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Written by Robbin
(5/14/2010 1:52 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I agree with Stephanie's interpretation of this sentence., penned by Connie
I don’t see any evidence Darcy considers Lizzy’s or any other local person’s feelings at the assembly. For the most part he appears self-absorbed with his dignity rather than anyone else’s. Lizzy, like the rest of the local population do not inspire courtesy in Darcy let alone concern for their feelings. The only attention (consequence) he gives is in dancing with Bingley’s sisters and in talking occasionally to his own party. It seems he judged the locals (as a group) unworthy of the consequence of his attention because he sees them as social inferiors. The locals do not imagine Darcy is above his company; his choice to ignore them and disdain introduction to ladies show that he is.
"I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this it would be insupportable. Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with." (3)
I think Darcy does believe the local men at the assembly are beneath him as he does the women. His description of “such an assembly as this” (3) shows his disdain for the company in which he finds himself. Darcy gives two reasons for not dancing. The first is “not being particularly acquainted with his partner” (3) and the second is that only dancing with Bingley’s sisters, women of his own elevated party, makes dancing at such a low class social event supportable. Dancing with any of the local ladies would be a punishment because they are socially inferior strangers.
"Which do you mean?" and turning round, he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, "She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me." (3)
Darcy gives two additional reasons to reject Lizzy as a partner besides her being a stranger and social inferior. Lizzy is not pretty enough and the assumption she is neglected by men of lesser consequence than himself. Lizzy is personally unworthy of his attention in addition to being generally unworthy as a social inferior. Darcy’s rather peevish comment to Bingley that “You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room” suggests had he found Lizzy attractive he might have overlooked her inferiority to spend his time pleasantly and this is exactly what happens at Lucas Lodge.
Darcy is willing to dance with Lizzy when Sir William suggests it but what has changed? Only his opinion that she is tolerable to pretty and interesting—he is not particularly acquainted with her by any stretch of the imagination and his opinions in later chapters on her low connections show he still feels her social status is beneath him. Lizzy has become personally worthy of the consequence of Darcy’s attentions while still being socially unworthy as his marriage proposal makes clear in Ch. 34. At the bottom of this message I have attached an L&T post on social status which suggests Lizzy & Darcy were not quite on the same level. (:D)
|Some evidence is in ... Written by Tracy W (August 22, 2006)|
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