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|Comparing confessions. (longish)
Written by nan duval
(10/16/2009 11:18 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, She shall forgive me again, and on more reasonable grounds, penned by Robbin
I've enjoyed the analysis of Willoughby's confession--its sincerity or lack thereof, its attempts at passing blame to others, its meandering narrative; I've seen it compared to Brandon's disclosure to Elinor of the saga of the Elizas (I don't find the Colonel's history a confession but a confidence) but I don't recall any comparisons of Willoughby's confession to Marianne's. So here goes my attempt at one. Because W's has been so extensively discussed, I'll concentrate on Marianne's.
First, Marianne's confession is only a page long, compared to Willoughby's many page intrusion on Elinor's time. She credit's her illness with insights into her behavior & attitudes:
Marianne's expression of sorrow contains all the elements of true confession put simply and elegantly. She doesn't ask for forgiveness, she knows she is forgiven & loved;
Willoughby's story demands attention to persuade to forgiveness, but bypasses the elements of taking responsibility, true sorrow for the wrongdoing, and resolving to improve--in fact he pretty much says he won't improve.
I know others will find other points of comparison that I've missed.
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