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|Decpetion in Ch. 43-46 (long)
Written by Connie
(5/13/2010 12:19 p.m.)
Ch. 43. Lizzy was astonished to hear Mrs. Reynolds say she has never had a cross word from Mr. Darcy. That he was not a good-tempered man had been her firmest opinion. My interpretation is this: She thought he was in a bad mood at the first ball in Meryton (or, as someone here said, "cranky"). His later lack of conversation confirmed her opinion that he is moody. He said at Netherfield he could not vouch for his temper, which might be called resentful. So she grew to think of him as a dark, brooding sort of man. This, in turn, was confirmed by Wickham, who accused Darcy of taking revenge on him out of envy. Even though Lizzy realized on reading Darcy's letter that Darcy was not the wicked man she had supposed, she had not yet questioned her earlier opinion of his being bad tempered.
Lizzy hints to her aunt that Darcy might not have behaved so badly towards Wickham, without attributing this to any source:Perhaps we might have been deceived.
Her thoughts on meeting Darcy unexpectedly at Pemberley show that her opinion of him is still partly negative: In what a disgraceful light might it not strike so vain a man! Stephanie and I discussed this briefly in posts 45574 and 45580. Lizzy had voiced her opinion of his vanity back at the Netherfield ball, when she teased that they were both of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the éclat of a proverb. So, she sees his lack of conversational ability as not only moodiness, but vanity, a way to make everyone pay attention when he does spaek, with the silent intervals spent, perhaps, in creating wise-sounding statements. This really puts him on a level with Mary.
Stephanie has suggested that the Bingleys' behavior towards Darcy also bolsters the idea he was vain. While Caroline is certainly a sycophant, I think Lizzy is blind if she thinks Darcy enjoys Caroline's flattery. I can't think of an instance where he eagerly accepts it. At Netherfield, he generally brushed aside much of what she said, though in a polite way. As for Bingley, while he was certainly guided by Darcy regarding Jane, he was not afraid to criticize and disagree with him at other times. Lizzy has accepted Darcy's explanation for separating Bingley and Jane, put perhaps she still feels that vanity was unknowingly part of his motive?
During the ensuing interaction with Mr. Darcy at Pemberley, Lizzy was astonished at the "change" in him. How much of a change has really occured? She was told by both Col. Fitzwilliam and the Bingleys--as well as Wickham--that Darcy was more talkative and agreeable among his friends. She has seen him in the past only as a guest of others. Now she is seeing him as host. I think this accounts for some of the change she sees.
Mr. Gardiner fears Darcy may be whimsical in his civilities and Lizzy thinks the Gardiners misunderstand him. The irony is that she thinks something the same herself, not really expecting Darcy's polite, gentle behavior to last beyond this first meeting.
Mrs. Gardiner implies that now she'd be surprised if he could have really been so unjust to Wickham.
Ch. 44. Georgiana had been called exceedingly proud in Lambton, as well as by Wickham, but is really only shy.
The Gardiners think, Of Mr. Darcy it was now a matter of anxiety to think well... Fortunately, their personal experience in Derbyshire enables them to do this without resorting to wilfull blindness.
For her part, Lizzy is now finding him agreeable, whom she had before been determined to hate. She is honest to herself about her changing feelings for him, but not yet sure whether she is falling in love. If she were to encourage him to propose again, would she be following Charlotte in showing more affection than she feels, or would she be sincere? This seems to be a concern for her.
Ch. 45. Lizzy notes that Georgiana's manners would eaily give to those who felt themselves inferior the belief of her being proud and reserved. Neither she nor the Gardiners believe it. Miss Bingley mentions the militia, thinking to wound Lizzy, but unknowingly hurting Georgiana.
The narrator tells us that Darcy was probably unwittingly influenced in his action towards Bingley and Jane by his desire for Bingley to marry Georgiana. Georgiana does not let her opinion of Lizzy stray from Darcy's, despite Caroline's criticisms.
Ch. 46. Now we come to the elopement. Kitty was not wholly surprised by it, having known something of Lydia's growing attachment to Wickham, but keeping silence. Jane still tries to believe Wickham misunderstood, in spite of everything. No one can throw any blame on the Forsters, she writes. Typical Jane! Denny, we learn, had some knowledge of Wickham's plan before hand.
When Lizzy tells Darcy what happened, she believes her "power" over him is sinking because of the elopement. Now she realizes she could have loved him. She asks him to conceal the unhappy truth as long as possible. Lizzy and the Gardiners make false excuses to their friends in Lambton for their hurried departure.
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