Jane Austen – How does Elizabeth’s reaction to Darcy change throughout the novel? Essay

How does Elizabeth’s reaction to Darcy change throughout the novel? You should include their first meeting up to her departure from PemberleyElizabeth’s reaction to Darcy drastically changes throughout the novel. At the start of the novel Elizabeth was determined to dislike Darcy. However, as the novel develops Elizabeth’s grudge against him slowly and gradually turns into love, which appears to be unrequited when she leaves Pemberley to clean up the mess that her sister has made, who’s immorality and foolish decision is shameful to her family.When they first met at Mr Bingley’s ball, Mr Darcy came across as extremely proud, as Jane Austen states;’He was discovered to be proud, to be above his company andabove being pleased.’While Darcy is sitting down for two of the dances, Elizabeth overheard a conversation between Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley.

Mr Bingley was trying to convince Mr Darcy to dance with one of the young ladies at the ball and then offered to introduce him to Elizabeth. Mr Darcy then replied coldly;”she is tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt me.”Although deep down Elizabeth was agitated by what Darcy had said, Jane Austen expresses;”she told the story however with great spirit among her friends.

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“This shows she does not like to show that she was hurt by Mr Darcy to her friends.When they next met at Longbourne Mr Darcy began to find Elizabeth attractive.Jane Austen says;’he began to find her face was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes.’Darcy also found that;”he had never been so bewitched by any women as he was by her.”When Elizabeth ever looked at Mr Darcy he would permanently be watching her every move. Elizabeth tried to ignore this, as she believed he was observing her, only to criticise.

Elizabeth’s grudge against Mr Darcy rapidly grew into hatred when Mr Wickham (a man she found very agreeable) told her a falsehood about why he and Mr Darcy are enemies. He told her that Mr Darcy refused him a job as a clergyman, which Mr Darcy’s deceased father had promised Wickham. This of course was a lie. Elizabeth believed Wickham, although she had only recently been acquainted with him.

At the Netherfield ball Mr Darcy asked Elizabeth for the next dance. He took her so much by surprise, without realising she accepted his offer.As Elizabeth fret over what she had got herself in to, Charlotte tried to console her, by remarking;”I dare say you will find him very agreeable.”Elizabeth, shocked at what Charlotte had said hastily replied;”Heaven forbid! -That would be the greatest misfortune of all! -To find a man agreeable whom one is determined to hate! -Do not wish me such an evil.”This shows how determined Elizabeth is to hate Darcy, and that she is very stubborn, not believing that any thing could change her opinion of this man.As they danced they talked very little, and when Elizabeth brought up the subject of Mr Wickham Darcy was desirous to change the subject.Elizabeth’s feelings towards Mr Darcy did not change much after the danceWhen visiting Rosings with Mr and Mrs Collins, Elizabeth became acquainted with Darcy’s cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. He had good manners and Elizabeth found him very agreeable and pleasant.

While walking in the park with Colonel Fitzwilliam he revealed that Mr Darcy was the cause of Mr Bingley leaving the country and not contacting Jane. This caused Jane a lot of heartache, as she really loved Mr Bingley.He said;”he congratulated himself on having lately saved a friend from the inconveniences of a most imprudent marriage.” He also told Elizabeth that Mr Darcy main reason for breaking up the marriage was that;”if it were to get round to the ladies family, it would be an unpleasant thing.”This left Elizabeth outraged at Mr Darcy’s behaviour.

He had not only disobeyed his father and treated a family friend badly (or so she thought), but had also been the cause of Jane’s broken heart and insulted her family!During the end of her stay with the Collins’ she was disturbed by Mr Darcy. He came into the room in a hurried manner, looking very agitated. After several minutes he spoke;”In vain I struggle. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

“Elizabeth was astonished by his outburst of feelings, and immediately new she could never marry him and at first felt sorry for him. However, as he carried on his speech, about how he wished he didn’t love her due to how low her status was compared to his and how her family were hopeless.Elizabeth felt angry and offended, and told him exactly how she felt about him. Told him how cruel she thought he was to Wickham and how selfish he was to ruin Jane’s happiness.The next morning she was walking alone when, to her horror, she unexpectedly met Mr Darcy. He was holding out a letter, which she took. He said;”I have been walking in the grove some time in hope of meeting you. Will you do me the honour of reading that letter?”The letter revealed a lot.

It explained why he detached Mr Bingley from Jane and corrected her about him and Wickham. Darcy had happily given Mr Wickham the job as a clergyman. Mr Wickham refused the job and said he only wanted the money. Then we had spent all the money he asked for the job as the clergyman, and then Mr Darcy refused the job to him. Wickham had also tried to elope with Miss Darcy and caused Mr Darcy a lot of grief. Eventually Mr Darcy persuaded his younger sister not to elope with Wickham.After reading the letter Elizabeth;’grew absolutely ashamed.’ And felt she had been;’blind, prejudiced and absurd.

‘Later on in the novel Elizabeth visits Pemberley with her aunt and uncle. She dreads the visit knowing how awkward it would be. When she arrived and met Mr Darcy, he seemed very friendly and not the proud man she knew him to be. He chatted to Mr Gardiner as though he was a good friend, which surprised Elizabeth as Mr and Mrs Gardiner (he uncle and aunt) were involved in ‘trade’, which was considered to be a very ‘low’ way of making money.Mr Darcy showed a big interest in Elizabeth during her stay at Pemberley and asked if she would be acquainted with his younger sister who he greatly admired. Elizabeth was extremely touched by his suggestion and accepted it.

Elizabeth realised that her feelings towards Mr Darcy had dramatically changed. She realised that;’she certainly did not hate him’ and;’she respected, she esteemed, she was grateful to him, she felt a real interest in his welfare’.Elizabeth was distraught when she read the letters from Jane explaining that Lydia, had eloped with Mr Wickham. When she told mr Darcy he;’seemed scarcely to hear her, and was walking up and down the room in earnest meditation.’Elizabeth immediately assumed that Mr Darcy was as distraught as she was. That he knew he could not have anything to do with Elizabeth now Lydia had brought shame to the family, and that there was no way he would want to marry her any more. Deep down she felt;’never had she so honestly felt that she could have loved him, as now, when all love must be vain.’She then left Pemberley with her aunt and uncle immediately knowing that her love to Darcy would no longer be returned, all to the fault of her foolish sister.

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