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|Discomposure & Gratification
Written by Robbin
(5/21/2010 1:37 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Agitations & Astonishment - Darcy, penned by Robbin
This is another post on Lizzy’s feelings for the men in her life. Lizzy’s visit to Pemberley did something to further confirm Wickham’s poor character by Mrs. Reynolds ruminations as do local opinions in Lambton however far greater is the changes to Lizzy’s idea of Darcy into not just a respectable man but one who can be pleasing. She is doubtful or rather I think disbelieving that he still has intentions towards her however his kind and really inattentive behavior to her and the Gardiners at Pemberley gentled her feelings about his temper, manners and his scruples as to class. This post will cover Lizzy’s feelings during chapters 44 to 46.
It was not often that she could turn her eyes on Mr. Darcy himself; but, whenever she did catch a glimpse, she saw an expression of general complaisance, and in all that he said she heard an accent so far removed from hauteur or disdain of his companions, as convinced her that the improvement of manners which she had yesterday witnessed, however temporary its existence might prove, had at least outlived one day. (44)
In anticipation of meeting Miss Darcy the day after her arrival to Pemberley, Lizzy resolves “not to be out of sight of the inn the whole of that morning” but she is again surprised by Darcy’s extraordinary civility as he brings his sister the very day of her arrival. The Darcys’ arrival inspires in her an amazing amount of discomposure. She wishes to know all her visitors feelings, is “more than commonly anxious to please” and be agreeable and endeavors to compose herself in spite of the “looks of enquiring surprise” from her aunt and uncle. Lizzy was very distracted at Pemberley that he might think she was trying to rekindle his interest by throwing herself in his way but it appears that she now only wishes to return his civility in kind.
She respected, she esteemed, she was grateful to him, she felt a real interest in his welfare; and she only wanted to know how far she wished that welfare to depend upon herself, and how far it would be for the happiness of both that she should employ the power, which her fancy told her she still possessed, of bringing on the renewal of his addresses. (44)
Darcy’s continuing civility, “expression of general complaisance… so far removed from hauteur or disdain of his companions” and his seeking the “acquaintance and courting the good opinion” of the Gardiners, whom a few months ago he disdained to know, astonishes Lizzy so much it was difficult not to show it. Lizzy’s feelings towards Darcy after this visit are of a friendlier nature and I think result from respect for his good character plus approval of his manners towards others. His civility, kindness and great attention to herself and the Gardiners has shown a disposition free of the pride, arrogance, hauteur, selfishness and class consciousness that lost him her good opinion in the first place. I think Lizzy’s feelings of gratitude towards Darcy are an acknowledgement of her errors against him, of his ability to forgive, to change and to love; “for to love, ardent love, it must be attributed; and as such, its impression on her was of a sort to be encouraged” and although pleasing she could exactly define her regard or if she wished to pursue it.
Lizzy gladly calls on Miss Darcy the next day (45) trying to imitate her “striking civility” (44). Lizzy wished and feared Darcy would appear illustrating the uncertainty of her emotions. When he does show Lizzy sees that he is “anxious for his sister and herself to get acquainted” and she repels Caroline’s “ill-natured attack” but in the process sees Darcy with a “heightened complexion, earnestly looking at her” rather than Georgiana. I think this visit, Darcy’s behavior ought to do much to confirm to Lizzy her power over Darcy but it is not said before the chapter ends perhaps because she already believes he is still in love with her. Rather she wonders what her aunt thinks of him which to me is a sign she wishes her aunt to have a good opinion of him.
As he quitted the room, Elizabeth felt how improbable it was that they should ever see each other again on such terms of cordiality as had marked their several meetings in Derbyshire; and as she threw a retrospective glance over the whole of their acquaintance, so full of contradictions and varieties, sighed at the perverseness of those feelings which would now have promoted its continuance, and would formerly have rejoiced in its termination. (46)
The next time they meet it is after receiving Jane’s letters and news of the elopement. Darcy is all attention, kindness and concern but Lizzy takes his troubled air as a sign that “such a proof of family weakness, such an assurance of the deepest disgrace” (46) must sink her power with him forever. Lydia’s elopement is such a horrible thing that Lizzy “could neither wonder nor condemn” him for such feelings. This goes to the impropriety of her family’s behavior which she has always been ashamed. The idea of loosing Darcy’s affection and respect makes Lizzy realize that she “could have loved him” and she sees him go with regret. Poor Lizzy! (:D)
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