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Written by Robbin
(9/13/2009 11:58 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I agree, and also, penned by kathleen (elder)
I think Marianne did know it was improper to visit Allenham the way she and Willoughby did (Ch. 13) but he talked her into it and I imagine suggested keeping it secret. You are right if Marianne truly thought it was above board then she would not have kept it secret; she also would not have been embarrassed and confused when Mrs. Jennings confronted her about where she has been. I also think Marianne’s anger at Elinor for disbelieving she had done it to be born of defensiveness which must also point to the fact she knew going to Allenham was improper.
From what Elinor says I think the lesser impropriety was that Marianne’s only companion was Willoughby and the greatest was visiting without being acquainted with Mrs. Smith who is “too infirm to mix with the world” and “never stirred from home” per Ch. 9. As well as improper it is also rather icky and callous of Marianne and Willoughby to go over Mrs. Smith’s house and grounds making plans for a future where she will be dead and they will have the privilege of restyling her house as they see fit—all the while Mrs. Smith being somewhere in the house ignored and avoided.
I think Willoughby talked Marianne into the visit because when she confesses (Ch. 13) "Perhaps, Elinor, it was rather ill-judged in me to go to Allenham” she also says “but Mr. Willoughby wanted particularly to shew me the place” which might suggest he had to persuade her into going. In Ch. 11 the narrator describes Marianne as being completely under Willoughby’s spell; “Everything he did was right. Everything he said was clever” so it would be an easy task for him to convince her that the visit was not really as improper as “common-place and mistaken notions” would style it which would appeal to Marianne very much:
But Marianne abhorred all concealment where no real disgrace could attend unreserve; and to aim at the restraint of sentiments which were not in themselves illaudable, appeared to her not merely an unnecessary effort, but a disgraceful subjection of reason to common-place and mistaken notions. Willoughby thought the same; and their behaviour, at all times, was an illustration of their opinions. (Ch. 11)
Thanks for your kind attention! (:D)
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