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|An air of decided fashion
Written by Robbin
(4/8/2013 5:59 p.m.)
At the assembly Louisa and Caroline are described by the narrator as having ‘an air of decided fashion’ (3). What the heck is an air of decided fashion? An air is the ‘general character or complexion of anything; appearance’ (dictionary.com) thus the ladies’ air is how they comported themselves while at the assembly. In the post-assembly wrap-up three views of the Binglets’ fashionable air is given. Jane and Lizzy agree the manners of Bingley’s sisters do not equal his; ‘he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners… he was lively and unreserved’ (3). Jane qualifies her opinion by adding ‘Certainly not -- at first…’ (4) while Lizzy judges their behavior ‘had not been calculated to please in general’ (4). The narrator describes them as ‘proud and conceited’ and due to situation ‘entitled to think well of themselves, and meanly of others’ (4). In Ch. 4 Darcy says he saw little fashion in the people at the assembly and that Jane, while pretty ‘smiled too much’ (4). In Ch. 6 Darcy has been caught by the easy playfulness of Lizzy’s manners but judges them not those of the fashionable world. If warmth and playfulness is no part of a fashionable air then Louisa and Caroline’s air at the assembly was likely rather aloof and reserved. Probably they were not censured as Darcy because unlike him despite their feelings of superiority they did socialize with the local folks. When Darcy refuses to be introduced to Lizzy he speaks of Bingley’s sisters being engaged in the dance so each danced at least once with a local gentleman. Jane tells Lizzy the Binglets are ‘very pleasing women when you converse with them’ (4) so we have one instance them speaking with a local person. Does Darcy at first consider Jane’s too many smiles and later Lizzy’s playfulness vulgar in comparison to a cool, aloof fashionable air? (:D)
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