The love of a good woman...
Posted by Helen on September 09, 1997 at 06:30:22:
In response to One more thought on Mrs. John Willoughby, written by Jane Elizabeth on September 08, 1997 at 12:27:40
] I forgot one other thing. Willoughby's aunt restore's Allenham to him after his marriage because he has married a woman of (and I may have this word wrong) quality. Imagine the character of a woman being so good, or intelligent, or classy that the aunt overlooks W's really bad behavior and restores to him his inheritance! We have very little to go on about Sophia other than W's descriptions, but this is fairly good evidence that he was misrepresenting her.
I agree, it's highly likely that he would think of her as not as good as his lovely Marianne, and go into the marriage prepared to think of himself as a victim. But given the different attitudes to men and women at the time, it's surely likely that both Willoughby's aunt and her own relations would tell her that her duty would be to marry the man and try to make something good of him - it's a woman's mission. This is Fanny Price's biggest rebellion - she rejects this argument when she decides not to marry Henry Crawford, because she doesn't believe that she good redeem him by being a devoted wife (not because she's madly in love with Edmund, oh no)
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