• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far do you agree with the critic that argues there are two Darcys?

Extracts from this document...


How far do you agree with the critic that argues 'there are two Darcys'? This critic is suggesting that the characterisation of Darcy is not consistent throughout the novel, as he changes from being a proud, aloof man, conscious of rank, to a generous, tolerant and loving man in the end. This change seems stark, and the critic perhaps therefore views it as not convincing when he is surrounded by static characters such as Mr. Wickham, who A.G Sulloway condemns as 'not capable of moral learning', but certainly the characters Austen presents to us as role models do undergo moral learning. Also, when looking closer at the text, I disagree this change is as stark as it first seems. Mr Darcy's entrance to Meryton society is at the assembly, an event that in the 19th Century was completely on the public stage. On the very first page we are told a young man entering a society is 'considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters', and given this is a 'universal' belief Darcy would no doubt be aware that it left him and Bingley the centre of attention for the whole assemble, who had been speculating the party size well in advance of the night. The evidence for this comes as Austen tells us news spread of his ten thousand a year 'within five minutes after his entrance', listing it as the last of qualities, and thus seemingly the most important, as the narrative is coloured by her ironic tone, exposing her amusement at such a fickle, mercenary society. ...read more.


With such a naturally reserved attitude we see his affection for Elizabeth actually starts as soon as it could, as he later tells the snobbish Miss Bingley 'I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes can bestow', with no reservation in admitting he is referring to those of Elizabeth. He rejects Miss Bingley's teasing, and is quite prepared to defend her even when she walks to Netherfield, a mode of transport 18th Century society would certainly reject for a young woman, alone, by announcing he thought her eyes 'brightened by the exersize'. There is not an unrealistic change in Darcy's feelings towards Elizabeth, it seems it just takes time for him to establish his opinions. Mark Schorer suggests a reason for his apparent pride towards the Bennets, stating 'Darcy can hardly be expected to rejoice in the thought of uniting himself to the rudeness, folly and indolence of the Bennet family', however this is understandable when we look at their treatment of him. At Netherfeild Mrs. Bennet certainly displays 'rudeness', and her lack of intelligence as she gets offended by misunderstanding his comment on the confinement of country society, and goes on to embarrass herself by insulting him as (one of) 'those persons who fancy themselves very important and never opens their mouths', and proclaims that he has 'quite mistake[n] the matter'. ...read more.


His desire for her to know also demonstrates his respect for her rationality, and proves him less proud than first appears. Finally, we must look at the testimony we are given by the housekeeper at Pemberly, as her opinion is weighted by her lifelong knowledge of Darcy. She advertises him profusely, exclaiming 'I have never had a cross word from him ever sine he was four', and insisting this 'no more than the truth'. Though her impression is clearly coloured with loyalty, at this point the reader and Elizabeth are forced to realize Mr. Darcy is not how Mr. Wickham accused him. It also becomes very apparent that at home, he is not at all snobbish towards his staff, and therefore certainly not conscious of the ranks which Austen rejects, yet he appears to cling to at the ball when scrutinised. So we see that without the public stage Austen's society forced on the well off, when Mr Darcy is without intimidation and able to show Elizabeth and the reader proof of his genuine feelings, he never appears different from the loveable Mr. Darcy Elizabeth marries. From his letter, his behaviour around the Bingly sisters and his behaviour at Pemberly we see a genuine, and unprejudiced man no different from the affectionate and caring ma who saves our heroine's family from ruin, then sweeps her off her feet to complete Claire Tomalin's 'dream denouement'. 8th February 2011 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Jane Austen essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Is it possible to see Elizabeth Bennet as a feminist heroine?

    3 star(s)

    to her society's expectation of her not to challenge her class superior. Her forwardness is picked up on by Lady Catherine, who is perhaps actually delivering a compliment, rather than a criticism, when noting 'you give your opinion decidedly so for so young a person'.

  2. Madame Bovary and Techniques in Fiction

    and the notes that pored from his bare throat were full of sobs and kisses." (MB, 193) The expressions are used mostly describe the feelings for each other and their passionate quarrel or when Emma gets annoyed of Charles. Just off the dialogue, the behavioral status of the characters can

  1. Argue that the theory of common sense structures provides an important and hitherto unappreciated ...

    Both Gestaltists and phenomenologists have insisted from the start further on the optimality of perceived objects; even where the objects themselves are marked by various deviations from the norm, there is a tendency to discount such deviations in our straightforward experience of things and in our assignment of things to

  2. The various portrayals of heroines in Jane Austen's novels as well as investigate, who ...

    The double theme of sense and sensibility has the disadvantage of conjuring up double heroines in the plot. Marianna and Elinor are very different Marianne loves poetry, picturesque landscapes, she believes in first love, and trusts her feelings to guide her conduct.

  1. The Crucible: How is tension created and maintained between John and Elizabeth, and how ...

    When she finely answers we can still see she is not sure about her answer and is worried it might be the wrong one "(in agony) No sir". This answer, although condemning many people, shows she has begun to forgive John as she chose to be loyal to him before her own beliefs and morals.

  2. Thoughts on binary oppositions and ideologies.

    of a two-term system.Each word is defined by its opposite and only makes sense if we understand its opposite as well.For example, �Yes�is always understood in relation to�No �, �Male�and�Female�,�Middle Class�and�Working Class�,and so on. Not only eastern philosopher realized the existence of binary oppositions,but also western scholars researched in this area for years.

  1. By comparing the two acts in which the relationship of John and Elizabeth Proctor ...

    This makes John and Elizabeth Proctor's relationship very superficial as neither can trust the other because of the lack of honesty in the relationship and so instead both parties attempt to cover up their problems by trying to please the other and burying each others weakness.

  2. Contextual Factors in Pride and Prejudice(TM) influence the characters. Do you agree?

    By stating that "it would not matter if they had uncles enough to fill all Cheapside, it would not make one of them one jot less agreeable," it illustrates how Bingley is not swayed by other characters' status or appearance.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work