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|GR: He struggled with it
Written by Barbara
(9/2/2003 2:06 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Col. B as an introvert?, penned by Melissa M
It's very okay :-) Anyone who is interested can jump in to the discussion, as long as we don't go ahead of this week's reading.
] The colonel has always impressed me as sort of a really introverted person. I mean he doesn't *directly* state his regard for Marianne, it's just sort of assumed by Elinor because of the way he acts. Maybe he's just really shy or something *because* of his background. After all, he doesn't seem all that lucky in love to begin with...nor does he appear very "sensible" when it comes to Marianne.
I don't really think of him as being introverted, but rather that his reserve is partly a choice and partly to do with the great burden of worry he has been carrying about his young Eliza going missing. I also think that, like Marianne, he had never expected that it could be possible to fall in love a second time, and his regard for her has come upon him almost unwillingly. In the movie S&S2, the screenplay diary describes Brandon as a man who has been frozen for 20 years and now having the painful sensation of 'feeling' again after all that time.
But as to why he didn't tell them about Willoughby, I don't think his reserve has anything to do with it. Now that we know what he had to say, we can see that Brandon was struggling with this decision and trying to decide whether telling what he knew was the right thing to do for some time. In Ch. 27 several chapters before he makes his confession, even before the disastrous party where the break-up happened was this:
He looked more than usually grave, and though expressing satisfaction at finding Miss Dashwood alone, as if he had somewhat in particular to tell her, sat for some time without saying a word. Elinor, persuaded that he had some communication to make in which her sister was concerned, impatiently expected its opening. It was not the first time of her feeling the same kind of conviction; for more than once before, beginning with the observation of "Your sister looks unwell to-day," or "Your sister seems out of spirits," he had appeared on the point, either of disclosing, or of inquiring, something particular about her.
He tells Elinor that he didn't know what to do, that he felt he had no chance of 'interfering with success' and that he hoped Marianne would be able to reform Willoughby. He didn't want to be the one to destroy her happiness, as his own had been destroyed when he was young.
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