Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 437
Extended Character Analysis
Fitzwilliam Darcy, or Mr. Darcy, is the shy, wealthy, and aristocratic landowner of Pemberley. He is a socially awkward character, which makes him initially come across as cold, haughty, and prideful. Mr. Darcy is judgmental towards those of a lower class than he is. When his good friend Mr. Bingley buys an estate in the countryside near Meryton, Mr. Darcy acts as though he can’t stand the local people; during a ball hosted by Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy claims “any savage can dance,” showing his contempt for the whole affair.
Mr. Darcy becomes attracted to Elizabeth Bennet in spite of her lower social position. He is repulsed by Elizabeth’s family and their ostentatious nature and tries to fight against his feelings for her. As a result, he behaves coldly and unkindly toward Elizabeth, which damages her opinion of him. Mr. Darcy convinces Mr. Bingley to leave the countryside and to stop courting Jane Bennet, as he feels it is a bad match. He also interprets Jane’s mild, reserved manner as a sign that she does not truly love Bingley. Mr. Darcy is also grateful to leave Netherfield, for he worries that spending any more time near Elizabeth would only cause him to like her more.
When Mr. Darcy sees Elizabeth again near Rosings, the estate of his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, he realizes he loves Elizabeth. He proposes marriage, but he does so in such a condescending manner—he insults her family and social status—that she instantly refuses. Elizabeth’s rejection stuns him; Mr. Darcy has not been challenged like this before, so he seeks to make amends and defend his character. He writes a letter to Elizabeth, hoping to convince her that most of his actions were valid. After several months, Mr. Darcy meets Elizabeth again while she is viewing the grounds of his estate, Pemberley, in Derbyshire. He makes an effort to be kinder to Elizabeth and her relatives, hoping to make up for his previous behavior. He also introduces Elizabeth to his beloved younger sister, Georgiana, showcasing a more considerate and good-natured side of his personality.
When Lydia Bennet and Mr. Wickham elope, Mr. Darcy feels partly responsible and straightens out the unfortunate affair. As a result, Elizabeth comes to understand his true character, and when he proposes to her again, she accepts. Mr. Darcy, although representative of flaws relating to pride and ill judgement, is able to overcome his flaws and find love and a successful partner in Elizabeth Bennet. The two showcase the positive outcome of a marriage founded on mutual respect and affection.
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