Tag Archives: Romantic heroes and heroines

Marianne Dashwood – A Romantic Heroine

18 Apr

Marianne’s abilities were, in many respects, quite equal to Elinor’s. She was sensible and clever; but eager in everything: her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation. She was generous, amiable, interesting: she was everything but prudent. The resemblance between her and her mother was strikingly great.

jane austen sense and sensibility book cover 1

‘Sense and Sensibility’ was Jane Austen’s first published work and is my favourite novel by Jane Austen. Both the movie Sense and Sensibility (1995) and the novel are amusing and interesting, a real nourishment for imagination. Even if you throw out the romance, you’re still left with witty dialogues, interesting Regency fashion, insight into social customs and daily life in Regency era. There’s something so exciting in imagining that perhaps there once was a Marianne Dashwood out there, with all her romantic adventures and sensibilities!

The character of Marianne Dashwood is probably the main reason why I love this book so much. I feel I can relate to her, much more than I can to Elizabeth Bennet, despite the general admiration and affection readers usually have for Miss Lizzy. I think Marianne is a very interesting character, a typical heroine of Romanticism. Embodying the ‘sensibility’ of the title, Marianne is spontaneous, impulsive, idealistic, excessively sensitive, amiable and generous; she’s everything but ‘sensible’. Marianne’s romantic and passionate nature has shaped her interests and hobbies, as well as her attitudes towards love and life; she loves reading poetry, playing pianoforte and singing, living passionately in general, long strolls, romantic adventures, and, keeping in touch with Romanticism, she loves nature. Like Marianne, I am exceedingly romantic, because I’ve listened to Chopin’s Nocturnes one too many a time, read too many Victorian novels, and I daydream too much.

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No voice divine the storm allay’d,
No light propitious shone;
When, snatch’d from all effectual aid,
We perish’d, each alone;
But I beneath a rougher sea,
And whelmed in deeper gulphs than he.

       The Castaway, 1799, lines 61–66 (William Cowper)

Marianne is particularly fond of William Cowper who is considered one of the forerunners of Romanticism. His thoughtful and emotional celebration of the beauty of nature was very appealing to Jane Austen herself. I think it’s very appropriate that they included a recitation of Cowper’s poem in the movie because it perfectly demonstrated the difference between two sisters, their worldviews and qualities they value. During discussions about Edward Ferrars, Marianne proclaimed: ‘I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with my own. He must enter in all my feelings; the same books, the same music must charm us both.

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Kate Winslet is the only Marianne Dashwood for me! She perfectly embodied Marianne’s romantic idealism, spontaneity, and passion for wild flowers and poetry! I have not doubted for a moment that who I’m watching on the screen is a real Marianne Dashwood coming to life. Even her appearance coincided with my own vision of Marianne! Kate’s appearance in the movie was pure embodiment of the word ‘romantic’; her sparkling eyes, golden curls and heart-shaped lips were all perfectly suitable for the image of a romantic heroine.

Every romantic heroine needs a romantic hero. Marianne’s first romantic adventure began the moment Mr Willoughby carried her to the house, in the rain, after she had sprained her ankle. The next morning he brought her wildflowers, and the two bonded over the shared love of poetry. Still, the story would have been too perfect if it had stopped there. Willoughby had secrets of his own. It seemed sad to me at first, but after finding about Willoughby’s immoral behavior and corruptible nature, I was delighted that he abandoned Marianne for I would not want a person like that to be her husband.

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Even though some, or rather, most of the readers have expressed disappointment on Marianne falling in love and marrying Colonel Brandon, I actually liked the ending. Willoughby seems a better partner for Marianne at first; he’s young, handsome and charming, but it is maturity and wisdom of Colonel Brandon that enabled him to deeply love and appreciate Marianne in a way Willoughby never could. It’s just my opinion though, perhaps somewhat shaped by the fact that Brandon was portrayed by Alan Rickman in the film, and I like him, and his voice.

In the end, Marianne realised that Colonel Brandon was very much capable of falling in love or inspiring love in someone else. I think it’s very romantic how he fell in love with Marianne at first sight, as she reminded him of his unforgotten love Eliza, without even hoping or expecting Marianne to return his feelings.

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My Inspirations for September

29 Sep

This month my biggest inspiration was Romanticism. I’ve read The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe, A Hero of our Time by Lermontov and The Robbers by Schiller. I can honestly say that my mind is full of melancholic poems, Chopin’s Nocturnes, nature and above all Romantic heroes and heroines; from Pechorin, Werther, Karl Moor to Tatyana, Meri, Lotta and Amalia.

However, my attention was still preoccupied by Pre-Raphaelites and 1960s hippie fashion this time my focus was on Marianne Faithfull, Jean Shrimpton and The Stones.

1840s grand duchesses olga nicolaeievna et alexandra nicolaievna

1840s Duchess Alexandra Nikolaevna by Christina Robertson

1830s Natalia Pushkina

1830s russian lady

1831. Portrait of Zinaida Volkonskaya by Amelie Munier-Romilly

1838. grand duchesses olga nicolaievna et maria nicolaievna 1

 

1790s Lotte at Werther's grave

1838. Wedding Gown, England, Jacquard silk, blonde lace & novelty gauze

1840. Duchess Zinaida Yussupova, by Christina Robertson

1856. The Death of Chatterton by Henry Wallis

1856. autumn leaves - John Everett Millais

Sasha Pivovarova hippie 4

1920s the brinkley girls

1960s Chrissie Shrimpton, Twiggy, Jenny Boyd, Samantha Juste

Irving Penn

1925. La Vie Parisienne, May

1960s jean shrimpton 77

1960s jean shrimpton 78

1960s jean shrimpton 89

1960s marianne faithfull 19

1960s marianne faithfull 68

1960s marianne faithfull 10

1960s Brian & Keith

Music Personalities. pic: circa 1967. Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones group with one time girl friend, Swedish actress Anita Pallenberg.

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