Man's reputation vs. woman's reputation
Posted by Linda Ann on October 31, 1997 at 19:14:41:
In response to Agree but........., written by Rita on October 31, 1997 at 14:00:03
] I agree with both your comments about the inherent nature of the two girls and thus our reponses.
] However, my point was that the factor that motivates these two women remains the same and defies the same "prudence" that we talked about.
] In light of this fact, do we judge Lydia too harshly(maybe if Wickham HAD NOT married her, she might have changed like Marianne).
A man's marriage-worth is determined primarily by fortune. A man damages his reputation by consorting with loose women, but not irreparably. (Emma/Mrs. Clay the widow is fair game for all comers, excuse the expression).
A single (virginal) woman, escorted by a man, without permission, to parts unknown, has just sacrificed her reputation. She can have all the beauty and money in the world, but it won't repair that loss. Thus, I believe that, socially (medically?) speaking, Darcy's sister is judged by her peers to be intact, if lacking in good sense, whereas Lydia had a reputation as a flirt and people found it easier to believe ill of her (not to mention she was living with Wickham for weeks (?) before being located).
Off the topic, did anyone else enjoy Princess Di's comment about 'keeping herself tidy' because she knew she was going to marry someone in the public eye? That's a good British girl in the latter part of this century talking. Imagine 1820.
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