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|Reader’s knowledge vs. Lizzy’s 7-12 (long)
Written by amytat
(4/12/2013 9:26 p.m.)
I’m finding a lot more information the reader has that Elizabeth doesn’t than I expected. The Netherfield chapters feel of a peace to me so I want to tackle them in mass but I’m going to take one character at a time.
Bingley stands up for Jane and Lizzy behind their backs, “I thought Miss Elizabeth Bennet looked remarkably well… It shews an affection for her sister that is very pleasing… If they had uncles enough to fill all Cheapside, it would not make them one jot less agreeable." And we get a few brief glimpses at this thoughts, he is, “quite uncomfortable” to when Lizzy reports that Jane is not doing well. When Mrs. Bennet makes a silly comment he keeps his countenance out of “concern for Elizabeth” and when it’s time for Jane and Lizzy to leave he, “heard with real sorrow that they were to go so soon” .
So far Bingley strikes me as one of the most genuine people. He’s as kind behind people’s backs as he is to their face and the brief glimpses of his thoughts show that he acts out of genuine concern for Jane and Lizzy.
Caroline Bingley (and a little bit Luisa):
After dinner the first night Caroline and Luisa talk about Lizzy and her relatives (Miss Bingley began abusing her as soon as she was out of the room. … Mrs. Hurst thought the same and indulged their mirth for some time at the expense of their dear friend's vulgar relations). Miss Bingley begains to abuse Elizabeth again in the evening "Eliza Bennet is one of those young ladies who seek to recommend themselves to the other sex by undervaluing their own” and we get a brief glimpse at her thoughts when she is “not so entirely satisfied with [Darcy’s] reply as to continue the subject. ” Another conversation is reported though not given in detail after Mrs. Bennet’s visit “Elizabeth returned instantly to Jane, leaving her own and her relations' behaviour to the remarks of the two ladies and Mr. Darcy; the latter of whom, however, could not be prevailed on to join in their censure of her, in spite of all Miss Bingley's witticisms on fine eyes. ” In the evening Darcy speaks to Lizzy at the piano and we get another glimps at Miss Bingley’s thoughts, “Miss Bingley saw, or suspected enough to be jealous… She often tried to provoke Darcy into disliking her guest, by talking of their supposed marriage…” and we are given an example of one of these conversations as they walk in the shrubbery the next day when they run into Lizzy and Mrs. Hurst and Caroline speaks “in some confusion, lest they had been overheard.” That evening Caroline does not oblige Mr. Hurst with cards and we learn“She had obtained private intelligence that Mr. Darcy did not wish for cards” we also learn she only choose the book she is reading because it is the 2nd volume of Darcy’s and that she asks Lizzy to walk with her “In the desperation of her feelings” as one last effort to get Darcy’s attention but only succeeds in getting Darcy talking to Lizzy “and tired of a conversation in which she had no share” she suggests music. Jane and Lizzy makes plans to leave but are persuaded to stay till the next day and we learn, “Miss Bingley was then sorry that she had proposed the delay, for her jealousy and dislike of one sister much exceeded her affection for the other.” When it is time for them to leave her affection for Jane increases (I’m not totally sure if that’s an insight into her feelings or an observation of her behavior.)
Lizzy’s opionions of Bingley’s sisters continue to be verified. Line covered this well in her post so I won’t repeat her, but one thing we know about Miss Bingley that Lizzy may not have guessed is that she’s jealous of Lizzy.
Mr. Darcy is “divided between admiration of the brilliancy which exercise had given to her complexion, and doubt as to the occasion's justifying her coming so far alone” His comments after dinner are along the same lines. He would “certainly not” wish for his sister to make such a display but Miss Bennet’s eyes were brightened by the exercise. He also comments that Jane and Lizzy’s connections “must very materially lessen their chance of marrying men of any consideration in the world” . Later he makes replies to Miss Bingley’s comments about Elizabeth, “there is meanness in all the arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for captivation” . It would be interesting to get a peek at his thoughts hear but we don’t. I wonder if he is enough attracted to Lizzy by now that he doesn’t want to see her slighted or if he simply wants to call Miss Bingley on her own hypocrisy. After Mrs. Bennet’s visit Darcy can’t be prevailed on to join in the sister’s censure of Elizabeth, the implication is that he does censure her mother and younger sisters. That eveing we learn that Darcy, “had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her. He really believed that, were it not for the inferiority of her connexions, he should be in some danger.” Miss Bingley tries to provoke him into disliking Lizzy and there’s nothing so far to tell us how he feels about this. During their walk in the shrubbery he almost seems to encourage her, (“Have you anything else to propose for my domestic felicity?") but when the sisters are rude to Elizabeth, “Mr. Darcy felt their rudeness and immediately said, -- This walk is not wide enough for our party.” Later Miss Bingley puts a stop to a conversation between Darcy and Lizzy by suggesting music, “and Darcy, after a few moments' recollection, was not sorry for it. He began to feel the danger of paying Elizabeth too much attention. When Jane and Elizabeth are to leave, To Mr. Darcy it was welcome intelligence: Elizabeth had been at Netherfield long enough. She attracted him more than he liked -- and Miss Bingley was uncivil to her, and more teasing than usual to himself.So we finally get enough of a glimpse of his thoughts to see that Miss Bingley’s teasing is bothering him and, as we saw in the shrubbery, he doesn’t like her being uncivil to Lizzy, though he doesn’t seem to mind abuse of Lizzy’s relatives. At last we see him being particularly careful not the reveal his admiration.
In Darcy’s case Lizzy misses what’s really going on. He’s bewitched when she expect to offend him, when she notices him starring, “She hardly knew how to suppose that she could be an object of admiration to so great a man… She could only imagine, however, at last, that she drew his notice because there was a something about her more wrong and reprehensible, according to his ideas of right, than in any other person present” and she thinks he talks to her about dancing in order to despise her taste. It would seem her usual powers of perception fail her. On the other hand Darcy does think her connections are too unsuitable for him to be seriously attached to her and if she’d noticed him staring earlier in their acquaintance he would have been studying her in order to criticize (as noted in an earlier post) so perhaps there’s some basis for her mistakes.
Kitty and Lydia:
After Mr. Bennet accuses Kitty and Lydia of being two of the silliest girls in the country and we get a glimpse for their thoughts, “Catherine was disconcerted, and made no answer; but Lydia, with perfect indifference…” This is the first I’ve noticed anything to distinguish them from each other.
There are also some glimpses at Mrs. Bennet’s thoughts when she visits Netherfield. We learn that “Had she found Jane in any apparent danger, Mrs. Bennet would have been very miserable” (glad to hear it), that when Darcy turns away from her she fancied she had gained a complete victory over him and is delighted when Bingley speaks of having a ball. No real surprises here.
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