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|Darcy's desire, and Eliz's lack of
Written by Nikki N
(4/27/2013 11:37 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Respect and respect, penned by Therese
Darcy was so confident Eliz would accept him because he did not think any woman in her position would refuse him, he thought she would be influenced by his money but did not really mind that because he was infatuated and passionately desired her. I think what he felt at this time was more passion, desire and infatuation rather than true love. It was her refusal that made him begun to respect her, after his initial anger was over. I know we disagree, but I believe she was never attracted to him. She had been slightly attracted first to Wickham, and then to Col Fitzwilliam, but never at this point to Darcy. After reading his letter, she felt great guilt for being taken in by a charming but dishonourable man, Wickham, and guilt for believing Darcy to be dishonourable as well as proud and disagreeable. She realized that --
"proud and repulsive as were his manners, she had never, in the whole course of their acquaintance -- an acquaintance which had latterly brought them much together, and given her a sort of intimacy with his ways -- seen anything that betrayed him to be unprincipled or unjust -- anything that spoke him of irreligious or immoral habits: that among his own connexions he was esteemed and valued". (chap 36)
She still found him proud and repulsive, but realized he was honourable. In her reflection in chap 37 --
"His attachment excited gratitude, his general character respect; but she could not approve him; nor could she for a moment repent her refusal, or feel the slightest inclination ever to see him again. In her own past behaviour there was a constant source of vexation and regret; and in the unhappy defects of her family, a subject of yet heavier chagrin. They were hopeless of remedy. Her father, contented with laughing at them, would never exert himself to restrain the wild giddiness of his youngest daughters; and her mother, with manners so far from right herself, was entirely insensible of the evil. Elizabeth had frequently united with Jane in an endeavour to check the imprudence of Catherine and Lydia; but while they were supported by their mother's indulgence, what chance could there be of improvement?"
The narrator said "nor could she repent for a moment her refusal, or feel the slightest inclination to see him again". This is clear and categorical. If Eliz had been fighting her attraction to him, surely the narrator would have said something like "but she told herself that she did not repent ... "
Eliz now begins to respect Darcy as an honourable man, and to learn not to judge a person's character and honour only through his manners. It was at this point that both begun to respect each other.
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