Scene as Portrayed in the Book
Posted by Lynne on October 14, 1997 at 00:28:04:
In response to Willoughby, you scoundrel, written by kat n. on October 13, 1997 at 10:58:09
] I agree Marianne is gasping, and probably not just from pain, but I can't help but think it's from shock, perhaps with some newly awakened pleasure as well. After all, Willoughby was taking great liberties for that time. Surely another man would have helped her home and allowed her mother and sisters, or the doctor, to examine her ankle. But, taking liberties with young innocents is what Willoughby does best.
No, he does not. I re-read that scene in the book, in which Willoughby picks her up, and it says this:
The gentleman [Willoughby] offered his services, and perceiving that her modesty declined what her situation rendered necessary, took her up in his arms without further delay, and carried her down the hill.
And, later at the cottage;
His manly beauty and more than common gracefulness were instantly the theme of general admiration and the laugh with his gallantry raised against Marianne received particular spirit from his exterior attractions. Marianne herself had seen less of his person than the rest, for the confusion which crimsoned over her face, on his lifting her up, had robbed her of their power or regarding him after their entering the house.
In both paragraphs, it indicates Marianne was embarrassed, so much so that she can hardly notice how handsome and appealing Willoughby is....her modesty is noticed by him, but instead of being sensitive to her discomfort, he simply chooses to increase it by carrying her. He seems to make little, if any effort, to consider that perhaps doing this is trespassing on her privacy, and her body---after all, he must touch her legs, and her back in order to transport her---a kind of sneaky way, I think, of him touching her without being very obvious: checking out the goods, while looking to be heroic and dramatic. Had this been Colonel Brandon, I doubt he would have done anything that would have caused her to feel that her modesty was being compromised--as you said, he would have summoned for help, perhaps remained with her until help arrived...but his help would have been real help, not an opportunity to showcase his masculine strength, etc.. For those of you who will point out that later on Brandon does carry her.....this event only occurs in the movie....Marianne never walks to Combe----it is really too far, being not quite thirty miles distant from Cleveland--though she does gaze off in the distance where she imagines Combe might lie, and she does meander on long walks, in aimless misery----but the scene of her walking to Combe, speaking poetry in her trancelike state, then being carried back by Colonel Brandon----that does not happen in the book. Just an example, I suppose, of how ET wrote her screenplay to concentrate on their love story-----and to modern viewers, this seemed right and proper and an indication that Brandon was being replaced by Willoughby. But, to those who know the manners of the times....it would have been very unseemly, very shocking for any gentleman to carry a lady--unless they were married, perhaps. Besides all this....carrying her could have done more harm than anything else...what if Willoughby had tripped, dropping he?. Yes, he was strong, but all it would have taken to endanger Marianne further was for an obstruction to have been on the ground. I have carried my own kids like that----and it is not easy---and I never would carry them very far because I usually could not see properly, and I feared falling over something, hurting us both in the process.. So, Willoughby was not only insensitive to the issues of modesty and privacy....he also did not care about the safety aspect. Further proof as to his selfishness...
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