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|Darcy, the conversationalist -- 1 (very long)
Written by gianni
(4/16/2010 12:06 a.m.)
So, thinking about my previous comment (message 43246 on 4/14) on Darcy's conversation, I spoke from the hip and was questioned by one of you. A deliberate dig into the text reveals that, yes, I was misremembering in detail; yes, my overall impression was correct. Yet, there's plenty of ambiguity to prompt us to think a little harder (isn't Austen wonderful that way!), and rather than let all my hard work die with me, I'll lay it out here, necessarily in two parts -- it's 70 lines of text. chapters 1 -- 8 are the first 40 lines, 9 -- 12 the second 30. If I can keep at it, and if you'll bear with me, I'll continue throughout the GR.
Darcy, the Conversationalist
Chapter 1 -- not present
Chapter 2 -- not present
Chapter 3 -- Meryton assembly
"Come, Darcy," said [Bingley], "I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance." -- Darcy replies with a four-sentence insult to the community.
Bingley continues: Darcy replies with a two-sentence sneer at Lizzy.
Chapter 4 -- we receive a narrated account of the Bingleys' discussion of the evening.
Chapter 5 -- Bennets and Charlotte discussing the assembly
Chapter 6 -- Sir William Lucas's
Drawn unwillingly into a short conversation with Sir William; replies dismissively.
Offers to dance with Lizzy. No indication of real conversation.
Drawn into brief conversation with Caroline Bingley regarding Lizzy's "fine eyes". Caroline's wit "flows long"; no indication of a response.
Chapter 7 -- Jane, then Lizzy at Netherfield
Chapter 8 -- Jane and Lizzy at Netherfield
Lizzy returns to Jane; Bingley sisters abuse her, dragging perfunctory responses from Darcy. Darcy finally responds to Bingley's praise with the condemnation of the Bennet sisters' connections (one sentence).
Lizzy returns after Jane is asleep. Darcy dragged into two brief sentences about his library. Darcy dragged into describing Georgiana (two sentences), then the celebrated exchange regarding "accomplished ladies". This consists of dull but intelligent comments by Darcy, contrasted with Lizzy's scintillating banter.
Lizzy leaves, Darcy quashes Caroline's criticism with his dismissal of women's "mean arts" (two sentences).
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