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Written by Kevin S
(4/12/2010 11:58 p.m.)
I won't pretend this a brilliant insight, but I thought I'd offer it for comment. I was struck by how some comments about Bingley's character mirror how quickly he falls for Jane. Also in the exchanges below is some foreshadowing of Elizabeth's and Darcy's relationship [I'll leave it at that lest the moderator scold me for bending the rules too much.]
In chapter 9, Bingley remarks on how quickly Elizabeth judges his character, apologizing for how uncomplicated he is:
"Whatever I do is done in a hurry," replied he; "and therefore if I should resolve to quit Netherfield, I should probably be off in five minutes. At present, however, I consider myself as quite fixed here."
"That is exactly what I should have supposed of you," said Elizabeth.
"You begin to comprehend me, do you?" cried he, turning towards her.
"Oh! yes -- I understand you perfectly."
"I wish I might take this for a compliment; but to be so easily seen through, I am afraid, is pitiful."
"That is as it happens. It does not necessarily follow that a deep, intricate character is more or less estimable than such a one as yours." [. . .]
"I did not know before," continued Bingley immediately, "that you were a studier of character. It must be an amusing study."
"Yes; but intricate characters are the most amusing. They have at least that advantage."
And in chapter 10, Darcy says this of Bingley's writing:
" . . . for you are really proud of your defects in writing, because you consider them as proceeding from a rapidity of thought and carelessness of execution, which if not estimable, you think at least highly interesting. The power of doing anything with quickness is always much prized by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance. When you told Mrs. Bennet this morning that if you ever resolved on quitting Netherfield you should be gone in five minutes, you meant it to be a sort of panegyric, of compliment to yourself -- and yet what is there so very laudable in a precipitance which must leave very necessary business undone, and can be of no real advantage to yourself or any one else?"
Again, these descriptions of Bingley seem to mirror, or simply explain, his impulsiveness in falling for Jane. Darcy seems to see them as a character flaw. And note that Elizabeth and Darcy indicate that opposite character traits are, respectively, more interesting and more praiseworthy. But I must say no more about those two for now.
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