Day Two: Sense and Sensibility; 8-13

March 5, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Sense and Sensibility | 4 Comments
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Chapter 8

I somehow missed “Mrs. Jennings” arrival in chapter seven. I still don’t know if she’s going to come into the book much, and this opening in chapter 8 could be the last we see of her, but just in case she somehow turns into someone important. She is Lady Middleton’s mother. Lady Middleton being the wife of John Middleton. John Middleton being the landlord of the cottage where the Dashwood mother and sisters are staying. Mrs. Jennings seems to be a matchmaker–at least in theory. She likes to speculate and boast that so and so is madly in love with so and so. It must be so if she says it. She concludes that Colonel Brandon must be in love because she saw the way he listened to Marianne play the piano. I’m skeptical about Mrs. Jennings powers of observation. But I think–think being the key word–she may be onto something here. I think it being purely coincidence that she stumbled across it.

Marianne is not even remotely interested in Colonel Brandon. Especially when she finds out he’s in his thirties. Thirties being terribly “ancient” to this seventeen year old. Perhaps to throw the attention off of herself and her ‘rumored’ love interest. Marianne brings up in conversation with her mother Edward Ferrars. Elinor does not expect him to come, but Marianne thinks that if he really and truly cared for her sister, he must come soon.

Chapter 9

Marianne’s dramatic meeting with Mr. Willoughby. She twists or sprains her ankle and her knight in shining armor–a stranger, a dashing stranger in all likelihood–just happens to be there to carry her safely home. He must be ‘dashing’ if Elinor and her mother are even struck with “evident wonder and a secret admiration which equally  sprung from his appearance.” After he leaves her at their home–their cottage–with the promise to call the next day. They are unable to contain themselves. The talking begins and the giddiness shines through. “His person and air were equal to what her [Marianne’s] fancy had ever drawn for the hero of a favorite story.”  When they next speak with John Middleton, they try to find out all they can about Mr. Willoughby. While most of what they learn isn’t pertinent in regards to his eligibility, they do learn a few things about him. John Middleton sees that Marianne’s hopes are set on “catching him” and that his friend–Colonel Brandon–doesn’t stand a chance even though he perhaps is the better fellow in the long run.

Chapter 10

Mr. Willoughby calls the next day. Marianne uses this time to talk with him. To learn if their interests are similar. Remember her goal is to find a husband whose opinions match hers exactly when it comes to music, art, dancing, and books. All seems to be going well. “Their taste was strikingly alike. The same books, the same passages were idolized by each; or if any difference appeared, any objection arose, it lasted no longer than till the force of her arguments and the brightness of her eyes could be displayed. He acquiesced in all her decisions, caught all her enthusiasm, and long before his visit concluded, they conversed with the familiarity of a long-established acquaintance.”

His wooing continues. He’s very attentive to Marianne. And Marianne is completely taken, completely gone. He is her ideal man, her perfect man, the man of her very dreams down to the last detail. Though Willoughby hasn’t declared his intentions to marry her, he’s certainly letting everyone think that it’s just a matter of time. Elinor isn’t as impressed as the others by his charm. She thinks he is a bit too impulsive, lacking a bit in propriety. But really other than the fact that Elinor and Marianne have very very different taste in men, her hesitance is seemingly based on nothing but intuition. The closer Marianne and Willoughby become, the closer Elinor becomes to Colonel Brandon. She sees now that he is in fact in love with Marianne. But Marianne is so in love with Willoughby that she doesn’t even have the smallest bit of pity or compassion or kindness for Brandon.  She still sees him as unworthy in every way. “You cannot deny me the privilege of disliking him as much as ever.”

Chapter 11

More of the same. Marianne loved Willoughby. They are out and about everywhere together. Her sister thinks her sister should be more cautious, more guarded. That someone should act with propriety–either her sister or Mr. Willoughby to cool things off. Elinor is getting closer to Colonel Brandon. He is getting to be her closest friend in the neighborhood. He is still in love with Marianne–hopeless as the case appears to be.

Chapter 12

The third sister, Margaret, the youngest finally enters into the picture and has some dialogue. She mentions to her sister, Elinor, that she saw Marianne give Willoughby a lock of her hair. Then a charming but short story of her sister in action is shown–of Margaret saying more than she should in company much to the laughs of all.

Chapter 13

A group of young people had been planning to go out together. Colonel Brandon being among them, he was in fact to be their host, but when he is called away, the whole thing is off. Most scatter. But Willoughby and Marianne go off together. Elinor thinks it very improper. But Marianne doesn’t care what Elinor thinks.

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4 Comments »

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  1. I loved these chapters. You can almost sense that some tragic fate awaits Marianne, for she is far too happy and carefree!! Elinor is so reserved and how she and Col. Brandon interact makes you feel that they would be such a great match. My heart hurts for Marianne. I’m loving this book!

  2. Staci, I agree. Something is up with Willoughby. I’m just glad I can’t remember the movie to know what it is. Yes, this books is getting good!

  3. I haven’t read the book before, and it’s been at least ten years since I saw the movie. So I’m in the dark as to what happens. But my gut is saying Willoughby is just too “good” to be true.

    I liked these chapters better than the first ones. I think the action has really gotten started. 🙂

  4. Hey, Margaret finally get a few lines in this chunk of the book — I was starting to think we’d never see her! Yes, I agree, something’s up with Willoughby. I think I’ve dated a few men like him — loads of fun, erudite, artistic, and yet one day you wake up and they still don’t have a job.


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