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|Focus on movement: The park gate
Written by Margaret S
(6/2/2007 9:22 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Well…, penned by Robbin
She was proceeding directly to her favourite walk, when the recollection of Mr. Darcy's sometimes coming there stopped her, and instead of entering the park she turned up the lane, which led her farther from the turnpike-road. The park paling was still the boundary on one side, and she soon passed one of the gates into the ground.
After walking two or three times along that part of the lane, she was tempted, by the pleasantness of the morning, to stop at the gates and look into the park. The five weeks which she had now passed in Kent had made a great difference in the country, and every day was adding to the verdure of the early trees. She was on the point of continuing her walk, when she caught a glimpse of a gentleman within the sort of grove which edged the park: he was moving that way; and fearful of its being Mr. Darcy, she was directly retreating.
Her excuse is interest in the spring verdure, but I always though that this is an instance of Austen making fun of Elizabeth. She would rather enjoy the greenery than avoid a very unpleasant meeting. Lizzy tries to avoid Darcy, but makes a pretty shoddy job of it.
If this scene were dramatized without the viewer knowing the background story her motions would suggest that she wanted to go into the park but did not dare. She aims for the park, recollects herself and turns into the lane next to it. She walks further from a turnpike road that might take her away from the property and instead walks just outside of the park. She passes another park gate at which point she starts walking up and down next to the park fence several times until she is tempted to peek in.
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