Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|GR a few reasons
Written by Barbara
(9/18/2003 10:53 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Proper age for marriage, penned by Line
] 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?
I think one of the points in the novel is that a person may fall in love with someone just because they *do*. So many people in this novel are trying to arrange marriages based on criteria that have nothing to do with what Colonel Brandon values and seeks, all of them listing reasons of suitability, connections, status, wealth, income, etc., all of which are irrelevant when someone is looking for true love.
At some deep level, Marianne was exactly what Brandon was looking for in someone to love--without probably even realizing that he was. I think that Colonel Brandon had given up on love after Eliza Williams and that in his heart he believed that no second attachment was possible for him.
Mrs. Jennings has known Colonel Brandon for at least the last seven years, and, in addition to her own daughter, has tried to fix him up with any pretty young woman she could find. He has clearly had no interest in any of them. It seems that his feelings for Marianne took him quite by surprise and also that he tried to talk himself out of them more than once. But, he loves her for who she is--and age is just a number. He's not interested in her mother because she's not Marianne. He's not interested in Elinor because she's not Marianne.
]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?
However, that is applying a 21st century mentality to the situation. Marriages with that much of an age difference were not at all uncommon at that time. In he case of the Middletons, Lady Middleton is 14 years younger than Sir John and no one thinks anything of it, although they are far less suited to each other than Marianne and Colonel Brandon are.
Sense & Sensibility is maintained by Barbara with WebBBS 3.21.