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|How do you feel about Brandon at this point?
Written by Pete
(8/29/2013 10:47 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Up through chpt. 31 now, in the re-read, penned by Nancy Ann
I'm always interested in what folks think of Brandon when they find out he knew all along what Willoughby had done to Eliza. Oddly, IMHO, so many think him a completely solid, honest bloke. But consider what he does. He comes to London over two months before the girls go to London and finds out what Willoughby did to his ward. In fact he meets him for a duel over it. But for some reason I can't comprehend, Austen does not have this trusted friend of the family return to tell Mrs Dashwood, or even take even a few hours to pen a note to her about what Willoughby did. Some have excused him for "not wanting to interfere with an engagement." That's no excuse, but even if that was, at the time he learned about Willoughby he had no inkling that there was an engagement. He only knew Willoughby was seeing Marianne AND that the Dashwoods were being deceived by him. He knew him to be a worthless man yet he says nothing.
When he does finally tell Elinor about Willoughby, Brandon says: "His character is now before you; expensive, dissipated, and worse than both. Knowing all this, as I have now known it many weeks..." So he's not only known what he did to Eliza for many weeks, he's also known him to be expensive and dissipated and worse. The only excuse Austen gives him is that he thought he might not succeed...what ever that means...and that he thought Marianne might reclaim...RECLAIM this expensive and dissipated man. Does this not bother you at all?
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