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|I am not denying that he behaves badly...
Written by Rae
(10/14/2008 5:11 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I am not sure it sat well with..., penned by Moni
and hurts Anne. I am trying to see things from his point of view. We are party to pretty much all of Anne's feelings, ideas and thoughts. We have very little direct insight into his. So we have to think about his behaviour, in the context of what we know about him. He does have good qualities, but I do not think they are on show here, and I am not just leaping to his defence. I am trying to see what would make someone behave like this to someone he once loved so completely. :-)
When she rejected him in 1806 she did what was, from her point of view at the time, the right thing to do. That subject has been rehearsed already so I shall not linger on it.
From his point of view, she denied his very being. He is entirely a self made man. He has no family resources, no automatic rank, no right to, or expectation of, anything he does not win by his own efforts. And so far he had succeeded, his efforts had got him where he was. But in the end, in spite of loving him, she decided she could not make the leap of faith required to believe in him - at least that is how he sees it. She allowed herself to be persuaded by others, and not by him. As that belief in himself is the only thing he has, she did more than reject him as a partner, she denied his identity.
And in the course of all that he had the humiliating experience of the interview with Sir Walter, in which he was not even given the respect of an outright refusal. Sir Walter hit him where it really hurt - by his professed resolution of doing nothing for his daughter he suggests that in marrying Wentworth Anne will become so devalued that she will not even get whatever might normally be due to her, whether by law or by custom, on marriage.
So let's suppose that, after being posted and with the proceeds of the French frigate and his cruise in the Carribean, he thought about approaching her. It is she who thinks that it was the independence which alone had been wanting. I do not think he thought this was all about whether or not he had money, he was also angry about how [s]he had given him up to oblige others - she had taken other people's view of him above his own. Two years and lots of money does not seem likely to me to assuage such pain and give him the confidence to try again.
In a sense then, his behaviour towards her now is 'valuing' her. He must still value her to still be so angry about her choices in 1806. Yes, it looks like he is kicking her when she is down, but he does not know just how down she is. He cannot act normally towards her because he cannot just relegate her to someone whose power with him was gone for ever, however much he might tell himself it is.
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