Changes: Darcy vs. Marianne
Posted by Cheryl K on October 23, 1997 at 16:12:21:
In response to Personality flaws, written by Linda on October 23, 1997 at 11:34:59
] ] Darcy changes in P&P, and we accept that because JA shows it so well (I know the situations aren't precisely analogous--Darcy's hauteur is a lot worse than Marianne's romanticism--but for my purpose...).
A spur-of-the-moment theory:
Three degrees of danger:
Societal. Marianne's worse here; her truth-telling in defiance of all propriety is more dangerous to society than Darcy's hauteur ever could be... society can very well exist when people are snobs and say nothing for minutes on end, as P&P attests. -- Manners are the grease on the wheel of society; Marianne has none, Darcy has too many (equalling reserve), and both extremes are bad.
Personal. Marianne is a physical danger to herself, you're right...but Darcy's is an emotional danger, because he almost doesn't let himself love Elizabeth.
Relational. This is where Darcy loses out. Sensibility can be endearing (when not taken far enough to become annoying), but hauteur can repel even friends ("I know nothing more frightening than Darcy on a Sunday night..." says Bingley). He could very well shut everyone out; Elizabeth gets under his skin against his will.
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