Lisa's Thoughts on A Sense of DutyI imagine it's probably fairly clear to anyone who looks at the plot for A Sense of Duty - or reads it - that I was heavily influenced by Persuasion in the writing of this story. Persuasion by Jane Austen is one of my favorite novels. It has such incredible power in it. The heroine is not a naive young girl who has never seen the world. She is a woman who has gone through the heady rush of teenage years and has gone through the transition into womanhood. She has a fair sense of what life is about - and it has passed her by. Her chance is gone, and all she has left are the memories of what she lost.
And then ... just as she has given up hope ... he returns back into her life. He seems even stronger, even more desireable than before, and in the meantime she feels she has faded away. The situation makes her even more desolate, even more deeply lonely. He is right there in front of her, he is just as she dreams, and it is all too late. There is no going backward in time.
This is definitely one of my favorite of my novels, full of poignancy and lost hopes. In terms of the age she lived in, Constance would have been quite certain that she was doing the right thing. It was the duty of a daughter to follow the wishes of her parents and to marry for political / legal reasons. While a few people did marry for love, it was not a luxury that all could afford. In Constance's case, she saw the clear logic of their decision.
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