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Written by Robbin
(9/19/2009 9:36 p.m.)
Willoughby and John Dashwood appear to be very different kind of men. Willoughby is charming, attentive and appears to be rather generous—a horse is an expensive gift. John is selfish, greedy and neglectful—he let our girls down just when he ought to have taken care of them. However there are some disturbing similarities between Willoughby and the worst brother in the world! Although John and Willoughby’s situations are very different both men complain of their poverty—is Willoughby greedy and selfish like John? He lives a life style he cannot afford rather than retrench which seems rather selfish. Willoughby as well as John breaks faith with our dear ladies. John promised to help his step-family and Willoughby’s actions convinced Marianne and Mrs. Dashwood that he was going to propose. Just when they believed the time had come (Ch. 15) he up and left the country acting so unlike his normal self it created suspicion in both Mrs. Dashwood and Elinor. Can Willoughby be trusted any more than John? It also seems that they felt Willoughby treated them all like family; it is as if Willoughby slid into the emotional gap John’s neglect (emotional) left vacant:
Nothing could be more expressive of attachment to them all, than Willoughby's behaviour. To Marianne it had all the distinguishing tenderness which a lover's heart could give, and to the rest of the family it was the affectionate attention of a son and a brother. The cottage seemed to be considered and loved by him as his home; many more of his hours were spent there than at Allenham; and if no general engagement collected them at the park, the exercise which called him out in the morning was almost certain of ending there, where the rest of the day was spent by himself at the side of Marianne, and by his favourite pointer at her feet. (Ch. 14)
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