I think you ladies are missing the material point
Posted by Mark on November 28, 1997 at 08:52:57:
In response to I think it's baffling, written by Helen on November 25, 1997 at 10:23:26
Sorry about posting so late, but I suspect you ladies are looking too deep into this. Darcy, who "dislikes the amusement in general", has just asked Miss Eliza to dance with him! If part of his object was to find fault with her, he had easier means of doing so without exposing himself to behavior he hates.
Look what is happening. Darcy first notices Elizabeth's eyes, then her figure. He starts listening to her. Shortly thereafter he begins talking with her.
Darcy is gradually becoming more and more intimate with Elizabeth. He has gone as far as he can without actually touching her. What better way is there to do just that than to dance? His first opportunity was at Lucas Lodge, where he wasn't quite ready for it, but certainly didn't complain when offered. This is the second opportunity. He initiates it this time.
As for the dance being a reel, a reel is a "fun" dance, sort of like a polka is today. The fun is more in the dance itself, rather than in your choice of partner. Anything more formal would have caused some major eyebrow raising on the part of the Bingleys and the Hursts.
So I stand by my original post. He means nothing more than, "Hey Liz, wanna dance?"
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