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|Mrs. Gardiner's memory of Darcy
Written by Lucy Jean
(1/28/2004 2:26 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Question on Mrs Gardiner's memory, penned by Mandy N
] I'm puzzled by Mrs Gardiner's recollection at the end of Ch.25 of Fitzwilliam Darcy as 'a proud, ill-natured boy' Does this reinforce (first time) readers notion Lizzy's impression of Darcy as correct?
Not necessarily, because there's plenty of hedging in the passage that could lead a reader to believe Mrs. Gardiner's memory on this subject is faulty. What the passage says is that after Wickham gives her his long, sad story about Darcy's treatment, Mrs. Gardiner tries to remember something about Darcy as a child that would be consistent with Wickham's account of him and finally convinces herself that she remembers she'd heard him spoken of as a proud, ill-natured boy.
So, really, the only thing she remembers about Darcy is that she heard someone say something uncomplimentary about him, and it took her a while to come up with that. For me, this is a hint to be skeptical about Mrs. Gardiner's memory and, by extension, Wickham's story, not an endorsement of it.
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