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Written by Kristina F
(9/8/2013 11:03 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, It does, and, penned by Nancy Ann
...Elinor only "buys" his ridiculous, self-serving story for a brief time, until she is able to view it objectively and rationally. By Chapter 47, she is enough in control of her emotions to remind both her mother and Marianne that Willoughby is not truly sorry for any of his misdeeds, but only sorry that he didn't get what he wanted:
"At present," continued Elinor, "he regrets what he has done. And why does he regret it? Because he finds it has not answered towards himself. It has not made him happy. His circumstances are now unembarrassed -- he suffers from no evil of that kind, and he thinks only that he has married a woman of a less amiable temper than yourself. But does it thence follow that, had he married you, he would have been happy? The inconveniencies would have been different. He would then have suffered under the pecuniary distresses which, because they are removed, he now reckons as nothing. He would have had a wife of whose temper he could make no complaint, but he would have been always necessitous -- always poor; and probably would soon have learnt to rank the innumerable comforts of a clear estate and good income as of far more importance, even to domestic happiness, than the mere temper of a wife."
Based on this passage and a few others (including that wonderful, bitingly funny conclusion for Willoughby in Chapter 50), I would say that Austen quite clearly saw him as pretty much an irredeemable villain, and NOT someone to be pitied.
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