Tuesday, May 4, 2021

S&S Read-Along: Ch. 49 & 50

Here we are!  All done! 

Whew.  All's well that ends well.  I'm sorry if you were expecting a big, romantic proposal scene, but Austen tends not to indulge in those.  She's more interested in the overall relationships of the characters with each other, I think, and not just here for the kissy stuff.  For which I am very appreciative, overall.  I'm not a big fan of the kissy stuff either.

Anyway, I chuckled a lot over these last two chapters.  Austen gets pretty feisty, doesn't she?  Poking fun at Edward's habit of getting engaged to young ladies without consulting his mother.  And the whole opening of the last chapter made me laugh aloud multiple times, about Edward being "resuscitated" because his mother decided to forgive and reinstate him, and so on.  Oh, man.  That was pretty priceless.  And then she gets a little snarky at how Colonel Brandon never measures up to Marianne's original ideal of a Romantic Hero... but it's okay, because Marianne grows to love him anyway.  Awww.

Some interesting monetary information from the notes in my annotated copy, as to how much Elinor and Edward will have to live on.  His mother gives him ten thousand pounds, and the notes say this "would produce five hundred a year in income."  Edward also is expecting about two hundred and fifty pounds a year from his 'living.'  Also, Edward had two thousand pounds of his own, and Elinor had one thousand, which together would give them another one hundred and fifty income every year (you just live off the interest of your money, basically).  So, all told, "their income would be nine hundred a year" (p. 699).  Waaaaaaaaaay at the beginning of the book, Elinor said she thought a young couple would require a thousand pounds a year to be undoubtedly happy, so she's not quite going to make it to that amount at this time, but she's certainly going to be comfortably off.

And that's it!  We're done!  I'm working on my celebratory giveaway post now, and I'll have that up as soon as I get it finished.  This evening, I hope!

Thank you, everyone who participated.  This was a lot of fun for me, and I hope it was for you too!  Don't worry, you can keep discussing this for as long as you like.  In fact, here are a couple final discussion questions:

1.  Does Elinor get a character arc?  Does she change or grow over the course of this book?  Or is she just here to provide counterpoint to Marianne, making Marianne the actual heroine?

2.  Marianne + Col. Brandon -- do you love their pairing, or not?  And why?

13 comments:

  1. 1. Does Elinor get a character arc?  Does she change or grow over the course of this book?  Or is she just here to provide counterpoint to Marianne, making Marianne the actual heroine?

    - It feels like Elinor is already an established character. However, this doesn't mean that Marianne's character development automatically makes her the heroine either. Elinor's development came with her relationship with Edward. She is entitled to love and want someone and not always step aside for other people just for conventions sake. She slowly opened up to people and realized that she doesn't always have to do everything on her own.

    2.  Marianne + Col. Brandon -- do you love their pairing, or not?  And why?

    - I think it's a good pairing giving their opposites attract personalities. I didn't see much of a established relationship in the book, but it was more fleshed out in the 1995 film and the 2008 miniseries.

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    1. Ivy Miranda, that's a good point that her development is more internal, as she realizes she can stand up for herself and her own needs.

      I really like Brandon and Marianne together because I think they sort of need each other -- they compliment each other, rather than "completing" each other. He'll provide a solid, steady dependability, and she'll provide enthusiasm and brightness, and together, they'll enjoy their lives. IMHO, anyway.

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  2. I think Elinor might get a bit of a character arc, in that she maybe she realizes that it's not good to always hold in one's emotions so much. Maybe if she had been more open with Marianne about her own heartbreak (if that was possible without breaking Lucy's confidence) and given Marianne a more pertinent example of how to react to said heartbreak in a sensible, yet still appropriately emotional way, Marianne wouldn't have sunk to the depths of despair that she did.

    Just a thought. *shrugs*

    And, yeah, I love Colonel Brandon and Marianne's pairing. The huge age difference is the only thing I don't like about them. :P

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    1. Eva, I feel that too, I'm just having a harder time pinpointing her arc. As Ivy Miranda said above, maybe it's more interior, about learning to know herself and value herself aright?

      I love them too, and I don't care a fig about age differences.

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    2. Oh, that could be it too! Although I personally feel like Elinor does understand her own worth, almost (or just) as well as that of the different individuals around her. But whatever her character arc--or lack thereof--she's a pretty great role model. <3

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    3. Eva, yes, I think she understood her own worth, in that she did not think of herself as worthless, but I think Elinor learned that she doesn't need to push herself and her feelings and her needs aside all the time. And that she shouldn't -- she thought that was letting her serve her family better, but it was also causing problems for herself and those around her.

      And yeah, she's definitely a good role model for how to be in control of your feelings and not let them control you, and how to behave well in difficult situations.

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    4. Ah, I see what you mean. Agreed!

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  3. I think Elinor did grow a bit, she did seem to be pretty self aware so I think she didn't need to have such a drastic change because of that. Marianne had a lot more to learn.

    I think their adorable as a couple!

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    1. Skye, good point. I think all of Austen's heroines mostly grow and change by learning to know and understand themselves, and then their outward circumstances change after that.

      I think so too :-D And I think they will be quite happy together.

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  4. There are a lot of humorous bits in the last chapters.

    I wish the movies didn't rush Marianne and Colonel Brandon's marriage. It was two years later, which given her histrionics is fairly fast. Give her some time.

    It is ironic/a bit infuriating, that Elinor expected less and got less and was grateful and Marianne absurdly expected lavish wealth and called it need . . . and got it . . . without getting the same man she expected with it. I know Elinor was happy, but everyone does seem to do better than her, get more attention, have less mental strain. She was probably still taking care of Marianne and their mother and Margaret from the parsonage.

    1.  Does Elinor get a character arc?  Does she change or grow over the course of this book?  Or is she just here to provide counterpoint to Marianne, making Marianne the actual heroine?
    I don't think she changes, but I feel we know her better than Marianne. Marianne gets an arc, but we sort of see it from Elinor's view, she's like not known as well to us, so I don't feel like she's the main heroine. I think Elinor is, but Marianne is more of a heroine that say, Jane Bennet is.

    2.  Marianne + Col. Brandon -- do you love their pairing, or not?  And why?
    Sorry, but no. I just can't with that age. And I was soured by the movie, because the ages differences are way larger and then 2nd more recent version he just grossed me out, before I even read it. If only we could have had Matthew Macfayden as him . . . The age differences in some of the other books are nearly as great, Emma for example, but Emma is 21 not 16 and 17, and like my sisters pointed out, they always make Mr. Knightley quite appealing.

    Now off to binge at least 2 movies and a webseries this weekend. Has anyone seen the old 70's/80's version? Is it worth watching if only for a laugh? The only one of that set I even started was Mansfield Park (it has TONY from The Scarlet Pimpernel as Tom). And wow, it was like a home production.

    This was so fun and manageable. I was dragging on rereading JA novels. Now I want to do questions and read-alongs for the rest of the JA books. I know the Enchanted Bookclub is doing Emma in JUne, I missed out on Pride and Prejudice in Jan.

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    1. Livia, do the movies rush it? It's been a while since I saw the 2008, but the 1995, I feel like you get the impression there's time in between there.

      Interesting observation about the contrast between Elinor's and Marianne's wishes and what they get. Hmm.

      That's too bad that the movies have messed up your perception of the book. I find Alan Rickman very appealing as Col. Brandon in the 1995, but I don't care much about David Morrissey in the 2008 one way or the other. He's just kind of there. Does it make you feel any better to realize Marianne is 19 by the time she marries him?

      Glad you enjoyed this, over all! There seem to be Jane Austen read-alongs going every couple of months on Instagram with one group or another, so I'm sure you won't have a hard time finding one.

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    2. I think those are my least watched movies, I'm hoping to rewatch them this week, but for some reason it does feel like they have double weddings or doesn't do much to show the time frame?

      I don't know how to explain except I just have that disgust of the movie Brandon's which kind of taints the books (I do love the web series Elinor and Marianne Take Barton, because Marianne and Brandon have an age difference but not like that). And just 17 and 35 and then 19 and 37 compared to the other big age difference couple Emma Knightley 21 and 37 and the fact that that age difference is really felt, Emma's does some stupid stuff but she doesn't feel so young as Marianne, she's really a grown up.

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    3. Livia, people often think that the 1995 ends with a double wedding because Elinor and Edward do walk behind Marianne and Col. Brandon as they exit the church. But Elinor is NOT in a wedding dress, and according to Emma Thompson's filming diary for that version, that was NOT intended to appear like a double wedding. Elinor and Edward were already married. That's why there's only one decked-out carriage for a bride and groom, and only Col. Brandon is throwing money to the crowd, a common custom for bridegrooms at the time.

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What do you think?

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