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|Giving Lizzy pain
Written by Kathi
(2/2/2004 7:46 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Darcy's self-judgement, penned by Karen Marija
] I think Darcy is overstating his case not necessarily because he thinks it will benefit him, but simply because he is upset. The impression I get is that he's stung by being refused, and so he is puffed up with his own importance and is determined to see himself as right. Elizabeth can't reconcile her feelings with what Darcy has written at this time, and likewise Darcy can't truly appreciate what Elizabeth said to him the night before.
And yet, he is clear-headed enough to recognize that what he writes must give Lizzy pain. After all, when he is talking about taxing Bingley over the evils of connection with Jane's family, he is talking about Lizzy's family, too. He specifically says that he is reluctant to give her pain, but in order to be honest and to defend himself, he feels he must. If he could have found a way to express it in a less offensive way in the letter that was consistant with what he said to Bingley, and therefore give Lizzy Less pain, I think he would have.
I think another reason to believe that Darcy did not exaggerate his representation that Jane was indifferent was that I don't think subtle hints would have done the job. Bingley was in love with Jane, and he believed she returned his feelings. I don't think anything less that an unqualified assurance is going to keep him away from Netherfield and a possible proposal for very long.
] To me, the letter almost smacks of, "who is he trying to convince?"
Actually, to me, it seems very clear it is Lizzy he is trying to convice. Whatever trouble he had convincing himself (very little, I would imagine) is in the past.
] Darcy himself describes how he felt while writing, but that statement comes later in the book.
Then we'd better discuss that later. However, even if we assume he was still upset, I suspect he had spent many of the hours between the proposal and writing the letter on considering the best way to express himself. So although he may still be upset, I believe he has had time to consider ways and means, and the best way to get his point across.
] Again, I think you are taking Darcy at face value, but I believe there is reason to doubt that Darcy can describe himself and his actions/motivations with clarity and without some prejudice.
I take this particular information at face value because it is consistant with an aspect of what we have seen of his character, because he has no reason that I can see to exaggerate this particular aspect (and good reason not to), because a less strong representation about Jane's feelings would not have had the desired effect, and because I don't think it contradicts anything else we know.
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