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Written by Barb JA
(10/10/2009 8:20 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, point above, penned by Karen G
That is so true. Urgency can lead people into careless actions, compounded by relying on the judgment of someone else. It applies to the story here because a teenager is apt to rely on the authority and judgment of an adult 9 years their senior. That is timeless. The special creepiness of Willoughby and Wickham is timeless. It's not a random affair with a woman their own age. It's each using their authority (by difference in age) to take the virtue of a girl who is inexperienced and would be guided by him. Easy pickens these girls were, and not because they were flirty, well grown, easy by nature due to a parent(!), but because they were young and they had no parent nearby.
I think the laws have improved over time, in recognizing this inequality in two people of very different ages, and the age of consent has increased. I was interested to see on that Wikipedia map I mentioned (linked below), that the Western U.S.A. has 18 as the age of consent, while in Nevada it is 16. Why is that? Are Nevada's 16 year olds more mature than others? One can imagine that the age is kept low, not for the benefit of the 16 year olds. Perhaps it's because what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Thank you for your story. It is an example of why I love Jane Austen's writing. She's a keen observer of human nature that is timeless. We can recognize in the characters people we know, and a bit of ourselves too. If we see some of the negative characteristics in ourselves we can strive to change them.
I'm sorry Karen G. What started as a response directly to you turned into spilling out all of my final thoughts about this whole thread. And to everyone this has been very, very interesting reading, thank you very much.
|Wiki map, not sure how current or accurate|
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