Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Real Mr. Darcy

So who started the idea that Mr. Darcy was Prince Charming? The classic hero? The ideal man?

Colin Firth is awesome. Mr. Darcy is not.

C'mon guys. Seriously.
"I certainly shall not [dance]. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this it would be insupportable. Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with."
Is this your dream man? Someone that considers only the most stunning woman to be worthy of his attention? Someone that calls a cute girl "tolerable," just because she isn't Aphrodite?

Well, it definitely ain't mine.

Yes, Darcy does change by the end, but - we'll get to that later.

In the beginning, Darcy is attracted to Elizabeth because she is the only person who feels no inhibitions in teasing him. She is a drastic contrast to the flattering Miss Bingley.
However, Darcy is not afraid, because he considers himself too proud to even consider marrying someone of her status:
"He really believed, that were it not for the inferiority of her connections, he should be in some danger."
One trip to Hunsford later, Darcy decided that, despite her embarrassing connections, he can't dismiss his love for her. So he proposes:
"In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
So far, so good. But then he says:
"Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? - To congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose conditions is so decidedly beneath my own?"
 Yeah, that's really going to recommend him to her. Totally. I mean, he's basically saying:
"Seriously, did you think that a fellow like me - with ten thousand a year - could even deign to glance upon a girl like you, with such a meager income. But that's what love does. It defeats even such insurmountable boundaries like those."
And he expects her to say yes! Is he out of his mind!?
Even disregarding all that about Wickham, and all Elizabeth's accusations - this sort of pride alone would not recommend a man at all.

So he learns his lesson. Elizabeth is not desperate like Miss Bingley. He realizes that he has to be sincerely nice (shocker) to get a girl to - just maybe - accept a proposal. And he realizes that he has just lost Elizabeth.

When he bumps into her at Pemberly, he desperately jumps at the chance to redeem himself.
Now, this switch doesn't completely make sense to me - but I've never been in love. Whatever it is, Darcy is a changed man: he saves Elizabeth's family (the one that was so embarrassing, remember) by paying his sworn enemy. And all because of Elizabeth? That's some strong love.

But think about it. Is he really all that changed?
Yeah, he's nice now. Yeah, he's not always criticizing people.
But the only reason he's not doing that is because he's afraid to lose Elizabeth.
Ultimately, he's still the same person:
"Elizabeth did all she could to shield him from the frequent notice of either, and was ever anxious to keep him to herself, and to those of her family with whom he might converse without mortification."
No way would I want to have a husband that was so - sensitive. Ugh. He's just as proud as he ever was - he just is learning how to hide it.

My hope is that, in time, Darcy will learn by doing, and he won't need the motivation of Elizabeth to be a nice person. And it is true that this pride is the result of his upbringing.

But, to all the girls who are out there looking for "their Mr. Darcy," let me suggest that they look for"their Edward Ferrars," or "their Captain Wentworth," or, most of all, "their Mr. Knightly."
Mr. Darcy isn't bad, but there are definitely better!


(Read my other posts on Austen Dudes here!)

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