In Pride and Prejudice, how does the visit to Pemberley affect Elizabeth's feelings towards Mr. Darcy?

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droxonian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

By the time Elizabeth visits Pemberley while on a tour of Derbyshire with the Gardiners, she has seen much to convince her of Darcy's arrogance and poor manners but has also heard from him, in a letter, that Mr. Wickham may perhaps not be as he seems. Darcy had not refuted Elizabeth's criticisms of him at his first proposal, leaving her uncertain as to whether she could believe his letter, but her visit to Pemberley helps her to see that the letter was truthful. There are several reasons for this: in the first instance, it was a tenet of the times that a man's character could be determined from the way he treated his servants. The housekeeper at Pemberely believes Darcy to be a good man of generous character. Also, when Darcy unexpectedly arrives home early, he is extremely flustered, and it becomes evident that he may in fact simply be very shy. This is also implied in the fact that his sister, Miss Darcy, is also shown to be very shy—quite in contrast to what Elizabeth had expected. There is a parallel here with her brother: this visit helps Elizabeth to see that Mr. Darcy is not the way she believed him to be. Shyness prevented him from refuting allegations directly, but his comments about Mr. Wickham's past poor treatment of women were true. Meanwhile, Darcy himself is not arrogantly self confident, but unable to easily express his true feelings. 

sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The dignity of his estate reflects the sort of person he is. When her aunt and uncle approve of him--when Darcy accepts her family on his turf, she understands he is less proud than she thought him to be.  In addition, she learns about Darcy from the point of view of his servant, who has every opportunity to complain about him or gossip in negative ways. However, to the contrary, the servant praises him as generous, kind, and in every way the gentleman. By reading the letter he sent her that explained his behavior, she had already begun to forgive him and know him better, and when she visits Pemberley, she realizes that she deeply respects and cares for this man.

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Pride and Prejudice

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