|GR: Mr. Elton and Mr. Darcy
Written by Barbara
(10/21/2003 1:37 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Mr. Collins' proposal, penned by Cheryl
] This all ties in very nicely with the notion that a woman knew she wielded the power during courtship, and did all she could to prolong it, and also the idea that a woman didn't confess her preference until she was engaged.
There are hints of this in Mr. Elton's proposal to Emma too, are there not? In particular, his comment "Charming Miss Woodhouse! allow me to interpret this interesting silence. It confesses that you have long understood me." Emma has already told him that she is astonished beyond expression and very far from being gratified at being the object of his professions, yet he chooses to interpret her stunned silence as some sort of encouragement.
Mr. Darcy, too, interprets Elizabeth's astonishment beyond expression, followed by colouring, staring, and remaining silent as encouragement to proceed with his first proposal to her.
It seems that this was far from an unexpected or surprisng reaction to a proposal--although these were presumably first proposals for all of these men.
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