Day Six: Sense and Sensibility, Chapters 28-30

March 14, 2008 at 5:07 pm | Posted in Sense and Sensibility | 1 Comment

Chapters 28-30

It just keeps getting better and better. Though Marianne has a rough time during these three chapters. Poor Marianne is just not having the trip of her dreams.

Chapter 28

I don’t know how relevant this may or may not turn out to be, but Elinor did write her mother about her concerns about Marianne and her current state of mind. But before her mother had a chance to respond–probably before she even had a chance to read it–Marianne’s state goes from bad to really really really bad. This chapter (and the following chapters) captures her plummet down into the depths of despair. It all starts when the Dashwoods (Elinor and Marianne) attend a party (a dance I believe) with the Middletons. (Mrs. Jennings  was not there thank goodness. Though it would be funny to see how she would have behaved there.) When Marianne sees Willoughby there, she causes quite a scene. The opposite of how a lady is supposed to behave at all let alone behave in public. She notices–and Elinor notices–that Willoughby is avoiding them. Avoiding making eye contact with them. He merely bows and proceeds to ignore her. This simply won’t do in Marianne’s mind. The scene is harsh and painful. (Painful in the embarrassing I-hate-to-look but I’m-so-glad-it-isn’t-me way.)  When he does come to them he addresses himself to Elinor and won’t stoop to acknowledge Marianne. But she won’t let him off the hook that easily. “Good God! Willoughby, what is the meaning of this? Have you not received my letters? Will you not shake hands with me?” This is his response: “He could not then avoid it, but her touch seemed painful to him, and he held her hand only for a moment. During all this time he was evidently struggling for composure.” The awkward scene continues just a few minutes more but then he makes a hasty departure. She then pleads with Elinor to go to him and “force” him to come back to her and speak with her. Elinor refuses. She’s a mess. Marianne that is. So they plan a hasty getaway of their own. They retreat back to the Jennings place to regroup and refocus. Well, Marianne goes home to write an angry letter to Willoughby. And Elinor goes home to try to salvage the situation.

Chapter 29

Willoughby does answer this latest letter. Mrs. Jennings sees it and assumes that it’s a message from Marianne’s lover. Something to be happy about. Something to tease and joke about. Elinor tries (and it’s impossible to succeed in this goal) to reason sense into her head. To tell her that the engagement only existed in her own mind. That if she had any sense at all that she would stop spreading lies and slandering her sister by connecting her with Willoughby. When I came across the line, “I can tell you, for it has been known all over town this ever so long. I tell everybody of it and so does Charlotte [Mrs. Palmer]” I wanted to smack her–slap her silly. Elinor is much too much of a lady. “Indeed you are doing a very unkind thing in spreading this report, and you will find that you have, though you will not believe me now.” Mrs. Jenning’s response? Laughter. I seriously am beginning to hate this woman.

The rest of the chapter details the letters Marianne wrote to Willoughby and the letter he wrote to her. It is also revealed that he is engaged to someone else. A wealthy someone else at that.

Chapter 30

The rest of the world (or the household or ‘the ton’) finds out about the engagement of Willoughby to Miss Grey. The chapter focuses on Elinor’s conversations with Mrs. Jennings and with Colonel Brandon.


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  1. I felt bad for Marianne, even though she broke convention and expressed her feelings and emotions openly, I still feel sorry for her. Willoughby is a first class jerk!

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