Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

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What do we learn from Willoughby's conversation with Elinor while Marianne is ill at Cleveland in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility?

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When Willoughby learned of Marianne's potentially fatal illness, he rushed straight from London to Cleveland. His intention of coming to speak with Elinor was to "obtain something like forgiveness" (Ch. 44). Willoughby confessed that his first motive for getting to know Marianne and the Dashwoods was to give himself something nice to do while in Devonshire. Marianne's attentions played on his vanity, making him even more vain, but his only intention was to flirt with her without ever "returning her affection." He further confessed that the main reason he had no intention of returning her affection is that he had always been extravagant and that he had...

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