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|Tenderness and sorrow, but no help
Written by KateL
(8/25/2003 3:45 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: I'm not sure..., penned by Line
] ... I draw the same conclusions here. If Elinor confided in her mother and sister, your quote above makes it clear that they would be full of tenderness towards her, and sorrow on her behalf. This is not the kind of emotional support she needs, but it's not exactly "emotional neglect", either!
Yes, they would be very tender, but it would take the form of hours of crying and lamenting over her when what she needs is someone to tell her she's being brave. Then they would insist on rehashing it every day for weeks, ignoring her every attempt to get past her disappointment and move on. And if she did manage to find pleasure in life soon, or even tried to, it would be put down to her having less feeling than Marianne.
I was full of indignation when I wrote my first post and probably expressed myself too strongly :-). "Emotional neglect" is perhaps not the right phrase, but it is a very self-centred form of love, one which would require Elinor to comfort and support her mother and sister instead of receiving support. It wouldn't occur to either of them to hold back their own emotions in order to spare her, and it might not even occur to them to try to cheer her up.
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