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|GR: Marianne vs. Elinor
Written by Line
(8/31/2003 10:02 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR the thrills of grief and passion, penned by Kate Samson
I'd like to quote from my edition's introduction by Margaret Drabble again:
"Elinor grieves over the "impropriety" and "imprudence" that have led to [Marianne's] suffering, and urges her sister to "exert herself". She is *desperate* [my emphasis] for Marianne to regain control, for she cannot bear the sight of such abandoning of the self to unrestrained grief. But we do not now feel that Marianne is indulging herself: her state is real, not self-induced, and Elinor's exhortations to resistance seem out of place. More apposite, perhaps, to a modern mind, might be the homely advice of Mrs. Jennings, who ... says that "she had better have her cry out at once and have done with it". The wisdom of this is not recognized by Elinor ... and we suspect that she and Jane Austen might think it the silliest comment in the world. Elinor veers more to the "pull-yourself-together" school of thinking, known to be peculiarly unhelpful in cases of depression like this - and although we see that her sustained and loving concern for her sister is instrumental in bringing her back from the brink of despair, we also note her stress on "thinking of others" and preserving the social fabric. Powerful, undisguised emotion is selfish: we must learn to control and *submit* [my emphasis]."
I mostly agree with this. What do you all think?
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