John Willoughby is the leading character of the novel that appears to play a decisive role in the personal development of Marianne, another protagonist. He is presented to the audience as a handsome and young fellow who attracts the girl and makes her experience significant changes. First, she considers him to be sweet and romantic, and later, discovers the real face of this mean and insensitive person. Having no real feelings for Marianne, he plays with her and leaves to suffer after their breakup. The worst is that he leaves the girl without any explanation to his cheatings, and this fact breaks her heart. It is important to mention that John Willoughby is completely different to Colonel Brandon, a real man who always keeps his word. Thus, relations between Willoughby and Marianne allow the girl to change herself and marry Brandon, the best possible match for her. In order to have a rich and comfortable life, the fellow marries Miss Grey, who makes his life unbearable. Thinking over their relationships, he incredibly regrets to break Marianne’s heart; nonetheless, there is no turning back. When he discovers that the girl is ill, he travels to see her, but she has changed from the inside and makes a final decision to spend the rest of her life with Colonel Brandon, who loves her more than life.
John Willoughby in the Essays