Drabble on Willoughby and Brandon
Posted by Linda K. on August 01, 1998 at 10:23:53:
I am posting Hannah's message here in hopes of continuing a thread that is dropping low on the page:
] Here is the Margaret Drabble essay I was talking about. FIrst of all, Drabble on Colonel Brandon:
] "It is usually objected that Colonel Brandon is too sketchy a character to be accepted as a fitting husband for the complex and demanding Marianne: Marvin Mudrick calls him a "vacuum." Also, the disparities in age alarm us almost as much as they alarmed the sixteen-year-old Marianne...Austen does her best to render plausible Brandon's somewhat unlikely passion for Marianne, but there is little to suggest that other than a certain failure of hope and spirit would have persuaded her to settle for him...it is only a romantic fictitious convenience that can pass off her marriage to the COlonel as one of perfect happiness and growing compatibility."
] About Willoughby:
] "One would have expected the author to have dismissed Willoughby as decisively as she dismisses her other philanderers, the mercenary Wickham and the wealthy Henry Crawford...But Willoughby refuses to be distanced by Elinor's sense and Austen's morality and irony. He insists on being heard. His reappearance, on a cold and stormy night, as Marianne lies, as he thinks, desparately ill, is as melodramatic as his original introduction, but far more seriously intended, and his long attempt at self-exoneration is oddly moving, and quite beyond Austen's usual emotional range...The irredeemable and "diabolical" villain has become, through the urgency of his emotion and the power of his presence, almost acceptable as a brother-in-law."
] I took these quotes from Drabble's introduction to Sense and Sensibility, published by Signet in 1995. Drabble's introduction was copyrighted in 1989.
While I don't agree with the explanation of Colonel Brandon and Marianne's love, I understand that many people feel this way about the relationship; that Marianne is in a state of quite resignation when she marries Brandon.
I do agree very much with the statements about Willoughby and how he cannot be dismissed, (and in my opinion compared), with JA's other philanderers. I have always felt this way. Willoughby insists on being heard because he does have genuine feelings for Marianne. We cannot say the same for Henry Crawford or Wickham. Willoughby is "odly moving" as stated above (and not in a deceptive way IMO), and thus I cannot condemn him to the same fiery hell that I have reserved for Henry and Wickham. Frank Churchill I shall put in purgetory as there is still hope for him. ;-p
- Willoughby insists on being heard Barbara 14:07:36 8/01/98 (15)
- More Will and Drabble Cassandra 15:38:47 8/01/98 (14)
- Willoughby & Alec D'Urberville Linda K. 22:27:37 8/05/98 (9)
- Will, Alec and Damon? Cassandra 14:01:36 8/08/98 (8)
- I have not read..... Linda K. 10:16:48 8/09/98 (7)
- ROTN Cassandra 08:49:18 8/12/98 (0)
- ROTN Barbara 17:38:58 8/09/98 (5)
- Maddening enigma Arnessa 18:58:47 8/02/98 (3)
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