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Written by BarbaraB
(10/24/2012 9:39 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Lying to Elinor, penned by Robbin
1. Is Willoughby drunk/joking? According to the annotation in my text: Porter is "a dark beer, heavier than lager, but a pint is standard fare even in the morning. Willoughby is being sarcastic about being "over-set" or made drunk by it, for a pint would not." The sarcastic interpretation is in line with my thinking this time around.
2. Willoughby, Eliza and indigence. I would say yes, Willoughby had to know that a 16 year old female left on her own in a strange place regardless of whether he knew her background or not could not have managed alone beyond any small amount of time financially or socially in such a society in such a situation. He has seduced her away from her protection and with her just disappearing like that has tainted her reputation and then getting pregnant completely ruined it. Even if she had not gotten pregnant and managed to get back to her residence in Dorsetshire, I would imagine she'd be no longer accepted there with the other charges. 'Not knowing' is just a pitiful excuse for Willoughby not taking the responsibility to know, to find out her situation instead of just walking away.
3. Did Willoughby forget to give Eliza his address? I don't believe he forgot to give Eliza his address if, according to her, he said he was coming back so there would have been no need to give her the address. I'd say he was lying.
4. Did Willoughby tell Marianne he'd be back? This is the second incidence of a girl saying Willoughby said he was coming back after taking off apparently without explanation. I suppose, there's a chance that both Marianne and Eliza being emotional and feeling themselves wrenched from someone they loved, might have convinced themselves in the throes of agony he said it when he didn't. However, Willoughby's lack of complete denial, his character and the fact that this is the second time, leads me to believe he is lying. If he didn't actually say the words, no doubt he gave the impression he'd be back which is the same as lying.
5. Did Miss Grey write Willoughby's letter? We don't get a lot of information about Miss Grey but Mrs. Jennings has heard that her guardians would not be sorry to have her married because she and Mrs. Ellison could never agree. True, it's hearsay but JA specifically had Elinor ask about what she was like so I think we were given this small tidbit of Miss Grey's true character. Also, Miss Grey had to have seen the display Marianne created when she spotted Willoughby at Lady Middleton's party. I think her to be something like Lucy: on guard at any appearance that anyone might be trying to move in on her and quite capable of taking things into her own hands. In this particular instance, I think Willoughby is telling the truth.
I have to say I dreaded reading this litany of excuses, egotism, lying, and 'poor me' that I had nearly talked myself into skipping this chapter. In the end, I felt that there were too many details that I wouldn't remember from the GR 3 years ago. It took 4 separate times of reading to get through it. It was just so UGH.
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