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|GR: Wallowing in sensibility
Written by Barbara
(8/26/2003 9:00 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Yes...but..., penned by Lucy K
] Yes, Marianne did have a problem with controlling her emotions. She had a talent for "wrong time, wrong place" behaviour. She let her feelings run away from her on more than one occasion and displayed her own share of unkind, inconsiderate behaviour.
It's more than just an inability or unwillingness to control her emotions, though. Marianne's brand of sensibility dictates that being overpowered by one's feelings is a desirable quality and the mark of a superior character.
In the same way that Elinor chided her earlier in the book that she would have been far more interested in a man's illnesses if only he had a "flushed cheek, hollow eye, and quick pulse of a (violent)fever" and that she nourished her grief at Willoughby's departure by not sleeping, refusing to eat, crying, playing their favourite songs, staring at the music--it's as though Marianne makes sure to do everything in her power to make any bad situation worse.
She could have suffered considerable agony at Willoughby's behaviour in silence. She could have looked at him reproachfully but made no scene and avoided his cruel remarks to her--at least in such a public manner. But instead, Marianne has to go back on her moral high horse to drag it all down into the depths of despair with her. And I can't help but feeling that even as Marianne was turning pale and swaying on her feet, sinking to a chair, nearly fainting and crying out, that she was also feeling herself a superior person to nearly every other person present because she was capable of such overpowering emotion where all the others are not.
No, there is no justification for Willoughby's callous treatment of her, but Marianne amplified the situation by every possible method because she wanted to behave that way.
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