Jacie Robinson

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kellyjane I think that Colonel Brandon was written as falling in love with Marianne almost as quickly and easily as he was smitten with her. Jane Austen doesn't really explain it (she never takes us inside the mind of Colonel Brandon); but apparently he sees qualities in Marianne (passion, loyalty, intelligence, exuberance) that he had been prone to admire through his adult life, beginning with Eliza. (That ventured, I don't think that Colonel Brandon was a particularly well-written character, truth be told.)

My sense of Marianne was that she was written as someone who undergoes a rather profound shift in her consciousness, outlook, and values as a result of almost bringing her own destruction upon herself. She accepted Elinor's ethos of 'emotional self-government' rather than impulsive emotional reactivity-- along with accepting more of Elinor's outlook on social proprieties and etc-- and therefore, it seems to me, was open to the more 'sensible' choice of marrying a mature and stable and decent man who would be devoted to her. It seemed to me that Jane Austen hinted something like that Marianne would come to love Colonel Brandon over time, because it was her nature 'never to do anything by halves'. It was more a respect and gratitude that would evolve into a feeling of love because of Marianne's strong sense of loyalty to whatever she could genuinely appreciate. All of her surrounding loved ones wanted the marriage to take place, and she acquiesced.

But for me personally, it wasn't a particularly satisfying arc of the story's drama. I can understand it; but I can't help feeling that Marianne sacrificed a part of herself in marrying for respect rather than organically passionate love.
Aili I think this book should be viewed as an exploration of true love. Literature too often glorifies the kind of passionate love Marianne feels for Willoughby, depicting love as something that starts and ends with carnal passion. But Jane Austen (who had already shown her satirical talents in Northanger Abbey) saw further than this, and Marianne's finally finding happiness with Colonel Brandon was a way of demonstrating that true, enduring love can be something that grows subtly over time, borne out of respect for one and other and enjoyment of each other's company.
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Anurag Sharma
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Oghenovo Obrimah
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Gold Dust I don't think they ever love each other. He just likes her. And she marries him in the end because that's the sensible thing to do. He's a respectable man who was willing to marry her. It's not about love. It's about doing what's sensible and settling for whoever is good enough.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Col Brandon basically fell in love with Marianne at first sight; she was young, beautiful, and strongly reminded him of his first, tragically lost love. Her freshness and innocence and impetuosity made him feel alive again and he wanted someone young to love. Marianne begins to see that Col Brandon is dependable, stable, and much better company than a young and handsome user and player.

Don't say it's impossible; my own husband was 37 to my 20 when we met, and we've been happily married for almost 36 years. Right time, right place, right person.

Austen does use the trope of a serious illness transforming the character of a flighty girl; she may have been the first to use it (I'm not sure), but certainly not the last. Granted, to you and me "a heavy cold" is no big deal, but remember that even aspirin did not become commercially available until the early 20th century. People could, and indeed did, die of a feverish cold in those days.
Emma Marianne was lively, very romantic, and emotional at the beginning of the novel and throughout the story. Near the end, though, as you can see in her conversation with Elinor, she says she will always act with forbearance, kindness, sense, and logic. Colonel Brandon is a good match for Marianne. He will be sensible, sober, and logical, which is exactly what Marianne would want. Marianne comes to appreciate Colonel Brandon, and they love each other. Marianne's passion for romance would prevent her from marrying the Colonel if she didn't love him!
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