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|Darcy's mixed motives
Written by Kathi
(2/8/2004 7:56 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Your sister can't have him. I want him for my sister!, penned by Allison Jo
] Two concerns here: First, couldn't Georgiana have aimed somewhat higher in marriage? I'm thinking of both greater fortune as well as rank. I realize Darcy’s first concern would be for her happiness and it is a credit to Bingley that Darcy would hope for such a union. Still, it seems to me that it's an unequal match, both in terms of position in society and fortune.
Yes, she probably could have, but I think Darcy's primary concern is that his shy, sheltered sister marry someone who will be kind to her, as well as someone who is not after her money. In fact, after the Wickham mess, he might be particularly sensitive to the latter concern.
] Second, JA writes that it is probable that Darcy's vehement opposition to a marriage between Jane and Bingley must have at least a little bit to do with his hopes for Georgiana. Do you think this is something Darcy acknowledges to himself?
He couldn't possibly spell it out in the letter, but he does mention that he has "other motives." I think he does acknowledge it to himself; he just doesn't acknowledge that it influenced his judgment that Jane was indifferent.
] But if he did recognize his own feelings in this matter, wouldn't that have made his actions seem selfish and underhanded? I'd hate to think of Darcy in that way. Quick, someone say something that will allow me to believe that Darcy's hopes for Georgiana had nothing to do with his actions in separating Bingley from Jane. Quickly! Or I shall be obliged to think ill of somebody!
I'm sorry, I can't give you much comfort. I think that to believe that he had determined a woman's most private feelings by observing her in a public place for an evening, he had to have powerful motives for believing it. One of his motives was to be able to tell Bingley that Jane was indifferent. I think that another one was that he hoped Bingley would someday marry Georgiana.
However, I don't think this was a conscious process. He said in his letter that his desires had not influenced his judgement that Jane was indifferent. I think he is being honest with Lizzy when he writes that. I just don't think he's being honest with himself.
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