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|But I don't think Darcy's descriptions are without prejudice
Written by Karen Marija
(2/2/2004 11:05 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Darcy's description in the letter, penned by Kathi
I think Darcy's comments could be read either way. Darcy doesn't explicitly say who initiated the conversation, and I think it's important to remember that Darcy is upset while he's writing, he thinks quite highly of what he has done, and he's trying to persuade Elizabeth that he isn't as terrible as she believes (i.e. if she could see things from his perspective, she might not judge so harshly and could agree with his point of view). So, I would expect Darcy to be persuasive in his writing and to perhaps overstate his actions and influence, since he believes himself to be justified.
In his behavior toward Bingley, however, I don't think Darcy would be quite so bold. Yes, he can influence Bingley, but Bingley isn't a child and I think if Darcy were too strong in his criticism of Jane, that would just anger Bingley and decrease Darcy's influence. A quieter, slyer comment that has more of a questioning tone ("surely you can't be serious about her?") would sow seeds of doubt in Bingley without putting him on the defensive.
I know P&P2 has the scene where Darcy and Bingley's sisters have cornered Bingley and are pretty much scolding him into forgetting Jane, but that doesn't ring true to me. Bingley may look to Darcy for guidance, but he's a grown man and I don't think he would put up with being scolded like a child.
I think Darcy is closer to the truth when he says: But Bingley has great natural modesty, with a stronger dependence on my judgment than on his own. To convince him, therefore, that he had deceived himself, was no very difficult point.
He says that he pointed out "the certain evils of such a choice. I described, and enforced them earnestly." I suspect, based on that description, that he used both stronger language and was more specific than you suggest.
Again, I think he must have said something much stronger than "No, I don't think she loves you." It is more likely that he said something along the lines of "I can assure you that she is indifferent to you"
Again, I believe it is likely that what Darcy describes to Elizabeth is a bit exaggerated to prove his point and that in reality he would be more subtle.
something he did not have any real evidence of.
Here, we agree! Darcy's evidence of Jane's affection is nothing compared to Bingley's evidence of it. Darcy should have minded his own business.
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