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|Lizzy's feelings of inferiority
Written by Kathi
(6/9/2007 1:12 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, You have made me reevaluate my earlier views..., penned by Lila
I. too, started with the belief that Lizzy was subconsciously attracted to Darcy, but discussions on the P&P board convinced me otherwise. I think that in the 20th/21st century, we have a "story grammar" for people being subconsiously attracted and covering it with hostility or banter, so it's rather easy for readers to think they see that happening.
Thanks for pointing out the quotations that you were referring to. I think that Lizzy recognized Darcy's importance in the world -- he was a wealthy man, the grandson of an earl, a man who could probably marry just about any woman he wanted. I don't think, though, that she was really in awe of him, exactly. While the text doesn't say so explicitly, however, I think her reaction was not so different from her reaction to Lady Catherine: "She had heard nothing of Lady Catherine that spoke her awful from any extraordinary talents or miraculous virtue...." Similarly, I think Lizzy judges Darcy on his own merits rather than by his importance in the world, and while she finds him interesting, I don't think she finds herself in awe of him, or that she considers herself inferior.
I hadn't noticed the referece to "dignity" in Chapter 18, but I think there are two possible interpretations. It may refer back to how flustered she had been when he asked her in the first place -- too surprised to be able to come up with an excuse. She was relieved that she was calm enough to stand there across from him with dignity, rather than allowing her having been flustered to show. It also may refer to the attention she was getting -- dancing with Darcy gave her consequence with her neighbors. Again, though, I don't think it refers to Lizzy feeling her own inferiority. What do you think?
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