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|Lizzy & Darcy: Birds of a Feather? (Chapters 3 & 4)
Written by Robbin
(4/29/2007 12:53 p.m.)
Bingley was endeared to Darcy by the easiness, openness, and ductility of his temper… (Chapter 4)
In Chapter 3, Darcy is haughty and reserved, and is even insulting to Lizzy while she is lively and playful. Their tempers and the manners are set in opposition to each other the first moment they do not meet at the assembly ball but in Chapter 4 some similarities of character popped out at me. Both Lizzy and Darcy are cleverer and more discerning than their best friends, Jane and Bingley. They value Jane and Bingley for their similar characters which are different than their own—see above citations. They each know their own worth or as Lizzy playfully puts it to Jane, “Compliments always take you by surprise, and me never.” and the narrator takes on this duty for Darcy by relating, “he never appeared dissatisfied” with his disposition although I cannot imagine he would be surprised at a compliment either. They also both think about how they did not receive particular attention from people at the assembly ball, in Lizzy’s case the Superior Sisters (SS) and Darcy from anyone, both of the following citations are from Chapter 4:
…their behaviour at the assembly had not been calculated to please in general; and with more quickness of observation and less pliancy of temper than her sister, and with a judgment too unassailed by any attention to herself, she was very little disposed to approve them.
Darcy, on the contrary, had seen a collection of people in whom there was little beauty and no fashion, for none of whom he had felt the smallest interest, and from none received either attention or pleasure.
The SS’s lack of attention to Lizzy is because they are snobs and to me, the neglect cannot be laid at Lizzy’s door, I mean as a result of her behavior while in Darcy’s case the lack of attention is because he is a snob and has much to do with how he let himself appear to be above his company. In both cases, it is almost as if having received some attention would have increased their disposition to approve of people but I can only see this happening with Lizzy. Lizzy’s lively and playful disposition would be inviting to most people IMO and if the SS had been friendlier she would have given them a longer look before declaring them snobs but Darcy gave no one a chance to be friendly with him in the first place. It is hard for me to understand why he should think he received no attention which resulted in pleasure from anyone when he does not invite any, often on purpose. He would not be introduced to any ladies and seemed unwilling to converse with Mrs. Long according to Mrs. Bennet in Chapter 5. Does Darcy expect people to show him attention because of his wealth and consequence despite refusing to meet with them? I do not get the feeling Lizzy expects people to show her attention, only that like Darcy she knows she deserves it. It seems that underneath their opposing manners and tempers, Lizzy and Darcy share some traits in common. ;D
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