Describe the primary differences between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Charles Bingley in Jane Austen's  'Pride and Prejudice".Friends like Bingley and Darcy are also opposites: each has some admirable...

Describe the primary differences between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Charles Bingley in Jane Austen's  'Pride and Prejudice".

Friends like Bingley and Darcy are also opposites: each has some admirable and some weak traits that the other helps to expose and resolve.

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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It might not be entirely inaccurate to characterize the friends Darcy and Bingley as being an odd couple of sorts.  Bingley is a likable fellow, with charm, good looks, and although it be only half of his friend's portfolio, a considerable amount of money.  Elizabeth Bennet's appraisal of Bingley to her sister Jane was lukewarm ("You have liked many a stupider person"), might suggest that Bingley is intelligent enought, but he also tends to be easily influenced and unlikely to engage in independent thought, particularly in terms of being influenced by Darcy.  His temperament is not unlike his future fiancee, Jane Bennet, although his predilection to being influenced leads to a break between the two of them for a time. 

Darcy is twice as rich as Bingley, who isn't exactly doing without anything; his Pemberley estate and the income it generates makes him one of the 400 wealthiest people in Britain.  Adding to his affluence is the fact that he is the sole owner of Pemberley.  Darcy is a bit hard to get to know, aloof even.  He observes all the required social niceties except dancing, saying "Every savage can dance", but isn't terribly concerned with the feelings of others, and is prone to occasional arrogance, such as is shown when he pronounces a visit to Hertfordshire as causing an immediate reduction in his social status.  However, in the tradition of the best complex characters in literature, digging deeper into Darcy's character shows that he is also kind to his hired help, those less fortunate than he is, and his little sister, of whom he is most fond. 

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