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|GR: real reasons
Written by Barbara
(8/11/2003 2:43 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: No need for a reason to fall in love then, penned by Candice Michelle
I don't think I agree that's what JA was trying to depict. In fact, there is a strong theme in this book of just pairing people off with whoever happens to be around. Mrs. Jennings is all ready to set up the colonel and Marianne because (in Ch. 8) "It would be an excellent match, for he was rich and she was handsome."--as if that's all that matters.
And Sir John is ready to have Elinor get together with Willoughby because Marianne has already made her conquest of Brandon (in Sir John's opinion).
Mrs. Jennings has been trying to set up the poor colonel with anyone she could find since he was in his late 20s!
Although we are not let in on why, exactly, Elinor has such tender feelings for Edward--or at least it is not shown to us--they do have nearly six months of daily interaction and conversation which lets them get to know each other pretty well. As she tells Marianne, "I have seen a great deal of him, have studied his sentiments and heard his opinion on subjects of literature and taste; and, upon the whole, I venture to pronounce that his mind is well-informed, his enjoyment of books exceedingly great, his imagination lively, his observation just and correct, and his taste delicate and pure. His abilities in every respect improve as much upon acquaintance as his manners and person. "
I think that one of the reasons we might not see so much of Edward is that most of S&S is played out through Elinor's thoughts and in her point of view. And, Elinor has been trying, within her own mind, not to let her thoughts run away with her about Edward. "...till his sentiments are fully known, you cannot wonder at my wishing to avoid any encouragement of my own partiality, by believing or calling it more than it is."
I think it could be that we are not given many of these Elinor and Edward interaction scenes because Edward is supposed to remain somewhat of a mystery for now with his "want of spirits" and "the dejection of mind which frequently attended him" and also because Elinor is doing her best not to dwell on how very much she DOES like him.
] So it might make sense to make a choice based on someone being pretty, having a taste for art, and having a bit of common sense. And you could tell that easily enough after picnicking together a few times and then declare yourself "in love".
Marianne and Elinor are set apart from most other young ladies at the time, because for most girls, this would be enough.
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