conclusions and fashions..
Posted by Kate on March 24, 1998 at 19:25:48:
In response to The logical conclusion, written by Cyndie on March 24, 1998 at 19:15:27
] I have read several critiques of Sense and Sensibility in which the writer complained of Jane Austen's rush to the happy ending. I never felt so much that she was quickly tying up loose ends, as that she was bringing things to their logical conclusion. Marianne's change of heart ultimately makes Brandon an obvious choice for her. While he does not pursue her with the passionate fire of John Willoughby, his affection has been constant, unwavering, and she knows him to be honorable and respectable; all things that are not a part of Willoughby's character, and therefore all the more attractive after Willoughby's truly selfish behavior is revealed. I HAVE always been a bit disappointed that their relationship is commented on rather than developed over, say, a chapter, but the end result is not dissatisfying. Do you agree? (I am new, by the way, so I suppose I should have started with a hello!
My own view is that if JA was writing a book like S&S in the 20th century, she may have left Marianne alone at the end (or maybe even dead...) which personally, although obviously less happy, for me would have been a more symetrical and meaningful ending to the novel. Maybe she even wrote it that way originally. But the genre in which she wrote demanded a happy ended, and she made one happen... I think what Tomalin is trying to say is that JA herself felt that the Brandon ending was not an honest one, and that she couldn't bring herself to do more than state that it happened because the dialogue simply wouldn't form in her head in a truthful way. But this is a matter on which rational beings can differ!
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