Sunday, May 2, 2021

S&S Read-Along: Ch. 45 & 46

We only have four chapters left after this!  Only two more posts!  Oh my goodness.  Well, I suppose I should mention right now that I'll be holding a small giveaway when we finish this, with Austen-inspired goodies and so on.  Just in case you need something to look forward to ;-)

Right, so, on to the chapters at hand.  Elinor is clearly a better person than I am.  She is way more willing to think of good things to remember about Willoughby than I would be.  So, um, good for her.

I do get a little annoyed that Mrs. Dashwood is almost acting like Edward never existed, though.  Like, she never commiserates with Elinor about losing him.  At all.  I get that she's focused on Marianne's brush with death, but she takes time to discuss Willoughby.  Not Edward, though.  Poor Elinor.  Not that she probably wants her mom to really talk about him much, but it would be nice to know she cares and sympathizes, you know?

It's struck me, this time through the book, that Marianne has gotten a way bigger character arc than Elinor.  She started out indulging her every passion and refusing to take time to think anything through, and now she's learned to be calm and reasonable.  She's learned and grown.  But what's Elinor's arc?  I know we're not to the end of the book yet, but so far, Elinor started out reasonable and self-controlled, and she's still reasonable and self-controlled.  Hmm.

Discussion Questions:

1.  Do you think Marianne will stick to her resolution to "divide every moment between music and reading" (p. 640) all summer?

2.  Do you agree with Marianne when she says, "My own feelings had prepared my sufferings" (p. 644)?  If she had behaved less passionately, would her suffering have been any less?

6 comments:

  1. I'm not sure Elinor really needed a character learning arc as much, unless it be not to take responsibility for all the other adults who shouldn't be acting so foolish, especially her mother.

    I think Elinor is very honest with herself on Willoughby's charisma and how much that affected her positive or softened view of him!

    Mrs Dashwood irritates me so much here. She is like non vulgar Mrs Jennings only seeing what she wants, and she has intelligence, it's inexcusable for her to be making up stuff like this and changing the past. It's not honest or responsible and it's how she let Willoughby led Marianne on so because she only saw what she wanted to.

    1. Do you think Marianne will stick to her resolution to "divide every moment between music and reading" (p. 640) all summer?

    No, its too dramatic and intense

    2. Do you agree with Marianne when she says, "My own feelings had prepared my sufferings" (p. 644)? If she had behaved less passionately, would her suffering have been any less?

    I think that if she had kept to her feelings lower to reality, then yes, the hurt would have been lesser.


    One of the best, if not the best line, sums up the whole novel:

    "Do you compare your conduct with his"

    "No, I compare it with what it ought to have been; I compare it with yours." !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Livia, well, not a learning arc... but I'm struggling to find any arc for Elinor at all, up to this point. A character arc doesn't have to be about learning, but there needs to be change. It's a fundamental storytelling principle.

      Mrs. Dashwood in the next couple chapters will be more to your taste, I think.

      I agree that Marianne is kind of going overboard with the declarations of good intentions and still needs to learn moderation.

      And yup, that's a stellar moment in the book!

      Delete
  2. Ooo a giveaway!
    Elinor is way too nice to Willoughby and far better than I will ever be. It is strange that Marianne went through such a change and Elinor is really just dealing with all of Marianne's things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Skye, it's coming soon! Soooooon!!!

      I need to inspect this whole question of whether or not Elinor has much of a character arc. I'd never thought about it before, and now it's really intriguing me. I always kind of thought that her arc was to learn not to be SO reserved, not to internalize everything, but instead to share... but I'm not sure I'm actually seeing that while reading. Hmmmm.

      Delete
  3. 2. Do you agree with Marianne when she says, "My own feelings had prepared my sufferings" (p. 644)? If she had behaved less passionately, would her suffering have been any less?
    - Yes, I agree in part. If she had been more cognizant of Willoughby's intentions right from the start, she wouldn't have fallen so hard for him. Her passion was her downfall, but it was good to see her change in the end. At least she learned something from it. And we have to remember that she was only 17, right? She's also very much like her mother in that way - easily swayed by a "pretty face" !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mom, yes, she's only 17 when she meets Willoughby, and I think that is really important to remember. Especially when it comes to her being able to get over him and marry Col. Brandon so soon. She's still very elastic.

      Delete

What do you think?

Comments on old posts are always welcome!

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)