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|GR: The forgotten sister
Written by Art
(9/3/2003 1:46 a.m.)
Chapter 29 marks the second time that Marianne has forgotten a sister. In her despair over Willoughby, she tells Elinor of the only three people in the world she still trusts: "your own dear self, mamma, and Edward". Back in chapter 12, she told Elinor there were only two people in the world she knew better than Willoughby: "yourself and mamma."
The absence of Margaret was curious the first time, and intriguing the second. What could JA mean by it?
1) Was JA showing that Marianne and Margaret aren't that close? They did get into that argument about the existence of the mysterious Mr. F. But they were quite friendly earlier, during that fateful walk that led to meeting Willoughby.
2) Was JA deliberately showing Margaret's unimportance to the story?
3) Was this a real oversight? Wasn't S&S based on an earlier work? Perhaps the character of Margaret was added rather late in the writing of the story, and JA didn't quite finish integrating her into everything.
4) Was this normal regency-era behavior? Were younger siblings were as invisible as -- servants?
Now that would help explain John's attitude towards his half-sisters, but it would not explain Elinor and Marianne, nor Anne and Lucy Steele, for that matter. Maybe it only applied to younger siblings not yet out?
5) Is there some other simple reason that will become blindingly obvious to me only after I post this message?
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