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|But it is not just the seduction
Written by Pete
(9/14/2013 7:43 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Eliz and Will and Brandon, penned by Bridget D
To me that's bad enough, but Austen has Brandon ALSO describe Willoughby as expensive and dissipated and worse when he confesses to Elinor that he knew what Willoughby did and what kind of guy he was. I'm not sure how Austen would have us think Brandon knows all this about Will, but that sounds like Austen had in mind something MORE than just a "boys will be boys" guy who inadvertently got a girl pregnant. And Austen has Brandon say he has known this for many weeks.
Perhaps Austen's use of "dissipated" was hyperbole? Or maybe THEN, dissipated does not mean what it seems to mean now...ie wild, depraved, self-indulgent, dissolute... disreputable and spent beyond reclamation? If it was JUST that Willoughby got a girl pregnant and that the girl was somehow partially to blame, the handling of Will at this point in the story would make more sense to me. But the added "expensive and dissipated and worse" makes me wonder at what Austen has her Brandon do. Was that just a buzz phrase they used then for a guy who ran around?
AND what's more ironic is that Austen has Brandon somehow KNOW the Dashwoods don't know what kind of guy Willoughby is because he believes them to have been deceived. Since he has been so little in their company over the previous few months, how can HE know that they don't know what Willoughby did or the kind of guy he is? She doesn't have him say he just realized they were being deceived, he says he believed them deceived for many weeks. Was it because a "Brandon-type" guy would reason that IF Mrs Dashwood and Elinor knew what he knew, they wouldn't condone Marianne dating Will?
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