Marianne in Therapy » JASNA
One day while visiting Barton Cottage, Willoughby proclaims his utter fondness for Marianne's relationship with Willoughby is described as an "attachment,". written by the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne. People's feelings were impressed on her; personal relations were always before .. Middleton about young Willoughby, she shows a certain interest for the gentleman. Sir . enter the publishing market, nonetheless, were immense, and their participation was. In London, Marianne improperly writes several letters to Willoughby, telling him that she had arrived in.
Elinor and Marianne Dashwood take different approaches when it comes to romance and intimacy. Together they reflect the fluctuating relationship that many experience between social norms and their desires. Elinor, the older sister, represents the conservative, composed approach of the Victorian era which suggests that feelings should be carefully displayed and courtship should follow rigid rules that allow society to control the situation and make sense of things.
In contrast, Marianne the younger sister, speaks to the wilder side of womanhood, as she is more open, passionate, and spontaneous in intimacy and courtship. Social norms at the time stated that women should be reserved and modest, and not engage in any intimacy with men, unless engaged to be married. In this sense, Elinor has Victorian ethics, and Marianne is the rebel who claims to live her life by a different, more modern set of rules. One custom that displays courtship and ethics of the era, is the locket with hair of loved ones, worn by a gentleman.
This custom reflects the deep feelings and intimacy that a gentleman and a gentlewoman share. This line of comedy John H. Smith has described as the Gay Couple Tradition.
What About Marianne? Does She Not Deserve Love? | Austen Authors
In such stage plays and of course in the movies, we all know from the start that the witty, sparring, antagonistic pair are meant for each other. Their very differences, the sparks that their encounters produce are proof positive of a real chemistry.
Austen adapts this comic plot to Elinor and Marianne. And just as in Much Ado, the central couple, Claudio and Hero, come across as dull and conventional when compared with the lively Benedict and Beatrice, so too Elinor and Edward and Marianne and Colonel Brandon pale when compared with the bond and the charge between Elinor and Marianne.
Let us for the moment try to put aside the didactic burden of Sense and Sensibility, with its bifurcated title and the temptation to identify Elinor entirely with sense, decorum, and restraint, and Marianne wholly with sensibility, excess, and emotional display. Whether the division is totalized, or whether, as many most notably Claudia Johnson have argued over the years, Elinor, especially after meeting Willoughby, becomes more emotional and Marianne more sensible, the emotional economy of the novel is generated by the constant conflict between restraint and excess: This too is a classic comic device, immortalized in Don Quixote, the plot of which Salvador de Madariaga describes as the sanchification of Don Quixote and the quixotification of Sancho Panza.
In contrast, Marianne, and more importantly, Mrs. Dashwood get to play the happy-go-lucky narcissists, who are always accommodated and indulged. It is, in short, quite unlike Elinor to list her grievances like this. The composure of mind with which I have brought myself at present to consider the matter, the consolation that I have been willing to admit, have been the effect of constant and painful exertion;—they did not spring up of themselves;—they did not occur to relieve my spirits at first.
Elinor in both of these films reacts more in sorrow than in anger, disappointed but not surprised. The two actors manifest a suppressed violence and physical, embodied emotion that makes this confrontation, I think, the most passionate scene in the movie. Your browser does not support the HTML5 video tag. The events of the novel are constantly focalized through Elinor, as it is her perspective that we follow and her view that grounds almost every scene of the novel. The comparison with Marianne could not be more explicit: Marianne was quite subdued.
My illness has made me think—It has given me leisure and calmness for serious recollection. Long before I was enough recovered to talk, I was perfectly able to reflect. I considered the past; I saw in my own behaviour since the beginning of our acquaintance with him last autumn, nothing but a series of imprudence towards myself, and want of kindness to others. I saw that my own feelings had prepared my sufferings, and that my want of fortitude under them had almost led me to the grave.
My point again is not to minimize the didactic burden of the passage—Marianne has painfully learned her lesson, and that lesson in restraint, civility, and consideration of others is the lesson Elinor has been teaching from the start.
Its affect, its charge is transacted between the two sisters, and, as such, it is as much about love, about affection, and about attachment as it is about conduct. All mammals bond through emotional connections: But for humans, the presence or absence of affective empathy involves an additional dimension, signaling that validation is a more abstract, complex, and general sense.
Resonance is crucial to intra- and inter-personal functioning for humans and I suspect the other great apesin ways that percolate more subtly through feelings, moods, and enduring traits of character.
A lack of resonance also adds an extra dimension of pain to loneliness and missed connections. Dogs will become depressed and non-functional if deprived of social connection, but I doubt they suffer the agony of low self-esteem or an existential sense of isolation. Attunement appears to distinguish this relationship right from the start.
Marianne and Willoughby have the same tastes and opinions, but this agreement matters only because it demonstrates how exquisitely they resonate with one another. Their attunement lies in their love for one another, which organizes itself around other shared feelings and experiences. Or so it seems. In the heartless letter that ends her hopes, Willoughby denies having felt anything but mild friendship for Marianne and virtually accuses her of having imagined their love: That I should ever have meant more you will allow to be impossible, when you understand that my affections have long been engaged elsewhere.
Long after Marianne knows that Willoughby has jilted her, his feelings and motives continue to matter. I know he did.
Whatever may have changed him now, and nothing but the blackest art employed against me can have done it, I was once as dear to him as my own soul could wish. This lock of hair, which now he can so readily give up, was begged of me with the most earnest supplication.
Had you seen his look, his manner, had you heard his voice at that moment! How can she trust herself, or anyone else, ever again?
- Courtship and Romance in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility
- John Willoughby
Teasing out the implications of this feeling a bit further, we can say that, in that case, Marianne would be condemned to a kind of cosmic loneliness, imprisoned within her own perceptions and alone with her own feelings because she is unable to connect emotionally in the ways that people connect with one another.
The experience is annihilating, and the definition of this word is worth citing. Such feelings of annihilation can lead to suicidal despair. As psychologist Thomas Joiner observes, suicidal thinking involves feelings of not belonging and of being ineffectual, powerless to make a mark on the world you live in, which is how Willoughby has made Marianne feel.
Ironically, by imagining herself dead, Marianne rediscovers the validation that had been lost to her in her depression.Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds - "Sense and Sensibility" - Kate Winslet
How could you have consoled her? By picturing the devastating effects of a real rather than a psychological annihilation, Marianne is able to find herself again, present in the minds and hearts of those who love her, and so present to herself as well.
As if in reward for being able to turn away from the annihilating deathblow delivered by Willoughby and to focus on the affirmation she finds in the love of her family, Marianne finds out that her perceptions about Willoughby had been accurate. When she lies ill, Willoughby comes to see Elinor in the dead of night with a message for Marianne. He tells Elinor that he had indeed loved Marianne, that his feelings for her were genuine, and that he disregarded them to marry a woman whose fortune would pay his debts and enable him to gratify his expensive tastes.
The cruel letter that nearly killed Marianne had been dictated by the woman who is now his wife. He regrets his decision and wants Marianne to know that their love was real. Fortunately, Elinor can assure Marianne that what she saw and felt was real: Willoughby did love her. Third-person omniscience might be thought of as a kind of empathy with fictional people.
Disapproval generally focuses on the value of empathy as a moral force.
What About Marianne? Does She Not Deserve Love?
Critics argue that empathy is prone to bias, that we tend to have empathy for those who are like us or close to us, and with individuals rather than groups. Other motives such as guilt or the desire to do the right thing can lead to better outcomes than empathy. The drawbacks of empathy might have much to do with our social development as a species.
Empathy does tend to be evoked by the plight of individuals, but for most of the history of homo sapiens sapiens, society consisted of individuals, with each person known to the entire community. Humans were hunter gatherers for millennia. Therapy, even group therapy, is largely a matter of individuals interacting with one another, and this dynamic might be why, in a therapeutic context, empathy is generally seen as an important and benevolent force.
I discuss the psychological and neurobiological characteristics of romantic love in chapter 6 of my book Jane on the Brain: Works Cited Abela, John R. All things Jane Austen 13 Feb. The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty. Bernier, Annie, and Mary Dozier. Evidence from Interpersonal and Attachment Research. Theory, Research, Practice, Training The Case for Rational Compassion. American Psychological Association, A Case for a Narrow Conceptualization.