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Written by gkb
(10/28/2005 9:34 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Persuasion v. S&S, penned by Deborah Y
I think Anne would have been tempted to marry Capt. Benwick if CW had not wriggled out of his predicament with Louisa. Or she might have found some one else in Bath through her connections with the Crofts. After all, Anne is the one who perceived Benwick's readiness to move on in life, and she who coolly decided that so young a man must and would rally again. Okay, she sports with high flown notions of enduring love such as practically perfumed the streets of Bath, but IMO, JA is gently mocking even steadfast, tender-hearted Anne for doing so!
What is so exciting about P is not that second attachments are impossible, but that first attachments are renewable. (Like books from the library!)
It was not wayward, capricious, fanciful and jealous passion that reunited Anne and Frederick. Those flames and those hurt feelings very nearly separated CW from Anne a second time! No, it was steadiness of principle, cool judgment, familial warmth and friendship, the rational daring of a collected mind, and a large dollop of forgiveness that reunited them and allowed them to have a container--a homely hearth--for those long-burning fires to live in. All the other forms of love that support and nurture erotic love were instrumental in their reunion.
Do not worry. The moral shall be perfectly fair: When the man loses faith and the woman loses hope, they can still be united by charity. Now, where you place the eros in that social equation is up to you, but I think it is an equal caloric valence on both sides!
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