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|Darcy's attitudes towards dancing and conversation
Written by Mary-L
(1/19/2004 12:37 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, True -- so the conversation he wanted, penned by kathleen (elder)
Darcy has made it clear early on that dancing does not appeal to him (by his "silent indignation" in Ch 6 at spending time dancing rather than conversing, and his statement to Sir William shortly thereafter that he never dances if he "can avoid it").
However, just a short time later that same evening, Sir William tries "gallantly" to get Darcy to dance with Elizabeth. And Darcy is quite willing to do that, as he "with grave propriety requested to be allowed the honour of her hand."
Of course, dancing with Elizabeth was not his own idea, but I am convinced that his attraction to her was definitely beginning. I think that Darcy had never been seriously attracted to any woman before, so this emerging feeling was a new experience for him.
I think he was on the verge of discovering how delightful it can be to dance with someone whom we really care about. Yes, conversation is wonderful too, but the attraction of dancing I think will be a new discovery for him. By Ch 10, at Netherfield, he is interested in the idea of dancing to the extent that he starts a conversation with her on the subject of her possibly feeling "a great inclination ... to seize the opportunity of dancing a reel".
And (now that we are in GR Week 2) in Ch 18 at the Netherfield ball, he actually makes an "application for her hand"! So Darcy's interest in dancing parallels his growing attraction to Elizabeth. His interest in conversation never diminishes, and he finds Elizabeth a wonderful conversationalist. But I suspect his antipathy to dancing definitely does diminish as he discovers how wonderful it can be to dance with the one you are attracted to.
The problem, as he discovers, is that sometimes that person does not return the feeling!
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