View Full Version : Jane and her own sister...

01-16-2008, 01:14 AM
i wonder if marianne and elinor in some ways are like Jane and her sister were. i'd like to think of jane more like marianne. someone who loves with all they have, every emotion. while elinor like her sister who was more reservedwhen it came to love and held alot inside. marianne wears her heart on her sleeve for all to see. and for me thats what jane ws like.

06-23-2010, 01:34 AM
i agree that marianne and elinor are comparable to jane and cassandra, however jane was no marianne! in my opinion she relates more to elinor - never speaking to anyone about tom lefroy except cassandra, whom she asked to burn the letters mentioning him. while her joy at being in love with tom often overflowed in her writing, she was very sensible and logical, refusing to let her emotions get the better of her. jon spence says in his biography "becoming jane austen" that "jane austen is not the Elizabeth Bennet we sometimes like to assume...she has far more affinity with Darcy". regarding her letters about lefroy - "with everyone except cassandra she availed herself of the dignity of silence". instead of letting the world know she was in love like marianne, she wrote pride and prejudice - "the energetic intensity of pride and prejudice attests to the effect that falling in love had on jane austen" "her unique way of thinking about tom lefroy and of celebrating her delight at being in love - and at being loved". to me this sounds a lot more like elinor! poor jane never had a happy ending though - tom lefroy never came back for her.

07-22-2010, 02:58 AM
Waw, thanks for that! So that could be why there is such intensity in P&P while the rest is a lot less intense, but therefore not funless...I noticed that Northanger Abbey was as funny, but not as sparkling in energy and still quite like, 'girl meets boy, boy is charming and lovely, potential sister-in-law is lovely, father likes girl and so everyone lives eventually happily ever after still with a few obstacles in the way which of course get cleared up'. There is not the same energy behind Henry Tilney as there is behind Darcy and Wentworth, that is clear, though Tilney has the potential to be a Wentworth/Darcy.

I also do not agree with Jane Austen herself being like Marianne. I have the impression that Austen, in Marianne's illness and professions of the fact that 'she was able to think' during it, that she kind of 'cured" Marianne of her defects: being too easy in bestowing her affections too much on someone and for all to see, because it only leads to grief. Elinor almost is left by Ferrars forever, and is grieved by her knowledge of Ferrars's engagement, but I think that the situation of Elinor is slightly better as she at least does not lose herself over Ferrars. There are other fish in the sea. And if a person is so easily persuaded to take another only for money instead of talking to his aunt, like Willoughby, which in the end is proven to have been the cure for her temper (no matter what the fortune of Marianne), then it is the question whether his affection was so great from the start, although one feels kind of sorry for him, in a way at the end. In the words of James Morland (Northanger Abbey): 'Beware how you give your heart.' Not who you give it to, which we might expect him to say, but how: not too quickly (naturally), but not too vigorously either because otherwise the wound is too deep. If you then get taken in by somebody, there is no way back from your affection and can really your happiness depend on someone else for the rest of your life? And let that be now just what Elinor told Marianne.

L.M. The Third
07-22-2010, 02:30 PM
I'm wondering how much light biographies actually throw on the Lefroy business. I had understood that there is nothing in Austen's (surviving) letters to definitively imply she was ever in love with him.

07-22-2010, 03:17 PM
Yes, the question is of course whether Cassandra did not burn all the letters that they wrote to each other about him. If she did and Austen did as well (or her copies which were frequently made in those days) and her sister was the only one whom she wrote to about her love life, then it is likely that nothing remains.

Other than that, no-one knew about the true extent of Charlotte Brontë's love for Héger, until someone went to see the letters she wrote to Mr Héger himself and which his wife had saved from the paper bin... Gaskell had seen them, but had covered them up for her prudish Victorian public and Brontë's family. Brontë had her letters burnt or somebody did it for her, and as such, it was unknown until someone discovered it decades later. If it had not been for Héger's wife, who did have a reason to be jealous but thankfully her presence of mind revented her, all references would have been lost as well...

It is possible, yet of course, proof is needed to determine its truth :).

L.M. The Third
07-22-2010, 07:54 PM
Yes, of course I'm not denying that Lefroy could have been an influence, but all the letters that I know of are very scanty grounding for such a theory.
And the Bronte-Héger comparison is interesting, but, as you say, his wife did save those letters, and thus we know.

07-23-2010, 02:22 AM
Or she didn't express herself in such a manner, but then of course we all read between the lines, otherwise we wouldn't get her stories...

Yeah, so who knows, maybe she had a few fires going at the same time :bigear:.

No, seriously, maybe indeed biographers are just looking for a big Darcy-man.