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Old 11-18-2019, 07:09 PM   #44
Bookworm_Girl
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I don't think it was necessarily inconsistent. I think it was a nice & tidy way to resolve the storyline consistent with the expectations of the reading public and morals of the era. It was already scandalous that Anne was writing about a woman who left her husband and that she portrayed the effects of alcohol so vividly and honestly. A women could not just get divorced and move on with life. A women could not just move on with another man in a non-married relationship without creating a scandal and damaging her reputation. Anne needed Arthur to die so that the marriage could be over, and Helen could legitimately move on. Having Helen return to Arthur after his injury allowed her to gain back respectability and fulfill her societal duty as a wife. She did extract from him a written promise that she could leave again with little Arthur in the future, such that she would not be perceived as "running away" and it would be respectable to society. She also couldn't just move on with Gilbert quickly after Arthur's death. She had to adhere to mourning customs.
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