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|Revising my initial view of the "predator" question
Written by Heather Leigh
(10/7/2009 1:36 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Lydia & Eliza, penned by Robbin
Okay, after looking back at Lydia's case, I am more willing to call Willoughby a predator. Mainly because of how the men react to Wickham's choice of Lydia as an object of seduction. They're surprised that Wickham would go after a girl who is neither rich NOR unprotected by male relatives... i.e., neither "high-reward" (like Miss Grey, or Wickham's Miss King), nor "low-risk" (like Willoughby's Eliza). That suggests he was acting out of calculation either way... pursuing an either/or goal of money or sexual satisfaction, but either way pursuing a goal.
And Elizabeth uses the phrase "falling easy prey" to describe Lydia's experience (though of course Lydia doesn't see it that way ;-)
So if Wickham is a predator, I'm willing to call Willoughby one too.
(While maintaining that neither of them has the "sadistic" edge of setting out to despoil innocence and/or wreck a girl's peace of mind).
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