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how come mr Darcy is considered as a nice man by his housekeeper, when he is so proud...

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psm0329 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted February 17, 2013 at 9:07 AM via web

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how come mr Darcy is considered as a nice man by his housekeeper, when he is so proud and disagreeable?

Darcy is known to be a proud person that thinks of himself as superior, but near the end of the novel the housekeeper says that he is to be anything but proud, but he was disliked by people in the beginning of the novel because of his pride.

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rnewall | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted February 18, 2013 at 9:35 AM (Answer #1)

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Mrs Reynolds the housekeeper has nothing but praise for Darcy, ' I could not meet with a better (master)........There is not one of his tenants or servants but what will give him a good name.' This does seem at odds with the proud, haughty man observed by Elisabeth at balls and other social engagements. However, as a master he is not proud and haughty; he is aware of his privileged position and treats those beneath him fairly and respectfully.

Furthermore Mrs Reynolds has known Darcy since he was an infant and considers that he has always been 'good natured' therefore not  naturally proud. So why does Darcy come across as so proud when it comes to socialising? Mrs Reynolds has an opinion on this too: 'Some people call him proud; but I am sure I never saw any thing of it. To my fancy, it is only because he does not rattle away like other young men.' Conversation does not come easily to Darcy; if you were being critical you could say that he 'thinks of himself as superior'  and considers making conversation beneath him; on the other hand, you could argue that once again he is acutely aware of his privileged position and would not want to say anything inappropriate unlike numerous other characters: Lydia, Mrs Bennett and his adversary Wickham.

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