Posted by Ann on September 17, 1997 at 23:20:28:
In response to Tsk, tsk, tsk (again!), written by Julia on September 17, 1997 at 15:26:38
] For those of you who claim that "a tiger does not change its stripes", how could you forget P&P? Do you think that Darcy went back to being vain and selfish after he married Elizabeth?
The big difference between Darcy and Crawford is that Darcy was fundamentally a good person. He never meant to hurt anyone--he did hurt people, but it was unintentional. He tells Elizabeth that he would never have seperated Bingley and Jane, if he believed that Jane was in love with his friend. Also Darcy saw and fully admitted his errors, then tried hard to rectify them.
Henry might have been told he had behaved wrongly, but I see no sign that he actually internalised this, or struggled to change his character. Trying to be what Fanny wanted him to be in order to get her to marry him, is very different than realising that he had been in error and correcting his behavior simply because it was the right thing to do. He continued, through all of the book, to behave badly--he doesn't get it.
Darcy, on the other hand, changes because he knows that it is right for him to do so. He can have little expectation of ever seeing Elizabeth again, so his change is not simply to win her heart. It is a deeper and heart-felt change, very unlike Henry's. Darcy wins Elizabeth as a reward for changing, but he would have changed anyway. If it were not for his desire to win Fanny, Henry would not have changed at all--he does it for her, not for himself. Because he doesn't do it for himself, he was doomed to fail.
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