Why does Aurora Leigh not accept Romney's marriage proposal?

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sensei918 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Aurora Leigh is Elizabeth Barrett Browning's novel in the form of an epic poem about the main character's quest to be a poet and the obstacles she encounters. In Book II of the poem, Aurora's cousin Romeny proposes to her on her twentieth birthday. He thinks thas, as she is a woman, Aurora cannot possibly become a poet of any caliber. Women, Romney feels, do not have the capacity for passion that men have. He wants to save her from herself. His proposal makes her angry and she rejects him, telling him that he is too wrapped up in his charitable work to be a good husband anyway. Romney chastises her in return, saying she's going to be left alone and with nothing. His proposal reinfoces her determination to become a successful poet.