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|GR: Mrs Dashwood
Written by Emmeline
(8/19/2003 8:52 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Chaperonage, penned by Cheryl
] I cannot imagine what Mrs. Dahswood is thinking to leave Marianne and Willoughby alone so much of the time, and even conspiring to do so! I know it much more likely and usual for a 17 yr old then to be married than it is now, but I can't help but feel that Mrs. Dashwood is falling down on her parental job here.
] That carriage ride Marianne and Willoughby take where they are absent all afternoon - and to find out they were traipsing all over Allenham! And with Mrs. Smith in residence! So what did they do? Skulk about avoiding the old lady? What would they have done if they had run into her? What could they say to her about them "walking about the garden and going all over the house." and mentally redecorating. Oh, it makes my skin crawl to think of it.
That reminds me of something I read in the introduction of my book 'Feeling as she does about Norland makes Marianne all the more culpable at Allenham, in her ruthless seizing upon what she imagines to be her own opportunity to dispossess and to possess. She would sweep away all trace of the former mistress of Allenham without a qualm.'
] And then in the next chapter "Marianne excused herself from being of the party under some trifling pretext of employment; and her mother, who concluded that a promise had been made by Willoughby the night before of calling on her while they were absent, was perfectly satisfied with her remaining at home."
] So, she knew Willoughby was likely to call, and she had no problem leaving Marianne alone with him for who knew how long? I know Mrs. Dashwood is every bit as romantic and swept away by Willoughby as Marianne is, but I can't help but feel a great lack of parental responsibility here, that much of Marianne's heartache could have been avoided if Mrs. Dashwood had acted like a parent instead of a sister to Marianne.
I have also thought that it wasn't right to leave them alone together so often. And she would not ask Marianne if they are engaged. 'Elinor thought this generosity overstrained...common sense, common care, common prudence, were all sunk in Mrs Dashwood's romantic delicacy', and I agree with Elinor.
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