Mr Darcy's Metemorphosis!Mr Darcy,one of the main characters in Pride and Prejudice, supposedly went through a "Metamorphosis" after he knew Elizabeth Bennet. This allows us to label him as a...

Mr Darcy's Metemorphosis!

Mr Darcy,one of the main characters in Pride and Prejudice, supposedly went through a "Metamorphosis" after he knew Elizabeth Bennet. This allows us to label him as a "dynamic" character.

Regarding that here are some things that could be discussed:

How did Mr Darcy change throughout the novel (examples)?

In which part/scene/chapter does this change start/ when is the change most evident?

Do you think that this change is permanent or was it only to please Elizabeth and win her heart and why do you think so?

How would've the story been different if Mr Darcy had remained static (stayed the same and did not evolve or mature)?

What role did his change play in the novel's main plot?

You can contribute by answering some of these questions/ all of them or just by generally commenting.

Your participation will be greatly valued and appreciated! :D



Expert Answers
lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I don't know that he really changes! I think it is more that he reveals himself for who he is really is, not the aloof man he appears to be due to the social circumstances of the beginning of the book. It is revealed later that what looked like pride, is actually shyness in new situations and around people he doesn't know well. What looks like arrogance in manipulating Bingley away from Jane is actually concern for a friend and an effort to protect his heart. What sounds like rude and unfair treatment of Wickham is actually doing more than the right thing by him. What really changes through the novel is Elizabeth's understanding of Darcy. She hears that he is shy. She realizes that he didn't trust Jane's feelings to be true for Bingley. She learns that he actually did more than was expected of his father's will in regards to Wickham who actually squandered and/or rejected his inheritance. Darcy is actually well-liked and respected by the people who work for him at Pemberly. He saves the Bennet family reputation without expecting anything in return. He proposes again even though he was rejected once.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the beginning, Mr. Darcy was regarded as too prideful for the majority of the characters depicted in Pride & Prejudice. In the end, after completely shedding his pride, Darcy falls deeply in love with Elizabeth. His shedding of his pride proves him to be a dynamic character. Given the multiple dancing scenes in the text, one can look at his changing behavior (during these scenes) as being the beginning of his metamorphosis. For me, I believe his change to be permanent--his love for Elizabeth does change him.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Mr. Darcy does come more down to earth and start thinking of other people than himself. Through knowing Elizabeth, he comes to understand that what he thought mattered most might actually have changed. He becomes a better person through his love of her.
hawra | Student

lmetcalf , what an interesting perspective! 

Would you then label Mr Darcy as a static character since he doesn't really change in your opinion?

While it is true that his aloofness is sometimes mistaken for pride and haughtiness, one cannot deny that he has SOME pride. Otherwise how would you explain the way he scorned Elizebeth at the first ball before even getting to know her? Doesn't that show shallowness and pride?

Did no one change/mature/develop in the story? You mention that Darcy didn't change and that Elizabeth only gained a better understanding of Darcy hence she didn't really change in terms of personality did she? This book focuses a lot on dialogue and characters so I would find it difficult to think that only events changed and that characters remained completely static.

Looking forward to you response!

hawra | Student

literaturenerd, I agree with most of what you said. Although, does Mr Darcy only change with regard to pride or do you think that there are other things/charactersitics that are shed or revealed by his character?

It would make sense for us to see his change in the dance scenes since that's when Elizabeth and him have their sarcastic and witty interactions. However, is there a specific scene or line that clearly shows that he is different?? 

Furthermore, you believe that his change was permanent. Can you explain why you think so?