|GR.: Literary pretenders....
Written by KerstinM
(10/21/2003 11:41 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR - Right of refusal, penned by LaurieC
] There was a puzzling sentence in the book (ch. 2): "Moralists deplored the pretender who tried to secure prior assurances of love before he made his offer--a cynical policy, aimed, it was said, at circumventing the woman's right to refuse." Is this why we see these proposals coming out of the blue? (I'm so confused...) But perhaps Mr. Collins has cleared it up for me. ;-)
Mr. Darcy and other suitors in Jane Austen's book made often proposals out of the blue, that seemed to have been a common practice for well-bred gentleman (though at times it made them look quite foolish in our modern eyes...)
The only pretender in the sense mentioned above that comes into my mind is Rhett Butler in the novel GWTW (in the movie there is no such scene) when he tries to lure a declaration of unconditional affection from Scarlett lips on Aunt Pittypat's porch during the war before he declares himself. I thought always Scarlett as quite stupid to expect a proposal from Rhett when she hadn't encouraged him the slightest bit during his visits but the conventions of that time made her hopeful not without reason, obviously. But pretender that he is, he only mocks her and asks her to be his mistress after she has proved to be unwilling to confess feelings beyond mere friendship. To the standard of the time this kind of behavior indeed was caddish beyond reproach for any reasonable lady. Jane Austen would not have been amused, lol.
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