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|GR: Proper age for marriage
Written by Line
(9/18/2003 8:31 p.m.)
This was discussed somewhat at the beginning of the group read, but I'd like to bring it up again now that there is no danger of spoiling the book for anybody. I know we have to enter into JA's world view to really enjoy her novels, but I'm one of those who is always bothered afresh by the age difference between Marianne and Colonel Brandon (not to mention the age difference between a certain couple in "Emma"!), and by Marianne's extreme youth. No matter how wonderful Col. Brandon is, why is he, at 35, in love with a girl of 17? Why isn't he interested in her mother, who is only 5 years older than he is, and very much like Marianne in personality? (OK, leaving out the importance of producing an heir...!). It smacks just slightly of arrested development to me! (Ducking to avoid flying objects from enraged CB fans!)
I think there are two parts to Marianne's original lack of interest in the colonel, one bad and one perfectly reasonable. First, she dismisses the love lives of everybody over 27, which is clearly arrogant and downright delusional, but that's something that will improve dramatically once she hits 27 herself! On the other hand, I think it's perfectly reasonable of her not even to consider Col. Brandon as a potential partner for *herself* - why should a teenage girl be interested in a man twice her age?
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