In Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, what was Elizabeth's reaction to Mr. Darcy's proposal?

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samson98 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Darcy proposed to Elizabeth Bennet twice in Pride and Prejudice. The first time he proposes (chapter 34), Elizabeth is "astonished beyond expression." She was also angry that he said "will,...character..., and reason" told him to not propose to her. Moreover--having just heard that Darcy was the reason Bingley had decided to cease showing interest in Jane--Elizabeth could not imagine marrying the man who had been the cause of her sister's unhappiness. Thus, she rejects his proposal.

By Darcy's second proposal (chapter 58), Elizabeth has undergone a change of heart. Elizabeth puts away her prejudice against Darcy and views him as the honorable man he truly is beneath his seemingly-prideful exterior. This time, she expresses embarrassment at the excess of love Darcy seems to have for her (as well as her previous prejudice). This time, she accepts his proposal.

 

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Pride and Prejudice

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