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|It felt like it might be a sham...
Written by Clellie M.
(10/20/2009 10:55 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Did Sophia write the Letter?, penned by Robbin
When Willoughby came to Barton, S&S suddenly seemed to be like a very exciting play. I felt as though I might actually be sitting in a velvet seat at a theatre, instead of my bed. I gasped, and I actually wrote, under,
"The bustle in the vestibule, as she passed along an inner lobby, assured her that they were already in the house. She rushed forwards towards the drawing-room--she entered it, and saw only Willoughby.", at the end of Chapter 43,
"(And the curtains close.) End of Act __".
And then, as he gave his emotional speech in the next chapter, I really doubted his sincerity. I also doubted whether he could be such a good actor, but Elinor seemed throughout the novel to be an omniscient character, and she did forgave him, pitied him. Is this to be the end of it? Are we, as readers, to take this as truth, unquestioningly?
I am still suspect of Willoughby's telling of how his wife had him copy over a letter. I agreed vehemently with Rachel G -- "I think that sort of thing would be enough for Willoughby to accuse her of malice during his 'confession' to Elinor. After all, he is using every means in his power in Ch.44, and nothing is ever his fault...." The letter, though not accurate of his behavior at Barton, and Marianne's and his relationship, was not as malevolent as it had potential to be.
Having been slighted, myself, of course I would have called off the engagement immediately, so the whole thing sounds strange to me, however; if Sophia Grey wished to continue with the marriage, perhaps after several minutes of Willoughby groveling and promising restitution, giving in to the idea of marrying Willoughby, even when "She knew [Willoughby] had no regard for her when [they] married."
It is plausible that Sophia could have dictated the letter, to ensure an end forever to his relationship w Marianne, imho, without being quite so awful as W. implied. She was very likely with only the strewn facts, as they were told to her by Willoughby, who was basically desperately choosing to marry her, over a sprunging-house. W. says, "In honest words, her money was necessary to me, and in a situation like mine,anything was to be done to prevent a rupture."
So Sophia could have easily been only saying, "Miss Dashwood, Willoughby is my own, always and forever, and your relationship needs to come to a close, as he is engaged elsewhere."
But Willoughby insists that she was terribly severe, and mean-spirited. As Rachel pointed out, "...nothing is ever [Willoughby's] fault..." And it seems that nothing is: all of his misfortune comes from his unfortunate seduction and abandonment of Eliza Williams, in Bath...
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