Posted by Linda K. on April 18, 1998 at 03:01:31:
In response to Opportunistic Villian!, written by Cheryl on April 18, 1998 at 01:51:31
] Had to do it. And I think it adds some symmetry to the thread... ;-)
Sorry to upset the symmetry, but I find Willoughby to be opportunistic and a victim of sorts, but no villain. This is my take on Willoughby: I think initially he set out to spend some pleasant time with a beautiful girl (Marianne) with whom he shared many common interests. He subsequently fell in love with her and intended to propose marriage. Meanwhile his aunt found out about his indescretion with Eliza/Beth and promised to forgive him if he married her. He states that he could not and I believe this is because he would by marrying a girl he did not love, would lose his social standing, and still be extremely financially dependent upon his aunt. If he married Marianne without his aunt's favor, he would be reduced to poverty. He is victim to his aunt's manipulations via her money and victim of society's views and practices of the time. If he married Miss Gray, he would be marrying a woman he did not love but would be quite wealthy. He chose money over love and he suffers for it. He brings revenge upon himself and is doomed to live a life with a woman he does not love while pining for a woman that he does love. If he did not love Marianne, why would he bother with the confession to Elinor? Willoughby's behavior is reprehensible but he is punished for it. Wickham, a true villain, is not really punished for his behavior (except for the fact that he marries Lydia!), Henry Crawford receives no punishment (he loses Fanny but I feel he only THINKS he loves her), and Frank Churchill, for all his deception, is not punished and lands firmly on his feet. Willoughby has received his due punishment so give the guy a break! ;-p I find him the most appealing Austen "villain" I suppose. It must be all that passion! ;-p
- Victim to his aunt's manipulations? Kathleen Ann 11:00:35 4/18/98 (4)
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.