” . . . that Marianne found her own happiness in forming [Col. Brandon’s] was equally the persuasion and delight of each observing friend. Marianne could never love by halves; and her whole heart became, in time, as much devoted to her husband as it had once been to Willoughby.”
Sense & Sensibility, volume 3, chapter 14
6 Responses to Never loving by halves
I read a critic once who said that Jane Austen was just placating her readers by saying that Marianne was happy with Col Brandon. He thought that she could never really have loved him. I like to think she does love him – but maybe I’m just soppy…
No Ali, she loves him. They’re perfect for each other. That’s one of my favorite Austen quotes.
I agree, lizziemma! It is a very sweet quote.
Some critics don’t take into account the fact that Marianne is only 17 years old at the start of the novel. Young, silly girls do grow up. Many of them turn into splendid women, who learn from adversity and who mature and grow. Jane’s quote makes sense to me.
And yet, do you think a man could ever make the same kind of transformation? I’m not sure it’s in their nature.
Well, there’s Captain Benwick in “Persuasion.” 🙂 But Austen seems to portray that more as regression than growth, and considering that his previous fiancee sounded a lot mature than Louisa Musgrove, I expect she was right!