In this lesson, we get to know the somewhat arrogant character Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s novel ”Pride and Prejudice.” Although he tries to keep his heart in check, he eventually falls deeply in love with Elizabeth Bennet, a woman who can’t stand him – at least at first.
Fitzwilliam Darcy is a very arrogant man of England’s upper crust.
He is lord of Pemberley, an expensive estate located in the county of Derbyshire. He is fairly tall and handsome, but his demeanor is unfriendly, aloof, and unapproachable.He has a sister, Georgiana, who adores him, and the feeling is mutual.
It seems safe to assume that Darcy is a private man and that his upbringing has highly influenced his opinions of those around him. He is arrogant almost without knowing it, such has been the entitled world he has known.We know that his housekeeper speaks highly of him, as she praises Darcy for being such a kind master in front of Elizabeth Bennet and her aunt and uncle, the Gardiners, when they take a tour of Pemberley. As is often the case with people, the negative first impression Darcy gives is not an accurate reflection of his noble character, though he has his flaws.
Darcy’s flaws are best seen in the difficulty he has with relationships. Although he is loyal to those who are close to him, he doesn’t seem to see the need to develop new friendships, particularly with those he feels are beneath him socially.However, Mr. Bingley, Darcy’s best friend, rents Netherfield Hall, an estate in the country near the Bennet family. Mrs.
Bennet, whose one aim is to marry off her daughters to wealthy men, insists that her husband go and introduce himself. She hopes the Bingleys throw a ball, and they do. The idea of a ball most likely annoys Darcy, as he sees no need to associate with ‘country bumpkins.’Almost instantly, the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, and Mr. Bingley fall in love. At the ball, Elizabeth overhears Darcy say of her, ‘She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me.
‘ She concludes that he is the most arrogant and prideful of men. She wants nothing to do with him. Sometimes first impressions are not completely accurate. Ironically, Darcy comes to think of Elizabeth as one of the most attractive women he has ever met, and Elizabeth’s view of Darcy changes, as well.
While Darcy disdains the company of strangers, he is extremely loyal and kind to those who are closest to him. Darcy only has one sibling, Georgiana, and his parents have passed, leaving their vast estate and fortune to Darcy. Darcy is Georgiana’s guardian and protects her.
When a former friend of the family, the charming Mr. Wickham, tries to seduce Georgiana as part of a nefarious scheme to obtain part of the Darcy fortune, Darcy learns of it and sends him away. Darcy’s protective nature keeps his sister from making a terrible mistake. Wickham then joins the military, and before long, elopes with Lydia Bennet, Elizabeth’s imprudent sister.
The characters in this story weave in and out of each other’s lives like a graceful dance.
As Darcy protects his sister, he also feels protective of his best friend, Charles Bingley. Bingley is his polar opposite in personality and demeanor. He is kind, open, and friendly, where Darcy is proud, slow to accept others, and reserved. But Darcy is deeply loyal.Mr. Bingley’s sister, Caroline, has her cap set for Darcy and thinks she will win him over with snide, caustic remarks about the Bennet sisters, particularly Elizabeth. Her plan backfires; it seems that everything she says about Elizabeth only causes Darcy to become more and more interested in her.
Elizabeth is becoming a part of Darcy’s inner circle, and he is beginning to defend her, just as he defends his sister and Bingley.When Darcy senses that Jane is not as interested in Mr. Bingley as Bingley is in her, he dissuades Bingley from pursuing Jane any further. Darcy is mistaken about Jane, however good his intentions, as she is simply not one to show her feelings to anyone. He is being a loyal friend, but he is definitely misguided in this case, and that causes a few problems between him and Elizabeth. Even the best intentions can go awry.
In spite of himself, Mr. Darcy falls deeply in love with Elizabeth Bennet, really the one woman he has ever met who doesn’t chase him. In fact, she insults him at times and sees him as the most arrogant man she has ever met. It is almost excruciating for Darcy to admit that he loves Elizabeth, who is from a lower social strata.
After all, Elizabeth is one of the ‘country bumpkins.’ Darcy’s pride is deeply wounded when Elizabeth refuses his rather backhanded proposal. Not only does Elizabeth not fawn over him, she refuses him! This only makes Darcy want her more.In time, Darcy reveals his love for Elizabeth by helping facilitate the marriage of her wayward sister, Lydia, to Mr. Wickham. He puts out a great deal of money to make this happen, and it is Elizabeth’s turn to be humbled.
She cannot help but see how generous and noble Darcy is. It is only a matter of time before the two find each other, and a double wedding with Mr. Bingley and Jane follows.Mr.
Darcy is misunderstood by the woman he loves, and yet wins her heart in the end. Although his arrogance persists, it soon becomes clear that it is a protective shell, hiding the reserved and generous man underneath. Once Elizabeth sees through this prideful shell, she knows there is not another man on Earth she can love so well, and once Darcy breaks through the wall of Elizabeth’s prejudice, he finds a witty, strong woman who is well-suited to his heart and situation.
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is a central character in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. His upper class, entitled life makes him appear arrogant and unfriendly at first glance. But through his relationships – such as those with his sister Georgiana, his best friend Charles Bingley, and eventually, his future wife Elizabeth Bennet – we learn that he is actually quite loyal and generous. Elizabeth sees through the protective shell of his pride and falls in love with him.
Examining this lesson’s content could help you to complete these actions:
- Characterize Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice
- Discuss the events that transpire after Mr.
Darcy rents out Netherfield Hall
- Highlight Mr. Darcy’s relationships with his family, friends, and Elizabeth Bennet