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Explore Jane Austen's presentation Of Mr Darcy in "Pride And Prejudice".

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Introduction

Explore Jane Austen's presentation Of Mr Darcy in "Pride And Prejudice" For this piece of coursework, I have been asked to explore Jane Austen - the author's presentation of the misunderstood character Mr Darcy in "Pride and Prejudice". I will be looking at how Jane Austen has presented the different aspects of Mr Darcy's personality. These will include Mr Darcy's language, behaviour, others' opinions of him, a comparison with other male characters in the story, such as Mr Collins and finally what I think Jane Austen's opinion on Mr Darcy is. This story was set in a nineteenth century Georgian society and in this time, the situation of marriage was that if a wealthy man proposed to you, you could not possibly give "no" as your reply. Mothers encouraged their daughters to get married by taking them to lavish balls and occasions where they would be acquainted with the wealthy. I will also be looking at the stages of Mr Darcy's development throughout the book. This will include differences at the beginning of the novel - where he was very proud and self-centred, going on to the middle and end of the book, where his attitude changes and he turns into a caring, loving and considerate bachelor - the "perfect" man. The title of the story in itself represents Darcy's attitude - "Pride and Prejudice" - Darcy's pride where he thinks he is superior and his prejudices against the people he believes are less fortunate than him. Darcy is an extremely rich bachelor where he owns many houses, lands and villages. This adds to the change in his character as throughout the beginning and middle of the play, we are made to think that he is selfish and greedy, whereas in actual fact, he is the complete opposite! At the ball at Hunsford, Darcy refuses to dance with anyone, saying "there is not another woman in this room, whom it would not be a punishment to dance with." ...read more.

Middle

But despite this, he still decides to go ahead. I particularly admire this moment, because it gives a sense of teasing the audience and confusing them - just as they thought they knew Darcy's mind, they were wrong. It is extremely clever as Austen has now moved from what was portrayed as the man "in love" to suddenly a man becoming so frank and rude. Elizabeth declines Darcy's proposal, apologising to him - quite sarcastically for any confusion or misunderstanding she has caused "I am sorry to have occasioned pain to any-one". She insults him which is what changes him later. When looking back and comparing both Mr Collins' and Mr Darcy's proposals, it is clear that Mr Collins' is the more heartfelt and honest one. Mr Collins was more careful and undoubtedly loving about his words, even though it was asked in a comical manner. It shows how much he cares for Elizabeth. Whereas Mr Darcy was just direct and abrupt and had not thought about anything else when asking, except for him; Darcy doesn't even contemplate the fact that there is some chance of Elizabeth declining his proposal. "Wholly unmoved by any feeling of remorse", is what is described as when the subject is brought up on Darcy's feelings towards the end of the friendship between him and Wickham. Elizabeth still despises Darcy for stopping Bingly and her sister (Jane) from getting married. But here, Darcy is able to shake off the main "charge" against him which is arrogance, pride and prejudice; however Jane's pain still remains the same, as she continues to say "...your manners impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others". However, in the reader's eyes, Mr Darcy has become acceptable because he still cannot overcome the great force of love he feels for Elizabeth. We can see this as he leaves after Elizabeth's speech on his behaviour, he remorsefully says "...I perfectly comprehend your feelings, and have now only to be ashamed of what my own have been". ...read more.

Conclusion

properly humbled" Here, he is thanking her for helping him change and for helping him realise that he was a very arrogant man who wanted things his own way, he thanks her for changing him into a kind considering, loving man who fears that if Elizabeth didn't come along to change him, he would still have been the selfish person he was at Netherfield. Jane Austen has clearly waited until the very end of the book, where she drops many ideas as pints such as the above of Darcy not being a bad man at all. This causes enjoyable tension for the audience. Unfortunately, Elizabeth's mother still dislikes Darcy for his arrogant behaviour, and believes he hasn't changed, not knowing he has helped the whole family and saved them from great debt and embarrassment. But this doesn't bother us much as we know that Elizabeth's mother is quite stupid and ridiculed. In conclusion we find that Fitzwilliam Darcy has undergone great change in his attitude from being rude, arrogant and full of pride at Hunsford, Netherfield and Rosings, to flourishing into the perfect gentleman as he meets his love, Elizabeth the audience finds Darcy acceptable after the letter and the second proposal, but he was never a bad person, he had never done anything to hurt anybody, it was just his personality. Maybe he was always kind hearted, but put on a show to suit his status. Mr Darcy is well worth his change as he has transformed into a humble gentleman with deep emotions. I think Jane Austen has done a very good job of portraying Mr Darcy as the loveable and romantic man she wants us to perceive him as. The whole story is structured well, with many exciting twists and turns which will keep the audience interested throughout. It is a true love story of a kind woman and a kind man, who make the perfect couple. As expected, Elizabeth becomes Mrs Darcy and everybody remains happy. Danielle Choyen 11 Miranda ...read more.

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