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|And there is no evil antagonist
Written by Chandra S
(2/21/2013 11:18 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Concur with everyone plus, penned by Chandra S
I was running through the characters in my head, and realized that there is no one in Persuasion that really qualifies as a "bad guy." No Willoughby, no Wickham, not even a Lucy Steele. Sir Walter is selfish, vain, and a spendthrift, Elizabeth is just plain selfish, Mrs. Clay is sucking up and trying to marry up - but the worst "bad" we get is Mr. Elliot.
He doesn't show up until the book is half through, and his main "badness" is offscreen and years earlier, influencing Smith to spend beyond his means and then refusing to do his due diligence as executor of the will. Within the novel, he ... plots to get back in his family's good graces so he can stop a marriage that might disinherit him and is a bad idea anyways, and then goes off with the woman to ensure the marriage does not happen. He doesn't try to seduce underage girls, or lie about the character of decent men, or really actively seek anyone's harm - he just does some slightly shady things to promote his own best interests.
I love the way that JA just describes normal human nature and makes it a readable story without the bad guy having to be malicious or vengeful or "muhuuhaahaa ha" evil.
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