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|Does W know
Written by Susan R
(10/25/2006 12:24 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, How does Willoughby get away with it? (long), penned by Delories
I've been sporadically re-re-re-reading S&S in the past months. I just used the very cool "Pop up the novel text" feature here to browse a bit but wasn't able to answer this to my own satisfaction.
One of the reasons I appear to have less trouble than some with the forgiving of W is my assumption that while W is insulting the colonel, he doesn't know the connection between them. From his point of view, W isn't insulting Eliza's guardian, he's insulting a dull, old man.
I also believe him when he confesses that he was going to propose to Marianne: "I had left her only the evening before, so fully, so firmly resolved within myself on doing right! A few hours were to have engaged her to me for ever." (Chapter 44)
It's also always been my interpretation that he left Eliza not knowing of her "condition" and believing she knew how to find him, even though he didn't love her the way he came to love Marianne.
Perhaps I'm just too much of a softie....
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