Mr. Villars 's Letter For Evelina

2013 Words9 Pages
There are many times throughout the novel that Mr. Villars makes decisions for Evelina against his better judgement, thus dismissing any claims that he was motivated for selfish reasons. In response to Lady Howard’s request for Evelina to spend some time in a visit at Howard Grove, Mr. Villars replied, “it has been my study to guard her against their delusions, by preparing her to expect—and despise them. But the time draws on for experience and observation to take the place of instructions . . . She is now of an age that happiness is eager to attend, --let her enjoy it! I commit her to the protection of your Ladyship…” (Burney 13). Despite his instinct to keep Evelina protected, he allows her to leave the country for new experiences. Mr. Villars releases his apprehension, something worthy of acknowledgement at the very least, and expresses his belief that there is merit to “experience and observation.” This concept would not sit well with a man who is motivated by patriarchal control and female dependency, but it does with Mr. Villars. When Lady Howard later inquires to unite Evelina with her father, Sir John Belmont, Mr. Villars begins his response by stating, “On the fatal day that her gentle soul left its mansion, and not many hours ere she ceased to breathe, I solemnly plighted my faith, That her child if it lived, should know no father, but myself, or her acknowledged husband,” (Burney 105). Against his adamant belief that Evelina should be kept from Sir John Belmont,

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