Willoughby & Alec D'Urberville
Posted by Linda K. on August 05, 1998 at 22:27:37:
In response to More Will and Drabble, written by Cassandra on August 01, 1998 at 15:38:47
] The Will confession scene is one of my favorite of all JA passages and as Barb said it's unique, dramatic, passionate, (very much like JW himself!) revealing so much about WIll as well as Elinor.
] With respect to Will, I agree very much with Drabble-Will is more three dimensional than a Wickham. If he's not fully redeemed, it's difficult to argue that Will did not love MArianne. Why else would he show up, riding in the rain? The Will magnetism, his love, albeit selfish love, for Marianne really shine through there; and like Elinor, I find myself under his spell, wishing for a dizzy moment that he were a widower and could marry Marianne. Only to recall ,like Elinor, in my sober moments that Brandon is the better, more deserving man. Still..."to have resisted such attractions, to have withstood such tenderness! Is there a WWW on earth who could have done it!"
] Any thoughts?
I agree with the above. In fact, I was just reading an essay by Irving Howe at the end of "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" and it has an interesting comparison of the characters Alec and Angel. The description of Alec reminds me of Willoughby in a sense:
".....Alec assaults Tess physically, Angel violates her spiritually. Alec is a charm, in his amiable slothful way; Angel bears an aura of tensed moralism. What they share is an incapacity to value the splendor of feeling which radiates from Tess. Each represents a deformation of masculinity, one high and the other low; they cannot appreciate, they cannot even see the richness of life that Tess embodies. Yet there are important differences. At least Alec does not pontificate, or wrap himself in a cloak of principles. He may not be admirable but he can be likable, simply because commonplace vice is easier to bear than elevated righteousness. And as Lawrence has shrewdly noticed, Alec "seeks with all his power for the source of stimulus in women. He takes the deep impulse from the female...he could reach some of the real sources of the female in a woman, and draw from them"....."
If you are familiar with the story, at first glance it is Alec who appears the true villain, but upon further examination, Angel is actually the worse offender of the two IMO. In examining Willoughby's nature, I find him more sincere than Wickham, Henry Crawford, and yes, even Frank Churchill! I just don't think that JA made this particular relationship, (that of Marianne & Willoughby), so completely black and white.
- Will, Alec and Damon? Cassandra 14:01:36 8/08/98 (8)
- I have not read..... Linda K. 10:16:48 8/09/98 (7)
- ROTN Cassandra 08:49:18 8/12/98 (0)
- ROTN Barbara 17:38:58 8/09/98 (5)
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