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|In defense of Mr. Darcy
Written by LouAnn
(4/29/2013 1:45 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Much superficial exposure., penned by Therese
Yes, I think as you do that Mr. Darcy has had all manner of girls 'thrown at' him, probably for at least the last ten years. At Netherfield, after he and Lizzy have had a few genuine, spirited conversations, he must think about his responses. Chapter 11: "He began to feel the danger of paying Elizabeth too much attention." This must be tiresome for him, to always have to watch out for any girl reading too much into any friendly behavior. No wonder he doesn't dance much.
It's evident from Chapter 12 that he has experience in this area. House party, one girl might be too attracted, must ignore her on the last day: "He wisely resolved to be particularly careful that no sign of admiration should now escape him, nothing that could elevate her with the hope of influencing his felicity; sensible that if such an idea had been suggested, his behaviour during the last day must have material weight in confirming or crushing it."
I think the difference here is that Mr. Darcy really is attracted to her Elizabeth, too. This isn't just a house party where one of the girls wants him and he's resistant. This is new for him. I don't think I'm the first person to think that the affair with Georgiana has made him think seriously about marriage in a way he hadn't before. He needs a wife to help manage his sister, and Miss de Bourgh isn't up to the task. Elizabeth may be the first woman he's encountered since this shift, whether conscious or unconscious, in his mind. No wonder he bungles it. He may be a man of the world, but the world of romance has been repressed, associated with his aunt or cousin, or overanxious mamas and daughters.
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