Into the Country, Into the Country, We Go!

It is at Pemberly

-by Arielle Markiewicz

It is at Pemberly

Where we find ourselves

intrigued by Mr. Darcy-his life

We find ourselves delving deeper

Discerning Darcy’s character further.

It is at Pemberly

Where Lizzie confronts her fears

for she herself is lost.

Lizzie’s life has overturned

for Darcy’s proposal and letter

has shattered her self-confidence

in herself.

It is at Pemberly

where we find Lizzie and Darcy growing closer

where Lizzie acknowledges her stupidity

(after seeing Darcy’s mansion, of course!).

Where Lizzie admits to loving Mr. Darcy.

It is at Pemberly

Where this story her story has ended

but theirs has just begun.

It is at Pemberly.

Lizzie only enters Pemberly because she learns that Mr. Darcy is not going to be at his home.  And as she is taking a tour led by Mrs. Reynolds, his housekeeper, she learns insightful things about Mr. Darcy from his maid.  Mrs. Reynolds’ account of Mr. Darcy clashes with the ideas that Lizzie holds to Mr. Darcy. It is found that contrasting to Lizzie’s belief, Darcy does not have a short temper, that Darcy is not a cruel master, but one who lovingly takes care of all those that he can.  It is where Lizzie learns that his sister, Miss Darcy, is neither arrogant nor cruel like Mr. Wickham had described, but timidly shy and scared to even talk or look at people in the eye.

I find it very interesting that Caroline purposefully insults Lizzie and nags at Mr. Darcy to join in on her Lizzie bashing, but all she gets is Mr. Darcy telling her that “Lizzie is one of the most handsomest women of his acquaintance.”  It’s even more ironic when all she wanted to do was hurt him, but instead she ends up hurting herself.

Then we learn that Mr. Wickham and Lydia have run off, but have not married yet?  No one can find them, and when Lizzie learns Mr. Darcy has come into the room as she is reading.  I find it very stupid that Lizzie blames herself for Lydia running off with Mr. Wickham because Lydia has always been foolish and would never listen to anyone.  Lydia would never change, and her follies are even more blazoned because of Mrs. Bennet’s approval of Lydia’s actions.

And then, after Lizzie tells Mr. Darcy the truth about Lydia and Wickham, Lizzie admits to herself that only now has she acknowledged her love, does the actions of her family drag Mr. Darcy further away.

Which Letter, Which Letter Shall I Choose?

First of all, I thought that when she learned the truth about Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham, Lizzie would change.  But she hasn’t. She’s still the same prideful, prejudiced, ignorant character that she always was.  Sure, she now knows the truth about Wickham, but she still in a way hates Mr. Darcy.  She still screams at him in her mind, calling him prideful and prejudiced. Its annoying.  Now, I am rooting for Mr. Darcy to never end up with Lizzie because she’s so very ungrateful. Then on top of that, she feels so arrogant that Mr. Darcy asked her to marry him.  I believe that if Mr. Darcy knew how very much she hated him and ended so close to “falling in love with Wickham,” he never would have asked her to marry him.  It’s stupidity like Lizzie’s that makes me go, “Well she deserves to live out her life as an old maid.”

Ok, so beside the fact that I’m not happy with Lizzie right now, I’m even more impeccably disgusted by Lydia’s and Kitty’s behavior.  Lydia and Kitty were sent by their father in the Carriage to pick up Lizzie and Jane.  They stopped at an inn that served food, ordered food but did not have enough money to do so because they bought things before coming to the inn.  Stupidity at its finest, then when Lizzie and Jane come in they say, “aren’t we so kind of sisters?  To take you out to lunch?  But can you lend me some money?  I spent my money on my newest bonnet!  Isn’t it so ugly?”  Like where on earth does this even come from?  I don’t like people who are just users, like Lydia, who only uses her sisters to give her things.  If they don’t, then she starts whining, and crying.

I find this line very interesting:

“Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind.  But vanity, not love, has been my folly.” page 204

To me, this is the whole denial thing once more.  I think that this line is impeccably so very close to one of the main themes, it could be an advertisement for it.  I think that this quote speaks to the whole idea that Mr. Darcy’s comment in the beginning, about Lizzie not being pretty enough to tempt him, had clouded her judgment because it hurt her pride.  I find that Lizzie is trying to hide behind a curtain of arrogance to conceal the pain she feels because while Mr. Darcy has proposed, he still felt that she wasn’t good enough for him.  I think that when we look at the arrogance between Lizzie and Mr. Darcy, we find a huge sense of falseness in both of them, but I believe Mr. Darcy will always have more arrogance than Lizzie.  I believe this so because of his upbringing.  I believe that because Lizzie came from a family of little money, little standing, little possibilities for the future, little hope for a better life.  I think that in order to forget about the faults in her life, she set up a persona full of a tight-knitted facade that no one should be able to pass through.  But what scares Lizzie the most, is that Mr. Darcy was able to, from the first moment she saw him, and from the first moment that he was rude to her.

I view the whole story of Mr. Darcy and Lizzie quite interesting in the fact that one seems to be prideful (Darcy), while it is Lizzie who is the President of fatal Pride. In a way, I believe that Pride and Prejudice are both of their fatal flaws.

Who ever created the word no shall die!

I find Lady Catherine De Bourgh a very interesting character indeed.  The fact of the matter is that she is very arrogant, she does have a large sense of pride, but she is very interested in the well being of others.  She does not care if it is the well-being of “inferior” people, she even seems to enjoy helping them more, and she does get even a bigger ego when she learns that people are indebted to her for helping them.  I find her a very interesting character, maybe a new character to ponder more about.  I gave up on Caroline a long time ago, after she forced Charles to leave Jane and never to return to Netherfield.  I find that there are interesting moments in Lady Catherine’s countenance where she does act very kindly, but it’s as if she reminds herself that she’s above those that surround her.  I feel that she’s lonely in Ramsgate, a huge castle, where she hopes to find others to be her companions.  There’s only so much one can do when they are lonely.

We meet Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mr. Darcy’s cousin, a young man who went into the army because he’s not the eldest son, which means he cannot inherit his father’s estate.  Lizzie describes him as a handsome, amiable, young man who she cannot believe is related to Mr. Darcy.  What I find very interesting is that at moments she seems to almost hope that Fitzwilliam shows her some affection or favor, but at others she does not.  Fitzwilliam knows that for him, the only true way to get money is to marry a rich woman with a huge dowry.  I find it quite hilarious that when you take Fitzwilliam to Wickham you get two men who are really after the same thing, yet totally different because one follows first his morals, Fitzwilliam, while Wickham flouts morals.

So, then finally we get to the point where I felt like I was going to feint, I don’t know how Lizzie kept so cool!?  Anyways, I’ll give the shortened version because if I didn’t I would go on forever, and then my carpal tunnel would kill me!  SO, Mr. Darcy proposes, insults Lizzie by naming the connections she holds, which disgust him because of her family’s disregard for propriety, which in turn disgusts Lizzie because of Mr. Darcy’s callousness.  I find it a never-ending cycle of one person offending another.

This is where we fall to the fact that I wish that the world never invented the word “No!” Or even the concept of it’s definition.  I find it quite annoying, because I thought that Mr. Darcy and Lizzie were supposed to be it for each other, but no.  There’s Mr. Wickham clouding Lizzie’s judgment.

But that isn’t true for long because of Darcy’s letter.  I’m shocked. Appalled.  Shell-shocked.  Unexpectedly appalled.  Wouldn’t you be?  Mr. Wickham is the evil one, it all fits.  His character towards Lizzie and switching to Miss King, him missing Netherfield ball.  I find that his most disturbing occurrence is that he tried to take advantage of Miss Darcy, who I feel for terribly.  To be deceived in “love” at only 15 must be disastrous.  Lizzie is such an idiot!  She’s so prideful, so willful, so ignorant, so gullible.  Even she herself says it best, that she, who prided herself on reading people, had been deceived so clearly and yet so tactfully, blinded by her “hate” of Mr. Darcy that she let go of a chance to increase her standings.  Maybe if she allowed herself it, happiness, too.

WELL, Lizzie does think that she’ll be alone now.  Afterall, she refused both Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy; one, a foolish man, the other a respectable man who she doesn’t deserve, who is way out of her league.  She’ll be left alone as an old maid.

 

 

Mrs. Gardiner, Voice of Reason?

As I read from the beginning, I get the sense that Lizzie is very sensible, she’s very carefree yet pessimistic, she’s smart yet ignorant in certain matters, in simplest terms she’s a walking, breathing, Victorian contradiction.  I find myself liking her at some moments, for her independence, for her self-assurance, for her tenacity, but there are other times where I’m annoyed by her, of her quarrelsome attitude, for her pessimistic thoughts, but most of all for the easy way in which she jumps to conclusions.  She’s a dynamic character because it seems as if there are moments where you don’t really know what it is she is going to do next.

Mrs. Gardiner, Lizzie’s aunt seems to be Lizzie’s conscience, reminding Lizzie that a man like Wickham, due to his state of living, does not deserve her.  I find that although Lizzie at first agrees blindingly to Mrs. Gardiner’s advice to separate herself from Wickham’s devotions, Lizzie ends up thinking things over and agrees with her aunt.  But the most important thing to remember is that it is Lizzie’s aunt that brings up this point, not Lizzie coming to this conclusion all on her own.

At a different point in the story, some ten/twenty pages later, we find ourselves receiving a letter from Jane.  It seems that Jane has finally realized that Caroline is not a nice person, nor is she genuine in her regard towards Jane.  Maybe at first Caroline liked Jane, but the connections that Jane holds does not overshadow Jane’s good nature.  It’s quite disgusting how the “rich and superior” act towards their inferiors.  I find myself feeling for Jane, hoping for her happiness, even more than for Lizzie’s.  I find myself quite self-assured that if it ends with Lizzie as an old, unmarried lady, she’ll still be very happy.  But Jane seems to hope for love, she seems to look forward to being in love, and she does deserve someone to love her.

It was a big “Hallelujah!” moment when Jane finally admitted the disguised coldness of Caroline’s character.  I don’t seem to like Caroline that much anymore.  She’s very much cruel, mean, and only interested in money.  I believe that somehow with all the money they already have in the family, she could be more that happy than others, but nooooo!!!!!!!!!! That’s not possible.  The rich always want to be rich, and rich want the poor to be even poorer.

Mrs. Gardiner once again points out something to both Lizzie and myself, that it is interesting that Mr. Wickham dissolves of showing his affections to Lizzie because of Miss King’s inheritance.  Of course I will say that most are interested in money, and although I am giving Wickham some room because of his “handsomeness and amiable attitude,” I will say that men who are interested in money are not interested in love.  Thank God Lizzie does admit to seeing her aunt’s point because if she said that it’s alright and normal, that she still likes him, I would knock some sense into her!  Wickham seems to be good as a friend, but to get married?  No Lizzie!  Mr. Darcy is the one for you!

I find it interesting that Lizzie describes both Sir William and Maria Lucas as simple-minded people.  It’s Charlotte’s father and little sister, I’m surprised by this fact because Charlotte is not an idiot.  Although Lizzie would say that Charlotte is crazy because she purposely wished to get married to Mr. Collins, I will say that she’s actually smart.  Charlotte wished to be the happiest she could possibly be within the confines made for her as a woman and as a woman at the age of 27.  Charlotte’s decision was done wisely.  Lizzie’s decisions are done ignorantly.

Charlotte? The New Foolish, Mrs. Collins?

It was quite sneaky of Charlotte to snatch Mr. Collins under the guise of just entertaining him to help the Bennetts.  She’s smart, she’s through with what life has offered her so far, and I must say that although I cannot say if I would have done the same or different, I will respect her choice.  Charlotte’s marriage to Mr. Collins has many consequences, such as a a huge sea of tension between Lizzie and Charlotte, between Mrs. Bennett and Mrs. Lucas.  I find that it is quite disgusting that Mrs. Lucas is counting down the days until Mr. Bennett will die and the entail shall be to her own daughter.  I do not like people like that, but I do hope that if any of the Bennetts do not marry, especially if Lizzie does not, that Charlotte will invite her/them to live in Longbourne.

Charlotte herself states that “Mr. Collins attachment to her was mostly imaginary.” page 122.

I find a true sense of deep-sisterly-love affection between Lizzie and Charlotte, and while both know it’s not the happiest thing for Charlotte to do, it’s the only ray of happiness she will get (quite bluntly).

I find myself annoyed with Caroline; she has not turned out quite like I would have hoped.  She’s not kind, she’s sneaky, and way too much into Mr. Darcy.  I don’t know how woman caught men in the old days, but I know that being way too open with your feelings is not the way to go.  And being a obnoxious doesn’t help either. The fact that she so cruelly writes to Jane and speaks of the hopes of her brother, Bingley and Miss Darcy marrying is devious.  She’s not kind towards Jane’s feelings, she’s not kind towards her brother’s, and most of all I believe that she’s lying to herself.  Caroline has allowed herself to care more about society’s ranks than about how others perceive her, and the good that can come out of a “lowly connection.”

I find myself wondering really what there is about Mr. Wickham.  We don’t learn much about his past, other than the slight of Mr. Darcy, nor do we know we really know what type of a man he truly is.  I wonder…does he read?  does he like to dance?  does he enjoy hunting?  does he like playing card games?  Does he have anything to really offer other than being handsome and hating Mr. Darcy?  Mr. Darcy has already left Hertfordshire and yet, it seems that the shire has not left him.

The arrival of Mr. Gardiner, Mrs. Bennet’s brother, and his wife gives a new taste of life to Longbourne.  They are both described as intelligent people and that Caroline Bingley herself would be surprised to know that they were not a part of the upper circles of London Society.  I find myself wondering why does Mrs. Gardiner warn Lizzie off of Mr. Wickham.  She seems to like him, but she says it’s because the connections of Mr. Wickham are not good enough for Lizzie. Isn’t that pride?  And yet, Lizzie does not hate her aunt.

 

Is it Love or is it Foolishness?

I find these lines very interesting:

“I dare say you will find him very agreeable.”  (Charlotte says)

“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.” (Elizabeth’s reply to Charlotte on Mr. Darcy) -page 89.

I find that Elizabeth’s word choice is very interesting.  It’s as if she purposely reminding herself that she MUST hate Mr. Darcy.  I find this very annoying, and personally right now Lizzie is not my favorite character.  I find the whole conflict between Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham very tiring.  It’s becoming annoying that almost every page lately all I read is about Lizzie’s thoughts about Mr. Wickham, how she gets dressed especially for him, how she’s so happy that today she will be seeing him.  Now I know that many women out there are like that, but I thought that Lizzie would be different.  She’s smart, educated, and seems to see the deception in people, such as in Caroline and Mrs. Hurst.  It’s easy for me to like her, until we met Wickham; Lizzie allowed her intelligence to degenerate.  Why can’t she just admit to herself that Mr. Darcy only hurt her pride, now he’s seeking her attention, accept it and move on?

“Both,” replied Elizabeth archly; “for I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds.-We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the eclat of a proverb.” -page 90.

It’s at the Netherfield ball, Elizabeth and Jane have dressed especially for Wickham and Bingley respectively.  It’s beautiful, it’s a ball, a party, a dinner party, so many people to talk to, so much to see in so little time, only a minimum number of dances, and the first two of Elizabeth’s are already gripped tightly in Mr. Collin’s wheedling hands.  I read once that dancing two dances with a man in the old times showed that he shows you favor, and you do so in return as well.  WELL, Mr. Collins sure made his desires noticeable, but I do know that Elizabeth is not so inclined to it as he is.  Lizzie seems to see herself halfway in love with Mr. Wickham.  Now, I would like Mr. Wickham more if he told me anything about himself, but all we get is the injustice Mr. Darcy did to him.  It’s truly tunnel vision for Lizzie, but I am not so blinded.  Mr. Wickham has given no outline to himself, he’s a shadow that haunts Mr. Darcy, but does not attack, almost as if he’s afraid of his own object; should it not be the other way around.  While I do grieve for Mr. Wickham’s poor disposition, I would feel more for him if I knew his character, if I knew what type of man he really is, his interests, his thoughts, his opinions.  At least with Mr. Darcy I am able to make an outline of a man who is a hardworking man, works hard to maintain an image, works hard to know his own mind better than anyone else, and does have an enormous amount of pride.  But I do not believe that his pride exceeds his positive characteristics.  I believe in fact that so far, in many ways Lizzie herself holds the same ones as well.

I find it very interesting later on at Netherfield, at the Dinner Table, Lizzie is so embarrassed by her mother.  Her thoughts are borderline obsession with what she believes to be Mr. Darcy’s thoughts on her mother.  The fact that she cares about his opinion, even though she does not acknowledge it as caring, conveys her interest in him.  She does not want a bad reputation, a bad illustration of herself in Mr. Darcy’s eyes as much as she does not wish to admit it so.

SO, I don’t really know what to say on Mr. Collins proposal other than “is he serious?”  And, “Did her really believe she would say yes?”  The fact that he insults her before the proposal is so foolish, that he lost even a sliver of a chance of her saying yes.  Then when he does not accept her refusal, I wished to be able to fall into this book-especially on this page-and shake him until he understands.  How can someone not accept a refusal?  (Is that a paradox? Or just plain irony?)  And then suddenly, just within one second of Mrs. Bennett talking with him, saying that Lizzie has always been a headstrong foolish girl, he suddenly changes his mind so quickly to distaste for Lizzie’s character.  Only moments ago he was praising her character, stating that he was attracted to her strength and spirit’s freedom.

I know from the summary from the back of the book that Mr. Darcy is who her love interest really is, but then I find myself wondering truly when he’ll have more page time.  Maybe it will all come together in the end, but right now I am pretty displeased with Miss Austen.  You don’t take out the main character without really developing them in the first place.  If you wanted to do that, then look at Sleeping Beauty.  Did you know that Aurora, the title’s lead, was only in the Disney movie for 18 minutes?  Well I didn’t until a few days ago, so if you want to take out the main character do it like that.  (And yes I do know that Sleeping beauty if 150 years older than Pride and Prejudice.”)

I will end with this one last quote that I laughed like crazy at:

“Those who do not complain are never pitied?”  page 111

Where did that stupidity come from?  More like those who whine never receive pity, only hate mail detailing people’s headaches.

Crushing on Mr. Wickham? Lies or Truth?

“Elizabeth honored him for such feelings, and though him handsomer than ever as he expressed them.” -Page 78:

Lizzie’s thoughts on Mr. Wickham; she’s developed a crush on him.  I find it a little mean that he so easily says that Miss Darcy is a prideful, mean, young woman.  It’s a little sad that Lizzie allows Mr. Wickham’s thoughts rule her own.  Mr. Wickham may be right about Mr. Darcy and his sister, but I would much rather prefer to have more proof.  I find that the conflict between Mr. Wickham, Elizabeth, and Mr. Darcy very trifling.  I think that Miss Austen must choose who she wants Lizzie’s focus to be on.  I don’t love triangles, they detract way too much from the central purpose of the story, which if you didn’t know already you need glasses:  the themes of Pride and Prejudice.

We learn, from having Mr. Collins bring up once again his esteemed Patroness Lady Catherine De Bourgh that she is Mr. Darcy’s aunt.  Okay, so I know that I have already acknowledged that I believe Lady Catherine must be Prejudiced, then her nephew must be as well.  So, I will say that I agree on this fact, but only because it is so blatantly obvious that he is prideful and prejudiced that it would make me a liar if I did not acknowledge it.  But now that I have, I will also say that I believe even has a little pride because if one did not, then they would not have any self-esteem either and that is not a good thing.  So maybe we should agree that the rich, Mr. Darcy and his aunt, should cut back on the haughtiness.

In Chapter 17 we are abruptly placed into the Netherfield Ball, hosted by the Bingleys.  It’s a nice quaint party, but as well all know, the Bennets dearly love entertainment.  So we begin off with a whining Elizabeth who is angry that Mr. Wickham is not in attendance, and thus blames it on Mr. Darcy.  But we later learn that Mr. Bingley nor Mr. Darcy did not not include Mr. Wickham, but Mr. Wickham of his own choices chose not to come to the party; we learn this tidbit of information at the same time as Miss Eliza.

It’s interesting, the contrast between LIzzie and Jane.  Lizzie believes the worst, while Jane looks to see the best.  Jane is described as an angel, and it seems to be not only because of her looks.  She thinks kindly of all people, and maybe that is her fault.  But Lizzie’s fault seems to be very similar but on the opposite side of the spectrum.  Lizzie is easily inclined to think the worst of people.  I like how Jane gives different point of views on Mr. Darcy, which gives both him and herself a new set of characterizations.  We learn that maybe the whole dealing between Wickham and Darcy is a misunderstanding, that maybe somewhere there’s a missing piece to this unfinished puzzle, although in Lizzie’s mind it is finished and sealed.  I myself am wondering what that missing piece is.  I wonder if maybe it is a misunderstanding, maybe Mr. Darcy is not at fault.  Or maybe, Mr. Darcy really is as  cruel as Wickham says.  Or maybe because we mainly gain insight from Lizzie’s mind, everything has been adulterated because of her hatred for Mr. Darcy.

 

Mr. Wickham? Where’s Mr. Darcy?

From Mr. Collins we get a sense of a man who is undeniably NOT humble.  He always seems to be praising himself, his home, his life, but then quite daringly contrasting-he is so very humble when he is talking about Lady Catherine De Bourgh.  We get to meet Mrs. Phillips, aunt to the five Bennet daughters.  Mrs. Phillips seems to be a weak-minded woman, easily swayed by praise from Mr. Collins.  Mrs. Phillips cheap flower that Mr. Collins is trying to sell to people as a great, $12 a piece-rose.

Mr. Collins is seen quite a great deal as being a clergy man, but does not like reading.  He is awkward, yet does not seem to notice it.  He is quite unmistakably not a person that one would invite to dinner, yet garners an invitation.  He’s supposed to be knowledgeable, but finds a kinship with Mrs. Phillips who seems to be clingy to “new, shiny things.”

Elizabeth is bored at the Phillips’ party, wishes to be entertained.  Enters Mr. Wickham, who earlier we only met as a friend to Mr. Denny, who introduced him to Lydia and Kitty.  The description of Mr. Wickham is jump-out-at-you “handsome.”  He’s the golden boy, to give a juxtaposition to the “tall, dark, and handsome,” Mr. Darcy.  We learn that Lydia is easily swayed by the dramatics, things that are trifling and stupidly entertaining, but at the same time wishes to be the center of attention.

It’s intriguing, that as much as Lizzie says that she hates Mr. Darcy and does not want to talk about him, she herself brings up the subject quite quickly and easily.  She’s got a fascination with him.

“I have been connected with his family in a particular manner from my infancy.”  ????? Okay, where on earth did this come from?  Is this true, is this false, and where on earth is Miss Austen going with this story?

“His behavior to himself has been scandalous.” -pg 77.

It’s interesting really, the way Wickham talks.  I’m suspicious of it, or maybe I’m just a paranoid girl who believes to second guess anything many men say–even in novels.  Although, I am intrigued whether his story is true, I’m more intrigued by how Lizzie is going to act from now on.  Wickham has just fed the already humongous wildfire that has been growing.

Entail? or Schmentail?

Ok, so I knew that because  I was reading a novel written in the 1800s I would have to deal with all the “patriarchal society stupidity” but, like come on!  All because Mr. Bennett had five daughters his house is entailed away from them because they are women!  I think that at the rate at which Mr. Bennett and his family think of Mr. Collins, it’s pure irony the way Miss Austen wrote him.  The contrast between Jane, Lizzie, and Mary  to Mr. Collins is so humorous it’s hilarious! You have smart women and then you have the “odious” Mr. Collins.

I will say that, in response to the letter he had written to Mr. Bennett, Mr. Collins is a well-educated man.  But that is where it seems that Mr. Bennett will end his “praise” of Mr. Collins accomplishments.
I will have to agree with Mr. Bennett, that so far Mr. Collins is acting sort of foolish.  SO I’ll be a little kind on Mr. Collins because he deserves a little benefit of doubt, but that does not mean I won’t list what presents him as fool.  These are what I have come up with:
-Lady Catherine De Bourgh a kind, rich woman?  I never really heard of such a thing.  “She is a most charming young lady indeed.  Lady Catherine herself says that in point of true beauty, Miss De Bourgh is far superior to the handsomest of her sex; because there is that in her features which marks the young woman of distinguished birth.” -page 66
Kind?  Then what was that?  Do I smell CONCEIT?  I think I do!
-“Mr. Bennet’s expectations were fully answered.  His cousin was as absurd as he had hoped, and he listened to him with the keenest enjoyment, maintaining at the same time with he most resolute composure of countenance,…” -page 67.
So if that wasn’t “in your face!” pointing out how ridiculous we’re supposed to view Mr. Collins, I don’t know what a real blind man would think!  But I must digress that I was hoping for a little more substance in a man who has had a good education and made something of himself.
-And finally we come to the beginning of Chapter 15, which Jane Austen so kindly dedicated a whole chapter to Mr. Collins because Mr. Collins has quite quickly become a favorite character of the story.  “the respect which he felt for her rank, and his veneration of her (Catherine De Bourgh) as his patroness, mingling with a very good opinion of himself, of his authority as a clergyman, and his rights as a rector, made him altogether a mixture of pride and obsequiousness, self-importance and humility.”
And I’m sorry to tell but if that did not help you figure out the nature of Mr. Collins, then I surely hope this does:  “Mr. Collins was not a sensible man.”  -page 69.
But only because it is the beginning of this story, I will keep an open mind on Mr. Collins-everyone deserves a chance.  But I only hope that I don’t have to read about a sermon he will read once more.  There’s only one Les Miserables story and that’s enough.   I don’t need another.
Now, although Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley made a small appearance at the end of chapter 15 I think it’s quite sad that that’s all we get to see after five or so chapters.  Where’s the romance?  I find I’m wondering if the romance is only secondary to the comedy I find in this story?  And Caroline, I think it’s a weird obsession I’ve created, sort of like with the movie Mean Girls.  Caroline does remind me as a Regina George in the sense of the story.
Well, that’s really all I’ve got so far, but I’ll leave with this one last thing:  I’ll repeat my favorite quote of what I’ve read just now.
“Mr. Collins was not a sensible young man.”
Mr. Bennett does have a good sense of humor.

Fatal Flaws Interesting? Or Cliched?

Interestingly enough, although I find much of the dialog so far to be tedious and slightly without much of a fluidity, my favorite scene so far is about pride.  Big surprise, I know, but I did enjoy that interesting, though-provoking conversation.  I read once that Jane Austen originally called this novel First Impressions.  I believe it would have been an excellent title, even from the very beginning we receive so much information, and like Elizabeth and Darcy, we have our own first impressions.  I have already begun to encounter both the aspects of pride and prejudice in the novel, but i believe it’s only the beginning.  Afterall, Austen did name it for this reason-at least I hope so.

The lines that really caught my eye are about Darcy and Lizzie talking about their fatal flaws.

“Certainly,”replied Elizabeth-“there are such people, but I hope I am not one of them.  I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good.  Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can.  But these, I suppose, are precisely what you are without.”

“Perhaps that is not possible for any one.  But it has been the study of my life to avoid those weaknesses which often expose a strong understanding to ridicule.”

“Such as vanity and pride.”

“Yes, vanity is a weakness indeed.  But pride-where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.”

I wondered as I was reading this, is this really something someone would say in the old times?  While I did love this dialog, and the thought provoking themes, I am left wondering how the rest of the story is going to go.  Is it going to be full of unreal scenes?  Is it going to seem to fantasy like?  It’s interesting because I love these lines, and yet I’m unsure if I like them here.

But I did think that these lines were perfect for this story and especially for this part of the story:

“There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.”

“And your defect is a propensity to hate every body.”

“And yours,” he replied with a smile,”is wilfully to misunderstand them.”

It is interesting that they both admit to their faults, and they point out each others but they do not accept them–at least they haven’t so far.  It’s ironic, these few lines because I see it as foreshadowing the rest of the story.  If I’m wrong, well then the title should be changed back to First Impressions.

The whole conversation did make me ask myself:

Does Mr. Darcy think of himself as a person close to perfection?

Why does Elizabeth so unnervingly fight with Mr. Darcy?  Yes, he hurt her with his comment, but Lizzie!  Grow up!  And Caroline’s action to gain the attention of Darcy was so STUPID!  She asked Elizabeth to walk with her!  Caroline, he won’t look at you!  He’ll only be looking at Elizabeth!  Is it weird that I’m hoping for Caroline to grow up into a better person, a better character, and get a happy ending?

In Chapter 12, I find it odd that Mr. Darcy has to force himself to remember that he must be away from Elizabeth because he must not get too close to her.  It’s truly nice to see that line repeated as of late.  But while on the other side of the coin, Elizabeth has declared that she hates Darcy.  It’s annoying, and yet intriguing.

I do wonder, will Mr. Darcy actually end up truly wanting Elizabeth, will Elizabeth let go of her hatred, or will Caroline grow up a bit?

Until next time, where their pride allows it, I shall be writing.

 

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