Mr. B

When it comes to matters of the heart the contrast between Elinor and Marianne is instructive heart.  It is part of the modern project to bend the world to do our will.  Marianne tells Elinor to make Willoughby come to her.  Marrianne is not shy about letting other people exactly how she feels despite the pain she may cause.  Elinor is always aware that she has a reponsibility to all of those aroung her.  Even as she is being insulted she 'turns the other cheek'.  It seems to me that Elinor's good heart is her ability to integrate her intellect, her emotions and her will into a whole person.  She is fully functional because she is whole.  Marrianne has not yet attained this level.  Marrianne is fragmented and unable to see the 'good' clearly.  This lack of vision makes her overlook clues that could help her to become 'good'.  So a good hearted person is one who has avoided the modern tendency to 'specialize' in the intellect, the emotions, or the will.  To be goodhearted is to be an integrated whole capable of seeing the world as it really is. 

#1 - Feb. 4 at 12:45pm | quote

 

Katie van Schaijik

Mr. B, Feb. 4 at 12:45pm

Elinor is always aware that she has a reponsibility to all of those aroung her.  Even as she is being insulted she 'turns the other cheek'.  It seems to me that Elinor's good heart is her ability to integrate her intellect, her emotions and her will into a whole person.  She is fully functional because she is whole.  Marrianne has not yet attained this level.  

This is well put, Mr. B. Elinor was a well integrated person, while Marianne reveled too much in sentiment.

It reminds me of one the key points von Hildebrand makes about "value response."  The value-responding person—the kind of person who tries to give each value its due—sees values in due relation with other values. 

So, Elinor never let her feelings for Edward overwhelm her sense of duty.

This is, of course, a central "task" of courtship.  

#2 - Feb. 5 at 9:18am | quote

 

To comment, please sign in or register first. (It's free and easy, and helps us prevent spam.)

 

Stay informed

Latest comments

Latest active posts

Reading circles

Lectures