being asked twice...
Posted by Kate on November 24, 1997 at 22:35:15:
There is huge irony in the fact that Lizzie declares to Collins, after he has suggested that her refusal is simply a teasing act, and that she secretly wishes to accept him,
Lizzy: "I do assure you that I am not one of those young ladies (if such young ladies there are) whe are so daring as to risk their happiness on the chance of being asked a second time. I am perfectly serious in my refusal..."
and then, when he says that he expects she will change her mind
"...I know not how to express my refusal in such a way as may convicne you of its being one"
he still goes on to believe that she cannot be serious in her refusal...
Collins: "I shall chuse to attribute it to your wish of increasing mylove by suspense, according to the usual practice of elegant females"
Elizabeth;"I do assure you, Sir, that I have no pretension whatever to that kind of elegance which consists in tormenting a respectable man....Do not consider me now as an elegant female intending to plague you, but as a rational creature speaking truth from her heart"
The irony is of course, that when she refuses Darcy, she does so in such a way that gives him no doubt that she is refusing... and yet she herself then wants him to ask again. Yet when she realizes that she knows that she simply cannot expect that he will ask her again, because "there is no indignity so abhorrent to the feelings " of any man as "such a weakness as a second proposal to the same woman" (from Chapter 54) (contrary to Collins, who thought it was expected of him!)
And Darcy's love for her IS increased by suspense, since he has a truer appreciation of her qualities by the time he asks her again.
So IMO this little exchange gives some interesting little clues for the future of Elizabeth's dealings with Darcy...
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