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Comment on the significance of the Constance-Hastings love story?

Comment on the significance of the Constance-Hastings love story?

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Dgentle Hero
3 months ago
A young woman of marriageable age, Constance is kind, affectionate, and practical. Since the death of her father, her aunt—Mrs. Hardcastle, who wants Constance to marry her son Tony—has served as her guardian. Constance is in love with Hastings but does not want to marry without her aunt’s permission because this would mean forgoing the jewels she is supposed to inherit. She tries to deceive her aunt in various ways that she hopes will help her to escape her guardian’s control, but to no avail. Constance is a cultured and cultivated woman and therefore unlikely to be a good match for the rascally Tony. Her name suggests an association with the city, not the countryside, because (in French) “né” means “born” and “ville” means “town.” Thus, in the play’s dramatized opposition between the provincial and the cosmopolitan, Constance’s character is aligned with the cosmopolitan. Although Constance doesn’t want to marry Tony, she appreciates his good qualities. By the end of the play, she has secured her inheritance and is engaged to marry Hastings, just as she had hoped.
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