The Way of the World

The Way of the World


William Congreve

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The Way of the World: Act 2, Scene 7 Summary & Analysis

Now alone, Mirabell reflects on what just transpired between him and his love. He tells himself that a whirlwind offers more consistency than Millamant. He complains further about the craziness of love and loving strong-willed women. Yet, in spite of knowing this, men still love and “play the fool by force of instinct,” exclaims Mirabell.
Though he can clearly see how loving Millamant is hurting him and goes against reason, seeing as she is so unwilling to love him in return, he cannot help but love her. Mirabell reconciles his unreasonable love for Millamant with his understanding that the course of love is not smooth or easy to traverse for anyone, which makes his frustration more bearable.
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Suddenly, he sees his “pair of turtles,” the newly married Foible and Waitwell. He calls out, teasing them by asking if they are still celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Even as he contemplates his own problems in love, Mirabell spots the two characters who he directed into a kind of arranged marriage, bringing another kind of love into view in the next scene. Also, his delight at seeing them suggests he is undaunted in continuing with his scheme.
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