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|GR: a second Willoughby
Written by Barbara
(9/8/2003 2:20 a.m.)
Not surprisingly, when Marianne finds out about Elinor and Edward, her first thought is that Edward 'seemed a second Willoughby'. There are so many similarities in the situations that I can't blame her for thinking so.
I know that Edward is showing more integrity than Willoughby did with Marianne, but it still strikes me how willing Elinor is to acquit him.
When she was talking to Colonel Brandon about Marianne in Ch. 31, Elinor said, "I have been more pained by her endeavours to acquit him than by all the rest; for it irritates her mind more than the most perfect conviction of his unworthiness can do."
Now, in this week's reading, Elinor uses the same word to defend Edward, "I acquit Edward of all essential misconduct. "
And, back in Ch. 23, it was Elinor who was working to reach this point: "Had Edward been intentionally deceiving her? Had he feigned a regard for her which he did not feel? Was his engagement to Lucy an engagement of the heart? No; whatever it might once have been, she could not believe it such at present. His affection was all her own. She could not be deceived in that."
When it gave her comfort to acquit Edward and even to vindicate Edward on every charge but imprudence to Marianne, I wonder that Elinor could not sympathize more with her sister's efforts to acquit Willoughby for her own peace of mind? Of course Willoughby does not deserve to be acquitted for what he did to Eliza Williams.
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