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|GR: First stirrings of respect for Marianne (long)
Written by KateL
(9/7/2003 7:02 a.m.)
Let me begin by saying I agree with everything posted these last few weeks about Marianne and her whining, self-indulgent tantrums. (I was tempted to post my own rant about her, but I would have just been repeating what others said better than I could.) The further I get into the book, the more her brattiness gets on my nerves!
But then we come to Ch. 37 where she finally learns she's not the only one with problems. Her reaction to Elinor's pain is typical,
"If such is your way of thinking," said Marianne, "if the loss of what is most valued is so easily to be made up by something else, your resolution, your self-command, are perhaps, a little less to be wondered at. -- They are brought more within my comprehension."
and as usual I wanted to shake her. But then we have Elinor's magnificent speech which even Marianne can't dismiss, and to my astonishment...
Marianne was quite subdued.
"Oh! Elinor," she cried, "you have made me hate myself for ever. How barbarous have I been to you! -- you, who have been my only comfort, who have borne with me in all my misery, who have seemed to be only suffering for me! -- Is this my gratitude! Is this the only return I can make you? Because your merit cries out upon myself, I have been trying to do it away."
All of this is true, but to have the guts to admit it! No denial or self-justification, but an instant, sincere apology. Few people would have that much integrity. Well done Marianne.
And then, because JA is incapable of writing a full page without something killingly funny in it, we have Marianne's punishment. To have to keep bitter feelings to herself, speak pleasantly, even be polite to Mrs. Jennings! Delicious.
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