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|Doling out the Blame
Written by Robbin
(10/9/2009 12:55 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, who's to blame, penned by Bridget D
Eliza’s adherence to moral principle was not what it should have been and she was foolish, as it turns out, extremely foolish to trust Willoughby with her honor and reputation and that mistake is hers to own and suffer from forever—I have not said otherwise. However, I do not think Eliza purposely put herself in harms way. What evidence is there Eliza & Friend made friends with people whom their elders would probably not have approved? The problem I have with that conclusion is that the only unacceptable person that we know they met and befriended was Willoughby. Had Friend’s Father met Willoughby there is no assurance he would have found him unacceptable. At Barton Willoughby is known as a respectable man and I do not know of any evidence he was not considered so in Bath. I think Friend’s Father is negligent not because he failed to prevent their meeting Willoughby which was probably correctly done in a respectable place but for not seeing whatever they did afterwards. I imagine, by taking his behavior with Marianne as an example, that he showered Eliza with attention and showed an obvious preference for her that should have alerted a responsible chaperone to check him out. Of course checking Willoughby out might not have saved Eliza since he is seen not only as respectable but his manners and “natural ardour of mind” (Ch. 10) easily convinces people of his genuineness. It is only in hindsight that Willoughby is found to be an unacceptable acquaintance. (:D)
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