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|predator points of reference
Written by Heather Leigh
(10/4/2009 9:32 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Good Point; Is Willoughby a "predator?", penned by Jeffrey
I can't seem to let this topic go... maybe because the word "predator" brings to mind several of my favorite villains (or anti-heroes)... the Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil in "Dangerous Liaisons," and Don Juan/Don Giovanni.
These I would call "predators" because their sexual enjoyment is bound up with the knowledge of doing harm - either to the virtue/reputation/integrity of the person they seduce, or to that person's spouse/partner. They're not just self-centered, but sexual blackmailers and deliberate home-wreckers.
Not saying that they're good people, but they are fascinating monsters, and to me, Willoughby's not in their class... I don't think Jane Austen's moral imagination really encompassed that degree of cruelty and malice.
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