Posted by Janette K on February 28, 1998 at 01:57:23:
In response to The army of the benighted and a question, written by Constanza on February 26, 1998 at 17:05:38
] Why does Lucy becomes a new Charlotte when she lies to George (her sin against Eros) and when she then lies to Cecil (her sin against Palas Atenea) and not when she becomes engaged to Cecil?
I think Lucy does not "sin" in this way when she becomes engaged to Cecil because he has not revealed his true character. He is a handsome, seemingly pleasant, and eligible young man who claims to love her, and it's perfectly rational for her to agree to marry him, so that she can move on into a full love relationship. After all, she has no idea she will ever meet George again, and she is seeking from Cecil satisfaction of the kind of desires George awakened in her.
At first, her mother is happy and the village also rejoices because (as EMF points out) an engagement promises a new generation, a continuation of the human race. This is all very primal and natural.
It's only after they're engaged that Cecil stops paying attention to who Lucy really is and starts trying to fit her into a mold -- a work of art to be displayed to his credit, an object. (Before they were engaged, he was at least able to notice that she had developed "sublety" during her Italian tour.)
Mr. Emerson congratulates her on being about to marry when they meet again, and George later admits that if Cecil had been a different sort (I take this to mean a decent guy who loved Lucy straightforwardly and valued her as a person) he would not have tried to break up the relationship or renewed his own attentions to her.
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