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|Honorable deeds - dishonorable thoughts
Written by Robbin
(10/5/2009 12:46 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, The engagement, penned by Nina RG
Edward’s reserve and moodiness since Norland points to unhappiness that could be accounted for by an engagement he regrets. Two particular incidents point to a lack of affection for Lucy. In Ch.35 Lucy visits Elinor and Edward appears creating a very awkward situation. He is embarrassed but this is the only time we see Lucy & Edward together and he shows absolutely no sign of affection or even attention. While Lucy did “look her tenderness” at Edward the narrator does not note that he returned it and when Elinor leaves them alone together there is no evidence of (the ironically identified) Edward’s raptures in her absence. In S&S 2 he ends up walking Lucy to his sisters at her request but in the novel he high-tails it to parts unknown leaving Lucy to find her own way home. In Ch. 38 Nancy tells Elinor that Edward did not contact Lucy for three days after the engagement was exposed which, from her point of view, sort of left her hanging in the wind and again does not say much for his affection for her.
Edward’s choice to continue his engagement despite “how small was the consolation, beyond the consciousness of doing right, that could remain to him in the loss of friends and fortune” (Ch. 38) is honorable and I think offering Lucy the choice to opt out of the engagement is honorable as well. Honorable because when he promised to marry Lucy his prospects were a great deal better so really Lucy is not getting what she bargained for when she accepted him. I think Edward did hope to be freed from the engagement when he offered Lucy an out. I am not sure if feeling that way should be considered dishonorable—my gut reaction is no; that his honor lies in doing what he promised. Doing it with so little good to him just makes it more unpleasant. I wonder if a reason Edward did not push very hard with his mother for independence was that he hoped Lucy would tire of waiting and end the engagement. (:D)
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