Monday, April 26, 2021

S&S Read-Along: Ch. 41 & 42

And now, for something completely different:  Lucy says nice things to and about Elinor!  And then reverts to being conniving and greedy, secretly planning to mooch milk and eggs off Colonel Brandon's estate once she and Edward are married and living near him.  Pardon me while I roll my eyes very far back into my head like a twelve-year-old.

I had to chuckle over John Dashwood saying, "I am convinced that there is a vast deal of inconsistency in almost every human character (p. 548).  Um, yeah, way to describe yourself there, dude.  But at least he's been friendly and polite to Elinor and Marianne all along, not shunning them while Elinor had a chance with Edward, only to try to make friends with them now.  I guess his greatest inconsistency is in not being able to see how unfair his wife and mother-in-law have been, and thinking he's been totally fair and generous himself.

Also, Elinor makes some very icily sarcastic remarks to her half-brother that go way over his head, which makes me laugh too.

Anyway, off we go to Cleveland, as in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Palmer, not the city in Ohio.  Where you will probably be shocked to discover that Marianne does not catch a terrible cold by wandering off in a storm to recite poetry while staring at Willoughby's home.  She also does not get carried home in a downpour by a heroic Colonel Brandon.  That's one of the biggest deviations from the book that Emma Thompson did in her screenplay for the 1995 film, but since it makes such a nice parallel to Willoughby's first entrance in the story and gives Brandon something very manly to do, I never mind it at all.  But here, Marianne just gets chilled sitting around in the damp grass while indulging her passion for dead leaves.

I'm struck by Austen's description of Marianne once again insisting on being unhappy.  She writes, "In such moments of precious, of invaluable misery, she rejoiced in tears of agony to be at Cleveland" (p. 564).  Oh, come on, Marianne, stop making yourself miserable on purpose!!!

Discussion Questions:

1. Are you starting to lose patience with Marianne's rejoicing in self-perpetuated agony?

2. Are you like Marianne in that she "had the knack of finding her way in every house to the library" (p. 566)?

3. Are you surprised that Mr. Palmer is "very capable of being a pleasant companion" (p. 568)?

8 comments:

  1. Lucy the leech. Well that is why she was with Edward after all, for money. He is still so blind even though not in love.

    All the defensive stuff John Dashwood says . . . he KNOWS he is not doing right. His wife generally assumes all her evil ways are right, but he knows better. He is always trying to absurdly justify himself, like with his "poverty" and "tight finances."


    1. Are you starting to lose patience with Marianne's rejoicing in self-perpetuated agony?

    I was losing patience awhile ago, she knows now Willoughby is a libertine loser and she is still doesn't like this or that mentioned or want to go to the same county. If she could have accidentally crossed paths, I'd understand, but he was in London and lived far enough away. So far that she could only imagine where his house was. I think those scenes do a great disservice to both Marianne and Colonel Brandon. They are copycat. They make it seem that Colonel Brandon has to act like Willoughby to get Marianne's attention.

    2. Are you like Marianne in that she "had the knack of finding her way in every house to the library" (p. 566)?

    Possibly.

    3. Are you surprised that Mr. Palmer is "very capable of being a pleasant companion" (p. 568)?
    No, he had a lot of ignorance and silliness to deal with, he wasn't given much opportunity.

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    1. Livia, yup. Lucy the Leech is right.

      I think you're right that John Dashwood knows inside that he and Fanny and her family are not doing the right thing. He just refuses to admit it to himself.

      I don't think the 1995 was trying to copycat Willoughby's rescue with Col. Brandon's. Not at all. I think they were trying to highlight that Col. Brandon is not just equally worthy of Marianne, but more so. Willoughby carried her home after she sprained her ankle. She could have limped home. It was not life-threatening, the weather was fine, and it wasn't far at all. Col. Brandon carried her home when she was deathly ill, through a rainstorm, over quite a distance. Willoughby is playing at being a hero when it's convenient, whereas Brandon is actually being a hero even though it's not convenient.

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  2. Lucy is the worst. Making icy sarcastic comments is generally how most of my conversations with my older brother go XD. Love Elinor for doing that. Surprisingly relate to Marianne here, talking walks in the rain, books, and dead leaves.

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    Replies
    1. Skye, yeah, Lucy is pretty awful. Elinor's sarcasm makes me laugh so much! And makes me like her even better :-)

      I do love books, rain, and fallen leaves, so I can't say that I'm totally unlike Marianne either.

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  3. 1. Are you starting to lose patience with Marianne's rejoicing in self-perpetuated agony?

    - Yes! You would think after she found out abut what Elinor was going through she would have gotten over herself, but now she's worse than ever.

    2. Are you like Marianne in that she "had the knack of finding her way in every house to the library" (p. 566)?

    - Just finding books in general! Yes.

    3. Are you surprised that Mr. Palmer is "very capable of being a pleasant companion" (p. 568)?

    - Austen is really good at the "Don't judge a book by it's cover" trope. Mr. Palmer has his annoyances, but he's probably a lot like Darcy. He despises the public, but is rather a decent person in private and among family and close friends.

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    Replies
    1. Ivy, hee. I find books wherever they are to be found too :-)

      Great observation about Austen and the don't-judge-the-crabby-people thing. Mr. Palmer probably just wants to live a quiet life, only he married a chatty woman.

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  4. I fault Marianne for making such a display of it, but I also have seen that intensifying an emotion can actually help someone get over it faster. I think that Austen may have observed someone who used that method.

    I always look for the books.

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    Replies
    1. Tamar, hmm. I suppose there's some merit to the idea of getting over a big emotion by feeling it as much as possible. Hmm.

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