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|She shall forgive me again, and on more reasonable grounds
Written by Robbin
(10/10/2009 3:05 a.m.)
In Ch. 44 Willoughby says his reason for coming to Cleveland was to make Elinor (and family I guess) hate him less. Willoughby says he wants to offer some kind of explanation and some kind of apology and obtain something like forgiveness by opening his heart to Elinor. He gives plenty of explanations and receives forgiveness more than once but he never does offer an apology. I cannot find where he ever says the words “I apologize” or “I am sorry” or anything of that nature. Willoughby also does not scruple to blame others in an attempt to gentle his behavior. He says “I do not mean to justify myself” and “I do not mean, however, to defend myself” but I think indeed he does mean to do just that.
He has the gall to blame Col Brandon for making him look bad. He accuses him of telling tales about him to Elinor and Marianne:
"Remember," cried Willoughby, "from whom you received the account. Could it be an impartial one?
One person I was sure would represent me as capable of anything.
He says he cared for Eliza and her affection for him deserved better treatment but he still can see his way to blaming her for their affair:
I …cannot leave you to suppose that I have nothing to urge, -- that because she was injured she was irreproachable; and because I was a libertine, she must be a saint. If the violence of her passions, the weakness of her understanding --"
Of course it is not Willoughby’s fault Eliza could not find him. She was just too stupid:
"But, upon my soul, I did not know it," he warmly replied; "I did not recollect that I had omitted to give her my direction; and common-sense might have told her how to find it out."
Willoughby says Mrs. Smith’s was against him:
"The purity of her life, the formality of her notions, her ignorance of the world -- everything was against me. The matter itself I could not deny, and vain was every endeavour to soften it. She was previously disposed, I believe, to doubt the morality of my conduct in general, and was moreover discontented with the very little attention, the very little portion of my time that I had bestowed on her, in my present visit. In short, it ended in a total breach.
Of course Sophia wrote the cruel letter to Marianne:
And in short, what do you think of my wife's style of letter-writing? -- delicate, tender, truly feminine -- was it not?"
After reading Ch. 44, does anyone agree with Willoughby that his explanations are reasonable grounds on which to forgive him? (:D)
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