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|Darcy has not changed in essentials
Written by Robbin
(6/23/2007 12:50 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Darcy needed to personally observe Bingley and Jane ..., penned by Karen 2L
I agree; Darcy’s need to judge Bingley and Jane again before confessing is just the flip side of Darcy intervening in the first place. I wrote out why I think Darcy does not come clean right away and I think I understand his point of view but I do not agree that he should have waited to confess once he knew Jane had not been indifferent. I think why Darcy feels free to have this kind of power over Bingley is a great question because it bothers me.
On the strength of Darcy's regard Bingley had the firmest reliance, and of his judgment the highest opinion. In understanding, Darcy was the superior. Bingley was by no means deficient, but Darcy was clever. (Chapter 4)
"But it was not till the evening of the dance at Netherfield that I had any apprehension of his feeling a serious attachment. I had often seen him in love before.” (Chapter 35)
IMO Darcy feels responsible for Bingley; it seems even to protect him. According to Chapter 4 Bingley relies on his judgment—I think that is why Darcy gives himself this power. Why he feels this responsibility to such an extent is not clear to me. Does Darcy think Bingley is easily fooled by people due to the easiness, openness, and ductility of his temper? Is it because he has seen Bingley fall in love more than once, perhaps with someone who was insincere in their affections for him? It does not seem like Darcy trusts Bingley to act because in his explanation to Lizzy he makes it clear he directed his friend and Bingley still relies on his judgment:
"And your assurance of it, I suppose, carried immediate conviction to him."
"It did. Bingley is most unaffectedly modest. His diffidence had prevented his depending on his own judgment in so anxious a case, but his reliance on mine made everything easy. I was obliged to confess one thing which for a time, and not unjustly, offended him. I could not allow myself to conceal that your sister had been in town three months last winter -- that I had known it, and purposely kept it from him. He was angry. But his anger, I am persuaded, lasted no longer than he remained in any doubt of your sister's sentiments. He has heartily forgiven me now." (Chapter 58)
I do not have a problem with Bingley forgiving Darcy but this issue is never completely resolved to my satisfaction for two reasons. First, Bingley is not said to have learned a lesson. Should not Bingley have learned his judgment was not so bad after all and he should not always subjugate his judgment to Darcy’s, at least where people are concerned. On the other hand, does Bingley’s continued reliance on Darcy’s advice and approval after learning the truth show that he really does need Darcy’s guiding hand? I guess to me Darcy’s initial interference still seems so wrong—he was not in a position to judge Jane better than Bingley yet he takes it upon himself to interfere and Bingley lets him.
The second is Jane never knows the truth. Except for the idea of truth for the sake of truth; the only reason I can think of to expose Darcy after her engagement to Bingley would be so he could apologize. After all Darcy does not only interfere with Bingley’s life but Jane’s too and she never placed any undue reliance on his judgment which must make his interference to Bingley seem explainable due to friendship. If Jane did know the truth she would forgive Darcy, perhaps even clear him of fault especially as he is to be her brother but it seems to me that although Jane’s misery was collateral damage it still merits an apology. I just cannot see Jane holding a grudge if she knew the truth so is not confessing the truth to Jane a way to save her feelings or is it really just a way of saving face for Darcy? Am I being too hard on Darcy? ;D
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