Posted by Cassandra on June 14, 1997 at 11:39:35:
In reply to Re: Now that we're discussing all the books...my opinion of S&S posted by Ann on June 12, 1997 at 22:51:24
] ] The book leaves me somewhat depressed. Marianne has been essentially coerced into marrying Brandon by her well-meaning friends, and despite the "never loves by halves" it seems that the damper has been put on her emotions, which were her best, if most destructive feature.
] According to JA, she loved CB as much as she ever did Willoughby. I think this novel suffers from the same problem as MP, in that one of the love stories essentially takes place outside of the pages of the book, and is mentioned as sort of an epilogue. Both the Marianne/Brandon and Edmund/Fanny love stories happen after the action of the books has concluded, thus we are left dissatisfied. JA's telling us that both couples were truly in love isn't enough, because we weren't allowed to see it for ourselves.
S&S holds a special place in my heart. It differs from the other novels, I believe, in that the main focus is the sisters, not the love relationships/complications(Marianne's heartbreak and Elinor's fortitude rewarded-she marries the man she loves). There is a great moment in the book when Marianne comments that she and Elinor are alike in being different. And thus their situations are the same. Anyone who has a sister cannot help but love S&S-learning to understand each other's differences. With respect to the frustration with the Brandon/Marianne love story(the unsatisfactory Marianne never could love by halves and thus she came to love Brandon as much as she ever loved Will), I agree. When I first read the book, I thought JA sacrificed my dearest Marianne to plot convention. The Colonel must be rewarded for his constancy. It seemed to me that Marianne gave her hand more out of admiration and obligation than true love. It is terribly frustrating. On one hand-JA gives us the Willoughby confession scene where even sensible Elinor is swept under Willoughby's spell. When Mama notes that Marianne would never be as happy with Willoughby, as Colonel Brandon-Elinor "could not quite agree with her." For a moment, Elinor even wishes Will a widower. Then-after dividing our loyalities-the novel ends with Marianne marrying the man she thought "too old to be married-that flannel waistcoat." Its a cute, pithy phrase but still did not strike me as love. MArianne had settled.
The movie, however, certainly made me re-think my opinions on the Marianne/Brandon love story. AR gave an incredibly longing-filled performance. His first scene-the expression in his sad eyes as he gazes upon MArianne playing the piano is sheer magic. ET's additions brought Brandon to life, making Marianne's acceptance much more believable for me.
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