Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|An Accomplished Woman
Written by Robbin
(4/15/2010 2:06 p.m.)
"Yes, all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover screens, and net purses. I scarcely know any one who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time, without being informed that she was very accomplished." (8)
Darcy seems eager to refute Bingley’s poor little list of accomplishments (above) and let everyone know his standards are rather significantly higher: “I cannot boast of knowing more than half a dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished” (8). Why so much eagerness on the subject? Darcy accepts Caroline’s elegant list and then adds his own demand for the continual improvement of her mind by extensive reading—I guess the mistress of Pemberley will have loads of free time:
"Oh! certainly," cried his faithful assistant, "no one can be really esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved."
"All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading."
Lizzy obviously thinks Darcy is dreaming too high. What was Darcy’s purpose in revealing his idea of an accomplished woman? Is he playing to an audience or just trying to escape Caroline’s incessant praise and tooling for compliments by entering into another subject with verve? If it is escape it is a complete failure for it appears to me a perfect opportunity for Caroline to boast as being so superior herself, she must feel an excellent example of the accomplishments she promotes. Was it to inform Lizzy? Darcy’s addition to the list of extensive reading might have been inspired by Lizzy’s earlier assurance “I am not a great reader” (8). If so what does he mean by it? Is it a criticism of Lizzy because she is not a great reader or is it possible he thought her earlier comment the result of modesty and means to give a compliment? (:D)
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.