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|How very interesting...
Written by Rebecca Nix
(9/24/2005 4:30 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, not only that..., penned by Rebecca Nix
I don't fault Wentworth for leaving, but I do fault him for not coming back to renew his addresses when he'd made enough money for them to start a life together.
She didn't reject him because she didn't love him. She rejected him because he could not provide security for her future or stability for any family they produced. He had not yet come into his own enough to be a provider.
From the text of Chapter IV:
"Captain Wentworth had no fortune. He had been lucky in his profession; but spending freely what had come freely, had realised nothing."
He had no way to suppose, as a rational creature, that he could support Anne, himself, and children at that time. It was foolish for EITHER of them to enter an engagement at that time.
"But he was confident he would soon be rich: full of life and ardour (that's code for immaturity), he knew that he should soon have a ship, and soon be on a station that would lead to everything he wanted."
He knew NO such thing. He believed it...but belief doesn't feed, clothe, and keep a family respectable.
I believe Lady Russell was right to discourage the match, that Anne was wrong to have accepted so readily, and that Frederick was selfish to recoil in such horror when Anne said they could not remain engaged at that time.
In addition, there is nothing in the book that suggests Anne treated him coldly or that she "sent him away." She simply told him why that could not marry. It's made clear that HE is the one who went wild with emotion and got angry and blew the thing up out of proportion.
No...I stick by my idea that, though Anne allowed someone else to make the decision for her, the broken engagement was not an evil thing. I further stick to the idea that Frederick behaved beneath himself by not coming back to re-apply for her hand once it became known that he could support her. And, finally, I believe that Frederick should have waited until he could support a marriage before asking for the engagement in the first place.
I don't blame Anne in any part of the business except insofar as the ideas were put in her head by Lady Russell rather than sprung from her own good sense and an eye for self-preservation, propriety, and long-term happiness.
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