The better man?
Posted by Barbara on August 24, 1998 at 13:12:07:
In response to Will. being sensible, written by Lindsay on August 24, 1998 at 10:13:17
] Having sex with M.outside of marriage would be much, much worse
] than not marrying her for financial reasons. The first is by E's standards totally despicable, she could have no respect for such a person, his behaviour would be totally beyond the pale.
] The second though pretty low down by my standards, was not nearly so bad,
But, as you said, the first is totally despicable, and Willoughby has shown that he is the type of man whow would do this to a young woman, even if Marianne was fortunate enough to escape. Despicable behavior is despicable behavior, no matter who is on the receiving end of it--a fact that Willoughby does not seem to appreciate. Also, in the book Willoughby makes it clear that while he did fall in love with Marianne, at first he was just out for a good time (which may or may not have included plans to seduce her. I suggest that it was Marianne being surrounded by her family which saved her more than a change in Willoughby's character)
] really quite sensible. In E.'s world if W. had married M for love
] without being able to support her, he wouldn't have been doing her a favour he would have been condeming her to a life of poverty.
] An honourable man might choose not to pursue a woman he loved if he felt there was another wealthier suitor who could give her a better life.
This is definitely not what's going on here, though. In his confession, Willoughby says that one thing he really dreads is that he is going to lose Marianne "to that some one...the very he whom, of all others, I could least bear..." I don't think there is the slightest chance that Willoughby gave Marianne up thinking that the wealthier, steadier Brandon could give her a better life.
- Could Marianne have resisted Seduction? Barry 23:45:44 8/25/98 (4)
- E. not so sensible? Lindsay 08:40:41 8/25/98 (0)
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