henry Dashwood was not unlike Willoughby in many ways.
Now this is something I hadn't thought about at all, but it does make very good sense. Marianne and her mother being so much alike, they may very well have likewise been drawn to the same sort of men. Also, now that I think of it, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that her father ever attempted to check Marianne's, er, excessive attention to emotion. I shall have to think about this some more.
] Before he was the owner of Norland, perhaps there was not much that Mr. Dashwood might have done in order to save or to live economically, but surely it would have been possible to lay by a bit more money, had he been more prudent?
Actually, if he was living in his uncle's home, wouldn't he have had fewer expenses? He wasn't a rich man before inheriting but he did have a life interest in his first wife's fortune and some money of his own. Also, they moved into the uncle's house from a place which was furnished with plate, linen and silver fine enough for Fanny Dashwood to covet it. ;-p That suggests to me that he did have some money and what did he have to spend it on? It seems like he missed a golden opportunity (no pun intended) to lay by a sum for the future but he let it pass by. Hmmmm. I think I have to agree with you on this point.
] No, I don't think any of this is new to Elinor at all.
Well, not the part about having to be the sensible one of the family. I agree that this is pretty much old hat. I don't think, though, that she's ever had so much to do with the family finances before. That would have been her father's place, wouldn't it? I can't imagine her going to him and asking him not to overspend or determining the number of servants that was best for their household and their budget. She may not have even known much about their financial situation at all.
More importantly, though, this is when being sensible and doing the smart thing really counts. When her father dies and they are left with nothing but a pitifully small fortune and their brother's good will to live on, Elinor goes into crisis mode. She steps up, stays strong and does what needs to be done for her family. None of this was necessary before her father died, so in that sense, I think this was all a very new thing for her.
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