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|GR: Same, but Different
Written by Cheryl
(9/8/2003 2:09 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: a second Willoughby, penned by Barbara
] 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.
Yes, the situations are similar, but so very different. Willoughby's crimes, his wild and scandalous behavior with Marianne while at Barton, his treatment of Eliza, his appalling callous letter to Marianne, are so much worse than Edward's, it is hard to compare them.
Edward is guilty of attaching Elinor's feelings when he was not free. But he did not come close to ruining her reputation, and was not heartless in his dealings with Elinor after he is found out.
Willoughby chose money over his love for Marianne. Edward chose honor over his love for Elinor. The motives and impetus behind both men is what makes the difference, and allows Elinor to look past her own pain and forgive Edward. Willoughby's actions are unforgiveably selfish.
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