Posted by Kathy F. on June 14, 1997 at 22:30:41:
In reply to Re: Now that we're discussing all the books...my opinion of S&S posted by Lynne on June 11, 1997 at 21:27:32
] ] Then, of course, I felt that JA's sympathies lay primarily with Elinor----that her way of life was really preferable to Marianne's romaniticism. Marianne is almost destroyed by her philiosophies----Elinor suffers, but not to the degree she nearly loses her life. So JA seems to be saying that those who have feelings under control will live long and healthy lives---though isn't the quality of life affected? People who bury their feelings in excessive work or activity appear, to me at least, to be less than human somehow. And end up being treated accordingly.
I don't think that Marianne is destroyed by her philosophies, but rather by her fault of excessively feeding her attachment to Willoughby. (I'm currently in the middle of reading it again.) Elinor loved Edward, but realizing that he (for whatever reason) did not ask for her hand, she more or less gave up hope, and controlled herself--for her mother's and sister's sake. Marianne, on the other hand, when Willoughby left did the opposite thing, and built her hope up higher and higher, without much if any basis for it. (Let me be understood--she had basis for hope, just not the height to which she built them, before being ultimately cast down.) Both the gentlemen did the same things: They attached themselves to the girls, but did not become engaged to them. The difference lies in the girls' actions after that. Marianne would not understand Willoughby's actions as Elinor sometimes saw them. She saw him leave, without promising to return, yet hoped he would be back in a few weeks; months later, she wrote to him in London, and when he did not answer, could not look at the facts, but invented unreasonable reasons for him to not answer; at last when she saw him with Ms. Grey, she still could not--after all that had transpired to his discredit before and the gentle questions of Elinor--believe his real motive. She was not stupid! Just in love. But she never could think beyond her beliefs to the truth--or any semblance of the truth. That is what destroyed her--lack of understanding; blindness--willful blindness.
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