Pride And Prejudice Essay, Research Paper
Mr. Darcy s pride is usually transparent throughout Pride and Prejudice. The basic elements of his pride stem from his upbringing and environment, which, also extend into his rigid judging of character. He is regarded as contemptuous and apathetic by those who don t know him well. As the story progresses however, a new light is shed on Darcy as he slightly begins to unveil the more admirable and gracious side of his nature and breaks down the barriers that he has built. When the barriers that once separated him from most started to fall, Darcy oscillated from his true feelings to what he perceived himself to be. As he falls in love with Elizabeth Bennet, Darcy discovers a lighter side of everything through self-analysis and rejection. His reputation as being disagreeable only belies his sensitivity.
Mr. Darcy s status in the aristocratic class also gave him a right to be proud. Since he was raised under such noble circumstances, Darcy had a burning sense of self-worth. Upon his parent s deaths, he proceeded to be aloof and somewhat arrogant towards people he didn t admire or wasn t acquainted with. He is a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and conceited that there was no enduring him! He walked here, and he walked there, fancying himself as so very great! (p. 15). During the first ball presented in the novel, Darcy slighted Elizabeth Bennet as tolerable and refused to dance with any other women other than Bingley s sisters. He carried presented himself as having a satirical eye and excessively critical. His own pride made Darcy blind to the very thing that he was in search of, and as he saw Lizzy for a second time, her intelligence proved intriguing. The turning point approached when Darcy was struggling with his own feelings of affection towards someone he was too proud to hold a conversation with. Although many would agree on his judgment of Mrs. Bennet, Darcy s treatment and sense of contempt towards almost everyone was highly insolent. However, the process of realization was vital to Darcy s development as a more understanding and tolerant man.
As his haughtiness slowly turned into embarrassment and disbelief at his own emotions, Darcy began to treat Elizabeth with higher regard. After spending many pleasant afternoons with her, Darcy surprisingly asked for her hand in marriage, and Elizabeth to his shock, refused. However, she had many rights to take a stab at his ego. The first being his derogatory comment about the rank of the Bennets and their unworthy connections, although subconsciously Elizabeth shared his views on her mother. Throughout Darcy s self-analytical stage, he conducted himself cordially and compassionately since he realized the nature of his feelings. To alleviate any thoughts of anger and confusion, the misinterpreted Darcy handed Lizzy a letter apologizing and providing reasons for his erratic and sometimes unreasonable behavior. As Lizzy let her own prejudice slide after examining the letter closely, she began to regret being so critical and harsh when he proposed. The two inevitable grew to care about the other, yet both had too much shame and pride to realize their true feelings. Upon a visit to Darcy s castle, Pemberley, Lizzy is amazed at its extravagance yet even more appalled to hear the housekeeper speak of Darcy so highly. When she incidentally runs into him outside, Lizzy is secretly glad to see him and is pleased with his manners towards her aunt and uncle whom she though he would approach with a condescending tone. Darcy s transformation begins to unravel and present itself in small occurrences such as asking Elizabeth for permission to meet with his distinguished sister.
Mr. Darcy is now overflowing with his admiration and love for Elizabeth whom he once though of as only tolerable . A series of favorable episodes occur before Darcy asks for Elizabeth s hand in marriage for the second and final time. As Lydia was lost in England with Wichkam who was ambiguous about his plans to marry her, the Bennet household was falling apart over the horrible reputation Lydia would curse their name with. Purely out of consideration for Elizabeth, Darcy tracked the pair down, paid off Wickham s debts and Lydia s dowry, and sent them to London to be with the regiment. Darcy did not intend to reveal his good intentions towards Wickham to Elizabeth, but upon discovering his rescue of her family, she becomes enchanted. The outcome provides much closure as Darcy and Lizzy set aside their pride and prejudice to accept each other as they really are and wed.
The chief struggle in this novel was man against himself ,which applies to both of the main characters. Although it took much shame and arrogance for both Darcy and Lizzy to overcome their pride, they emerged with self-assurance and a new knowledge of what they really wanted.