[LMB] Is Barr a rapist? or I'm misunderstanding beguilement?
M. Haller Yamada
thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 6 02:12:20 BST 2019
One thing that was definitely available for the KC timeline is
reputation. I want to invoke Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice:
if people knew about the guy's misdeeds, then other people
could not be preyed upon so easily.
But one thing a lot of people seem to forget is the wishes of
the person who was raped. Bluebell wants to carry off the
scam; she does, for many years, and it hurts her and embitters
her (along with the original rape and the shame of an out-of-wedlock
child -- private shame, since she carries it off).
I can't say she's wrong for wanting to keep it covered up. I'm sure
Farmer society can also be full of victim-blaming and shaming. She
could have been cast out of the family, or run away because the
attitudes surrounding her were so awful. Would she have her husband?
And fortunately, we know that Barr stopped beguiling people after
that brief, stupid period in his life. HOWEVER: how is anyone else
in the book to know that? How do *we* know Barr is a true narrator
and stopped? (I think it's pretty clear from the various clues that
Lois thinks he stopped, and that's all that really matters to me.)
I don't think Wickham managed to have sex with Darcy's sister --
but he could have. Austen makes it pretty clear that he had sex
with Elizabeth's sister, Lydia. Neither girl brought a baby to term.
Lydia didn't have a protective and extensive support system to
protect her own reputation. And I don't know if marriage to Lydia
prevented Wickham from seducing and trifling and downright
raping anyone in a weaker position. Tough scenarios, all.
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