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Thread: Situations and characters in Sense and Sensibility in the later novels.

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Situations and characters in Sense and Sensibility in the later novels.

    I’ve notice a number of situations in S&S which crop up the later books and probably better handled.
    Among others I note these. Any other suggestions?

    A female tyrant imposing a marriage – Mrs Ferrers – Lady Catherine
    A mother with daughters in straitened circumstances – Mrs Dashwood – it is what Mrs Bennet fears will happen after Mr Bennet’s death
    A last minute off stage and unlooked for elopement which leads the hero to marry the heroine – Lucy Steele and Robert Ferrers –Maria Rushworth and Henry Crawford.
    A woman having to keep quiet about her love while very unsure of it – Elinor – Fanny Price, Jane Fairfax, Anne Elliot
    A charming cad who has seduced, or tried to seduce, a young woman –Willoughby- Wickham
    A young woman coming to marry a man she had initially dismissed – Marianne and Colonel Brandon – Lizzie and Darcy.
    A doting mother and noisy children – Lady Middleton – Mary Musgrave, Isabella Knightly (whose kids are far better behaved.)
    A heroine marrying a clergyman - Edward - Henry Tilney, Edmund Bertram
    A silly young woman going on about men - Nancy Steele - Isabella Thorpe, Lydia Bennett (who are both considerably younger)
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    Off the top of my head, I see Mr. and Mrs. Palmer as prototypes for the Bennets. Mr. Palmer is cynical and disappointed in his marriage, just like Mr. Bennet is, but is not quite as witty, engaging or developed.

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    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    Also (and this might be more relevant to post in the other thread about Marianne) your post about prototypes made me think of comparing the three teen aged heroines: Marianne, Fanny Price, and Catherine Morland. I do "fancy" Marianne, for her youth and her passion. But Catherine Morland is one of my favorite young heroines in all of fiction -- naive, insecure, loving, and (unlike Marianne) completely natural in all of her feelings. It is Catherine, not Marianne or Fanny, who thinks well of everyone she meets. She cannot imagine unkindness or duplicity in others, because she is so completely without them herself.

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    Off the top of my head, I see Mr. and Mrs. Palmer as prototypes for the Bennets. Mr. Palmer is cynical and disappointed in his marriage, just like Mr. Bennet is, but is not quite as witty, engaging or developed.
    Yes and possibly Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram. However all one's sympathies are with Mr Bennet, and Charlote Palmer may be transparent and silly like her mother, but she is the one in the pair with which we sympatise. Not least of her admirable traits is due to her silliness, she never notices her husband's rudeness.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    Mr. Palmer steps up to the plate when needed. However, I agree that, unlike Mr. Bennet, he's not a likable character. Perhaps Austen meant to make him wittier (like Mr. Bennet), but failed.

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecurb View Post
    Catherine Morland is one of my favorite young heroines in all of fiction -- naive, insecure, loving, and (unlike Marianne) completely natural in all of her feelings.
    Thanks for posting that ecurb. It’s nice to agree on something, and Catherine Morland is my favourite as well. Both she and Marianne are very young women in thrall to romantic literature, although Catherine’s taste is far trashier and she’s not so sophisticated. And yet I find Marianne very irritating and Catherine adorable. Thanks for helping me see why. (We only see Catherine’s mother briefly and although she gets the wrong end of the stick in a big way, she is the other OK mother in JA together with Mrs Dashwood. Maybe that's why Catherine is a more relaxed character than Fanny, whose mothers, natural and surrogate, are so unsatisfactory.)
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Elinor receives confidences from Lucy Steele at an intimate evening conversation in a larger party. Elizabeth Bennet received confidences from Wickham.

    In both case the confidences are maliciously intended, as Elinor can tell right away and Lizzie only realises much later.

    Another parallel is the matter of fallen women, Maria Rushworth and Liza Williams.

    Jane Austen seems to be playing with some of the themes, characters and situations in this book that she would return to. Equally there are situations, etc, which she would not use in future, such as a vulgar but good character like Mrs Jennings, Marianne's profound distress on abandonment or such a painful story as Liza Williams.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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