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|I have an opinion
Written by Barbara
(10/13/2006 1:28 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Likelihood of Marianne becoming a 'fallen woman', penned by Pennie
Willoughby was no doubt watching for any possibility of making this happen, but I don't think anything like this did happen.
Knowing what he knows, and to see her ill and pale and not wanting to eat, and it being about two months since she and Willoughby parted, Colonel Brandon might have reason to fear she is in the same situation as Eliza. As he says "after such dishonourable usage, who can tell what were [Willoughby's] designs on her? "
But Colonel Brandon either doesn't believe or doesn't want to believe that things went so far. First of all, knowing Willoughby's character, I can't imagine he thought Marianne had any chance of 'reclaiming' or reforming him if their relationship had already reached that stage. Secondly, in comparing her to the first Eliza, he suggests that Marianne has a 'firmer mind'. And it is clear enough that he believes Marianne has not forsaken her virtue when he tells Elinor that Marianne's sufferings "proceed from no misconduct, and can bring no disgrace."
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