Jealousy in July: Marianne Behaves Badly – Elinor Responds by Mary Simonsen — 13 Comments

  1. How obtuse Marianne is. Her responses to Elinor’s suggestions remind me of Lydia’s and Kitty’s responses to Elizabeth’s reprimands, as well as her uncaring attitude about how her actions effect their reputations. Nicely done.

    • I agree. I think S&S was practice for P&P for JA. Of course, Marianne has more depth than Lydia, and fortunately for Marianne, Austen gave her a happy ending.

    • Thank you for commenting. I know that I’ll have at least one comment on a post, and it really does matter, 🙂

  2. This piece captures Marianne’s immaturity well. Her behavior is bad, yet it is not her sister’s pace to correct it – that falls to her mother. Although Mrs. Dashwood is not as silly as Mrs. Bennet, she could be a better guide to Marianne.

    • Whereas Mrs. Bennet is in perpetual adolescence, I think Mrs. Dashwood is just tired. The battle with Fanny wore her out, and she abdicated so many of her responsibilities to Elinor. I had an Elinor in my family. When my mom worked nights, it fell to my older sister to act as mom for her younger sisters. Thank goodness for Elinors. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Poor Elinor! Yet although we all enjoy the silliness of Mrs. Bennet in P&P and see the wildness in Lydia and Kitty run unchecked by either parent, the situation in S&S seems more realistic, not as caricatured. Elinor must be the advocate of common sense against the romantic sensibilities of her mother and Marianne, and that situation puts Elinor in the unenviable position of being one against two (and sometimes three if Margaret gets involved). It’s a very lonely place for her to be. At least Lizzy has her Jane and often Charlotte as well.

    Thank you for a wonderful and thought-provoking scene! 🙂

    Susanne 🙂

    • I completely agree. Elinor has assumed so many responsibilities that rightly belong to Mrs. Dashwood, but she did this because she is stronger and can anticipate consequences. For example, in a fit of pique, Mrs. Dashwood was ready to leave Norland before she had anywhere to go. I still wish that Elinor had ended up with Col. Brandon. I don’t think Marianne will be happy or make him happy. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I agree with Kristine about this scene fitting in perfectly. And I have heard someone else opine that Elinor and Colonel Brandon would have been a good match…but who can direct where the heart will settle? This was a lovely and very realistic piece. Some would say Marianne was now compromised but that would end up being like Lydia marrying Wickham in that they have debts and little income. Wickham has his pay from the militia (and then what Darcy gave them) but what does Willoughby have? I don’t see any “Darcy” stepping forward in this scenario.

  5. I am in the “Elinor and Colonel Brandon” crowd. However, I heard Joan Ray (JA for Dummies) talk, and she said that if you read the book, Marianne and the Colonel makes sense–not so much in the movies. Of course, Marianne does not know about Willoughby’s love child, and so she doesn’t understand how much she was at risk. Thank you for commenting.

  6. What a wonderful discussion to a very apt story adaptation. I tried to be patient with Marianne, but with my own experience over the years with some 300 men (I’ve lost track!), I found myself calling “Marianne! He is a bounder. Don’t throw yourself overboard for him!” But, you know, you buy ’em books and buy ’em books, but do they read?

    The good news is that there will always be a new generation to learn the ropes of living. That is what creates terrific fans of JA and people to give feedback. As written in the Talmud, there is nothing new under the sun.

    Thanks for this installation!

    • Thanks, Katherine. When I read S&S, I have to remind myself that Marianne is a teenager, and that explains a lot.

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