Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
Written by Mandy N
(9/18/2003 11:46 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Proper age for marriage, penned by Line
] (Snip) 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 (Snip), 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? (Snip).
] 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 (Snip) 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?
I think you have raised a relevant point; There is also his original attraction to Eliza Williams. I wonder if he saw something of Eliza in Marianne (earlier participants in the G.R. can pull me up there!);Their youth, femininity,livliness combined with an aura of helplessness at least in the mind of our gallant colonel! Maybe CB simply prefers younger women and he'd probably like a family...Still as you indicate she is only half his age. Yet, considering she is only 17 Marianne isn't going to be interested in the loves of people she considers old and 'should be married';Indeed without getting Austentatious,I doubt many people of the Time were. A single woman in her mid-20s' would be regarded as a hopeless old maid. Even Col. Brandon 35, single with a tidy income must have been remarked a rarity of the male species of J.A's Time. When Marianne first encounters the Colonel,she's interested in a blackguard. She still has much to learn about herself and life. She's certainly not yet ready for marriage. Of course circumstances bring her closer to affection for Colonel Brandon and as her charecter matures it seems understandable she can accept Colonel Brandon as a potential partner. Women of the time had little option but marriage. In a society short of bachelors while brimming with single women; Marianne must've realized she was fortunate to receive a marriage offer from a kindly,eligible man for whom she felt true affection; understood her past,indeed could empathize with her. It must have gone some way to outweighing their admittedly big age difference.
Sense & Sensibility is maintained by Barbara with WebBBS 3.21.