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Written by Barbara
(8/31/2003 11:12 p.m.)
Along with her exclamations of 'Poor soul!' about Marianne and her declaration that she never would have joked about Marianne and Willoughby for all her money, had she known the true state of affairs, we see her doing absolutely everything in her power to try to help Marianne. I thought that JA's description of Mrs. Jennings treating Marianne "with all the indulgent fondness of a parent towards a favourite child on the last day of its holidays" was very apt indeed!
Elinor, too, seems touched by these efforts.
On the other hand, there are the distressing 'effusions of kindness' and 'ill-judged attentions' by Mrs. Jennings. The thought that a broken heart such as Marianne's could be cured by sitting by the fire, having company over for cards, eating dried cherries, olives and sweetmeats, and taking such remedy as worked well for the late Mr. Jennings' gout do show that the dear old lady really *is* lacking in the type of feeling that Marianne and Elinor have, just as they have thought all along!
Even more insensitive, perhaps, was her thought of Colonel Brandon's reaction to the news that Marianne was back on the marriage market again. "How he'll chuckle!", the declaration 'Brandon will have her' and that they would be married by midsummer or expecting 'instantaneous gaiety' on his part at the news.
And yet, I cannot help but wonder if Marianne was better for having this type of 'mothering' going on than if she had had her own mother present when this all transpired? What do you all think?
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