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Written by Line
(2/10/2004 6:40 p.m.)
The thread about Darcy's father/daughter relationship with Georgiana made me realize how "unequal" most of Darcy's relationships are. He has been in a position of great responsibility and authority since he was 22 or thereabouts, and he's used to taking charge of a situation and fixing other people's problems for them. (I don't mean this in a bad sense - in most ways, it's a very good thing that he was willing to shoulder his responsibilities.) However, practically all his relationships, with his servants, his tenants, and in social situations, are hierarchical and unequal.
His relationship with his sister is one of parent/child, and even his two most "equal" relationships - with his best friend and his cousin, are uneven. His feeling for Bingley has a lot of big brother/little brother about it, and even Colonel Fitzwilliam has to defer to him regarding travel arrangements, etc.
The only one who doesn't care about his status is Elizabeth. He's just not used to dealing with others on an equal footing (and this needs practice, just like any other kind of interaction). This helps me understand better why Darcy thought he was justified in interfering so drastically in Bingley's life (though it still doesn't excuse his behaviour!). He's so used to being in "take charge" mode that he doesn't quite understand when this is no longer appropriate. (Sorry if this seems self-evident to the rest of you, but it just struck me how unequal 99% of Darcy's relationships are!). He has nobody whose judgement he trusts to tell him "OK, that's enough."
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