A Proposal of Peace

        Through the accidental espionage of Ms. Clack, we become a lucky fly on the wall during Godfrey Ablewhite’s (second) proposal to Rachel. Though Rachel accuses Godfrey of being “mad,” his response creates a noteworthy distinction between Rachel’s “affection and regard” and her romantic love (243). To ground her previous ramblings with a dose of reality, Godfrey appeals to Rachel’s sense of reason. His persuasion is void of aesthetic language; rather, Godfrey implores Rachel to realize the myriad advantages of their union. He begins his appeal with the proposal that Rachel “[l]ook for a moment to the future” (243). Through this directive, he suggests that Rachel imagine and consider two possible paths her life might take: either an “ill-fated attachment” to Franklin Blake or a peaceful and contended existence in Godfrey’s company. By reminding Rachel of the painful discomfort she associates with her love of Franklin Blake, Godfrey presents his offer as an escape from wretchedness of her position, a peaceful life without serious trials or tribulations. In this passage, Godfrey poses a series of questions to support his case, and through his use of command verbs, such as “Look” and “Let”, instructs Rachel to grasp the unique value of his proposition. He candidly acknowledges that he “will be content with [her] affection and regard” (243); in other words, he accepts that his love will not be reciprocated. Though it can be interpreted as unromantic, Godfrey’s proposal is touching; he wishes, more than anything else, to honor Rachel with his unrequited love.

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