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|Regarding Mr. Wickham
Written by Geri-Lynn
(1/22/2004 6:13 p.m.)
I've always had trouble with the way in which Mr. Wickham presents his so-called case against Mr. Darcy in Chapter 16. One would believe his behavior to be far too forward in such an early acquaintance with Elizabeth Bennet. Why would he be willing to disclose so much information to a woman he barely knew? And, why would she be willing to accept his word on face value - simply because his manners were all politeness and he was so agreeable? I would think that the old art (as described by Caroline Bingley) of making another look bad so as to make yourself appear superior would be something Elizabeth could recognize immediately. I always thought it was very bad manners on Wickham's part to discuss Mr. Darcy in this way with such new acquaintances.
Another thing about Wickham which I missed in previous readings is the care with which Elizabeth dresses herself before hoping to run into him at the Netherfield Ball (Ch 18). "She had dressed with more than usual care, and prepared in the highest spirits for the conquest of all that remained unsubdued of his heart, trusting that it was not more than might be won in the course of the evening." I had to read this over again to allow the words to sink in. Lizzy was interested in Wickham romantically - something I refused to accept before this GR. She was hoping to secure his heart at the ball....oh, how the thought of this pains me! My only attempt at reconciling this and rationalizing it is that perhaps Lizzy was trying to use Wickham's attentions toward her to fend off any offers of marriage from/by Mr. Collins. And yet, I know better... Wickham had her completely duped.
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