Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|GR: Feeling sorry for Marianne
Written by Barbara
(8/31/2003 2:05 p.m.)
For all that I was annoyed with Marianne's behaviour at the party where Willoughby jilted her and everything leading up to her, I have to say that I really did feel very sorry for her when his cold-hearted letter arrived.
The language Jane Austen uses in Ch. 29 to describe Marianne's plight was very affecting to me, for example, the way she wrote of Marianne's bursts of grief, the flow of tears, her agitation and bouts of sobbing, and how she neither ate nor attempted to eat. I think the one that affected me the most was the mention of Mrianne's 'desperate calmness'.
And, as I was feeling this while reading, I was contrasting it to this bit from the end of Ch. 1, following their father's death:
They encouraged each other now in the violence of their affliction. The agony of grief which overpowered them at first, was voluntarily renewed, was sought for, was created again and again. They gave themselves up wholly to their sorrow, seeking increase of wretchedness in every reflection that could afford it, and resolved against ever admitting consolation in future.
And this, from the beginning of Ch. 16, just after Willoughby left them at Barton:
In both of these earlier circumstances, I don't doubt that the grief and sadness were real, and yet I felt much worse for Marianne this time. I'm trying to figure out what that is.
I think it could be due to the parts I bolded above--a kind of feeling that the grief and misery and wretchedness was, although not feigned or a put on, sought and exacerbated as much as possible. I felt that much of the behaviour was because that was how Marianne believed one in her circumstance should be feeling, rather than just allowing her feelings to take their natural course. But here in Ch. 29, it's more like she's really just feeling what's she's feeling and not what she thinks she *ought* to be feeling.
Did anyone else have this reaction? Any thoughts?
nourishment of grief was every day applied
Sense & Sensibility is maintained by Barbara with WebBBS 3.21.