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|Should he do anything?
Written by Barbara
(10/1/2009 8:59 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, What about John?, penned by Ivonne
I hate to let John or Fanny off the hook for anything, but I don't see that there is anything he could or should have done in this case. As Carol says, Willoughby didn't break an engagement, and Marianne is not carrying his child. Even Mr. Dashwood did not expect him to act as a parental figure to Marianne, as Mr. Darcy did for his sister. Marianne has a parent and while Mrs. Dashwood certainly should have been more vigilant, I don't see that it is John's responsibility to step in there.
In fact, in this case, it is John who may be somewhat injured by the gossip that Marianne has caused. Despite this exchange between Elinor and Mrs. Jennings:
"For my part, I think the less that is said about such things, the better, the sooner 'tis blown over and forgot. And what good does talking ever do, you know?"
"In this affair it can only do harm -- more so perhaps than in many cases of a similar kind, for it has been attended by circumstances which, for the sake of every one concerned in it, make it unfit to become the public conversation."
...this is literally ALL over town, and it is gossip of a most unsavoury kind. John certainly has no grounds to force Willoughby to marry Marianne, and it's too late now anyhow. I have to give him a pass this time. The best he could do would be to pretend to know nothing about it, as Elinor wants Mrs. Jennings to do.
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