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|GR: Tell us what you *really * think ;-)
Written by Barbara
(9/15/2003 2:49 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Willoughby's "Confession" Scene (Obscenely Long), penned by Monica C.
I am rather of your opinion about this so-called confession of Willoughby's . I was looking forward to this last week of the group read, because this particular Ch. 44 seems to have the most fodder for discussion of almost anything in the novel. It still amazes me, though, that this speech of Willoughby's has the power to soften peoples' opinion of him and make them pity him. I find him utterly despicable in this scene!
]I don't think it really matter if he did "fall in love" with her later, anyone with that sort of an attitude towards love obviously doesn't know what it is.
As I replied in my post to Line, Willoughby didn't fall in love with Marianne, and he admits that he has never really known what love is or he couldn't have behaved towards her as he has done. There is only the realization that he has now begun to see how far off the mark he really is and what he has been missing (and will never have).
] And despite all his "I'm sorrys" on the subject he KNEW he couldn't afford to court Marianne but did it anyway!
But that's the root of his whole problem. If he thinks he wants something, he indulges his every whim or desire. The idea of denying himself something is unthinkable, whether it be a pretty young woman to amuse himself with, or material possessions. If he was on the verge of a financial rupture, as he calls it, then maybe he shouldn't have been trying to give a horse away, or buying a new curricle to drive, etc. As Mrs. Jennings noted back in Ch. 30 "Why don't he, in such a case, sell his horses, let his house, turn off his servants, and make a thorough reform at once?"
] decided "What the heck, I'll marry her"
You know, he says that he had determined to ask her to marry him, but can we really take his word for it? I mean, he can say anything he wants about what he meant to do now, can't he, since it's all moot, what with him already being married and all.
] Willoughby says "Remember, from whom you recieved the account. Could it be an impartial one?" thus indirectly suggesting the Colonel made the situation out far worse than it was merely to gain Marianne's favour.
Yes, this really makes me see red (and not the fetching red of the colonel's jacket, either!) Willoughby's meaning is clear--that Brandon would say anything to bring him down in their eyes. If he only knew how long the colonel waited before telling them and that he was even willing to keep silent on the topic forever if Willoughby HAD really married Marianne, just to give her a chance at happiness. Grrrr!!
]It also casts doubt on Eliza reputation and Willougby goes further to ruin it- "...because she was injured, she was irreproachable; and because I was librtine, SHE must be a saint..."
Well, one thing she was was a sixteen-year-old innocent whereas Willoughby was 25 years old and using women for his own amusement was a propensity he had "always been too much in the habit of indulging" by his own admission. I think that more than adequately tips the balance of blame to his side.
] Apparently he just "forgot" to tell her where he was going and that he wasn't coming back
I don't believe he did forget. In fact, I believe the reason he was around Allenham at that time of the year in the first place was so that Eliza *wouldn't* be able to find him.
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