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|Was Darcy's proposal a rational decision?
Written by Tracy W
(5/26/2007 12:57 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, It seems odd for a gentleman like him..., penned by John S2
"In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
From these lines, I see Darcy as simply not being able to bear the thought of living without Elizabeth. We don't know exactly what the thoughts are running through his mind, but for whatever reason, he can't help himself, he loves her, he wants her making witty comments at the head of the dining table for the rest of his life. Darcy's brain is telling him that marrying Elizabeth would be a degradation, his heart is telling him that he must have her. In this situation friendly objective reflections would be useless, no matter how sympathetic the confidant.
And I think this also explains why Darcy doesn't consider that he has very little clue about Elizabeth's feelings - he's too caught up in his own struggle about his own feelings. And then he's under time pressure. He's shortly due to leave Rosings, when he does he has no reason to believe he'll ever see Elizabeth again, this is his chance.
So to summarise, I think the right angle to view Darcy's actions is that he's not behaving rationally. His subconscious may be perfectly rational in thinking Elizabeth would make a great wife, but his conscious feelings are completely at odds and so we can fully expect his behaviour to be irrational.
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