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A character study of Mr. Darcy up until the end of Volume Two.

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Introduction

A character study of Mr. Darcy up until the end of Volume Two. Mr. Darcy is not a titled nobleman, but he is one of the wealthiest members of the landed gentry, which is the same legal class that the Bennet family belongs to, even though they have much less money. He owns a very large estate in Derbyshire, called Pemberley, and he has a sister named Georgiana, who is more than ten years younger that he is. Mr. Darcy's aunt is the very wealthy Lady Catherine de Bourgh and he is betrothed to her daughter, Anne. In the beginning of the novel Mr. Darcy is depicted as "clever," but also "haughty, reserved, and fastidious." When he first appears at the Meryton assembly with Mr. Bingley, he draws everyone's attention by his, "fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien," and the fact that he has ten thousand pounds per year. However, only half the evening passes before he is "discovered to be proud, to be above his company," and denounced as "having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance." We can see how socially inept Mr. Darcy is from the mere fact that he dances only two dances at the Meryton assembly, one with Mrs. ...read more.

Middle

But...pride will be always under good regulation." This is ironic because, in his case, pride is more a flaw than a good quality. However, he also admits that his "good opinion once lost is lost for ever." By his own admission he is resentful, which Elizabeth finds to be true when Mr. Wickham tells her how 'abominably' Mr. Darcy treated him. The knowledge of his resentfulness also serves to make us dislike him even more. Mr. Wickham is very useful in giving us an impression of Mr. Darcy, whether true or not. In the first volume of the novel, after Mr. Wickham's story about Mr. Darcy refusing to acknowledge his father's wishes, and thus impoverishing Mr. Wickham, we see Mr. Darcy as dishonourable, dishonest and resentful. Our prejudice against him is so strong that we accept anything Mr. Wickham says at face value. Mr. Darcy's 'abominable' treatment of Mr. Wickham is one of the reasons that Elizabeth refuses to accept his proposal; it reinforces her opinion of him and proves that he really is too proud. At the Netherfield ball, when Sir William Lucas hints at a "certain desirable event" taking place, meaning the expected marriage of Jane and Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mr. Darcy's contempt for Mr. Wickham is also wholly justified, and we learn that he was very tolerant and did do his best to carry out his father's wishes, even though Mr. Wickham was unworthy of such treatment. This proves that he is honourable, and it is he who has been treated unjustly by Mr. Wickham, when he tried to elope with Georgiana. She told Mr. Darcy of the plan, because she could not "support the idea of grieving and offending a brother whom she almost looked up to as a father." Georgiana must have a very strong attachment to Mr. Darcy, because otherwise she would not have done this, so he must be a very kind brother. I believe that although Mr. Darcy is portrayed as proud, critical, arrogant, brutally honest, and may not have the conversational skills that some people do, we are too prejudiced at the beginning of the novel to see his good qualities beneath all of his pride. The letter to Elizabeth provides us with valuable insights into Mr. Darcy's mind and personality. When we see the letter we realise that most of his actions were justified, and despite his social ineptitude and the occasional error in judgement, he is altogether a good man. ...read more.

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