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|G.R: Does Willoughby's confession will out? (longish)
Written by Mandy N
(9/15/2003 6:00 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR Not in love, penned by Barbara
] A careful read through his message reveals that he never does say he loves/loved Marianne. The best he can manage is that he became 'sincerly fond' of her, even when Elinor asks him point blank whether he was ever really attached to her. It's actually quite brilliant the way JA wrote it, because it gives the impression that it is 'implied although never professedly declared' to paraphrase Marianne. But, the bottom line is that it is NOT declared--he never said the 'L' word to Marianne herself, and he doesn't say he loved her here either.
Dash It! Far be it from me to appear to defend Willoughby: He is clearly a self indulgenent,egotistical brat. However,does anyone suppose that at one time he at least believed himself in love with Marianne? The fool himself tells Elinor he believed himself 'attached' to her but put off "paying his addresses to her". It seems an explaination rather than an excuse of course... I'm abit curious no-one has discussed at length 'the cliffhanger' of Elinor suddenly finding W. at Clevland (my nose was just about pressed up to the screen when I returned!). Then he's so eager to hear from Elinor that Marianne is 'out of danger'. Does he have genuine concern for her? (He should, he doesn't have to love her to be glad her life has been spared)Or does his conscience fear M. will die before he can reach Cleveland to 'explain' his actions-and receive her forgiveness before she dies? After the affair with Eliza and recent confrontation with his benefactoress,Mrs Smith perhaps he only fears another scandel and exclusion from society All I can say is, thank goodness it was not M. he made his confession to;If even Elinor softened alittle toward him can one imagine Marianne even after her suffering being any stern judge?
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