|GR: Thoughts from chapter 2
Written by Kim in AK
(11/11/2003 2:25 p.m.)
My book finally arrived! I'm zipping through it. I've been reading all the posts and trying to keep up (difficult when I hadn't read the text! However, I was forcibly struck by some statements from the beginning and wanted to comment on them:
"...none of the women studied here expected to endure tyranny...and they were fully conscious of what was owing to their dignity and rank. Abject feminine servility was the ineradicable mark of the kitchen maid not her employer." p.8
"The rest of the letter used the conventional language of proposal, familiar from the popular letter-writing manuals of the period. When the perfect gentleman disclosed a sincere and honourable passion, he diffidently stressed his own unworthiness, in contrast to the estimable qualities of his chosen object." p47
On the P&P board I often see discussions of Darcy's first proposal, and some people attempt to valiantly defend his words as being not as bad as we imagine them to be, or to defend them on the grounds that the inequalities of Darcy and Elizabeth's respective positions were facts of life in that era and the truth should not have been offensive to Elizabeth. However, when I read the above 2 excerpts, I was struck by just HOW inappropriate and un-gentlemanlike Darcy's first proposal really was. I always thought it was bad, but...he really, really blew it.
Sorry to give you all whiplash by referring back to chapters that are in your distant past! I've enjoyed the group read even in my disadvantaged position.
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