Pride and Prejudice quotation analysis Part II

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“Lady Catherine continued her remarks on Elizabeth’s performance, mixing with them many instructions on execution and taste.” (168)

It appears that Lady Catherine has an air of arrogance, always butting in and trying to sound as if she’s the more knowledgeable than other even in fields that she doesn’t have any experience in. For example, even though she never played an instrument, she still openly criticized Elizabeth. Though is nothing really wrong with giving advice, the way Lady Catherine repeatedly does so time and time again. I also realized that she had just recently met Elizabeth, her upfront criticism seems almost a little rude since they hardly knew each other that well. She also seemed astonished that Elizabeth’s lack of access to resources such as “governesses” as if she was completely ignorant of that fact that other people aren’t as wealthy as she was, which shows how much of a sheltered life Lady Catherine has lived through.

As he said this, she could easily see that he had no doubt of a favorable answer. He spoke of apprehension and anxiety, but his countenance expressed real security.” (180)

Here is the part where Mr. Darcy confesses his love to Elizabeth. What’s interesting here is that he believes that no woman could possibly deny him, thus once again, exemplifying his ever-evident sense of pride. A few questions came to mind. Has he ever fancied a woman and offered her to marry him? Apparently not since if he had and got rejected, he probably wouldn’t be so confident. Or if Darcy didn’t get rejected, he would be married, obviously. It definitely shows a lot about his character- not only his pride, but also his pickiness with women. Later on, something that got me was when Darcy says, “I might, perhaps wish to be informed why, with so little endeavour at civility, I am thus rejected. But it is of small importance.” I interpreted it as him feeling suddenly very insecure, unsuspecting a rejection, then his pride that is suppressing the desire to know why as much as possible. When he stated,
“But it is of small importance.” That tells me that he’s trying to save some face.

“She studied every sentence; and her feelings towards its writer were at times widely different.” (200)

Here, Elizabeth seems to hit the turning point of her feelings. Here, Austen portrays Elizabeth’s conflicting emotions, continuing on and saying how “His attachment excited gratitude, his general character respect: but she could not approve him nor could she for a moment repent her refusal, or feel the slightest inclination to ever see him again.” (200) What’s interesting is that Elizabeth read the letter so closely. Personally, if I was Elizabeth, I would have just disregarded the letter and not believe half of what he said, mainly because he’s was such an unpleasant person from the start and ruined the relationship between Jane and Bingley. This excerpt definitely reveals a lot about Elizabeth, mainly shedding light on her inquisitive mind. I find it quite impressive that she was able to hold such an objective mindset even after reading what Darcy said about why he didn’t want Jane and Bingley to be together, a mindset that allows her to figure out that Wickham was the liar.

“Never in her life had she seen his manners so little dignified, never had he spoken with such gentleness as on this unexpected meeting. What a contrast did it offer to his last address in Rosings’ Park, when he put his letter into her hand!” (236)

Wow, what happened here? What made Darcy suddenly change? Was it because Elizabeth had told him how “disagreeable” he was in their last meeting? Had she put that much of an effect on him as to change his character completely? Maybe he realized how proud and arrogant he was and wanted to change, to be more humble. It makes me wonder how long he’ll last trying to be “nice” until he goes back to being the “old” Darcy that he once was. Is Darcy still trying to get Elizabeth’s hand in marriage? He must be very determined, believing that he could somehow win her heart back. It will be quite interesting to watch how this all turns out; after all first impressions are the hardest things to change.

“All Meryton seemed striving to blacken the man who, but three months before, had been almost an angel of light.” (273)

This excerpt of the book is quite interesting. It appears to me as a depiction of human nature. Half of the defamatory rumors being false, this whole reaction towards Wickham seems to be one large mob-like bandwagon. It is almost silly, some of the things that were mentioned in the book, “Every body declared that he was the wickedest young man in the world; and everybody began to find out, that they had always distrusted the appearance of his goodness.” (273) To me, this seems almost like a satirical depiction of how people have a need to be a “part” of something, that all the sudden, they turn on a man that they so firmly trusted him simply because most others were. The key word here is “everybody” and this goes to show how easily manipulative people really are.

“Darcy had walked away to another part of the room. She followed him with her eyes, envied every one to whom she spoke, had scarcely patience enough to help any body to coffee, and then was enraged against herself for being so silly!” (317)

Here it shows how much Elizabeth has changed in her feelings towards Mr. Darcy. What’s interesting is that now, it’s the complete opposite of what she had once felt about him. Instead of wanting to ignore him, she now envies all who talk to him. Instead of not wanting to have him, she now feels compelled marry him. What’s most striking is the confirmation of her complete change in attitude so plainly exemplified in this excerpt. That “first impression” had been completely washed away. At first, it seemed a little unrealistic, but I realized that Austen had painted a plausible picture of human nature through Elizabeth’s change towards Darcy. I reasoned to myself if someone had confessed her love to me, no matter how rude or arrogant she was, my heart would be soften by the confession. Perhaps that’s what happened with Elizabeth, maybe Darcy’s proposal had “tugged at her heart strings” later on.

“Oh, my sweetest Lizzy! How rich and how great you will be! What pin-money, what jewels, what carriages you will have! Jane’s is nothing to it-nothing at all! I am so pleased-so happy. Such a charming man! So handsome! So tall! Oh, my dear Lizzy! Pray apologize for my having disliked him so much before…” (351)

Here, perhaps the greatest example of Mrs. Bennet’s attitude towards marriage. What I particularly noted was how she had stressed about the material gains that Elizabeth had now acquired, not even wondering about her happiness, whereas Mr. Bennet had earlier asked if Elizabeth was happy with her choice. What is also interesting is how Mrs. Bennett could suddenly take a liking towards even someone like Darcy (who she had deeply despised as long as she had known him) just because he married her daughter (“We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man; but this would be nothing if you really liked him.” (349)). This passage also made me realize that none of the characters had really changed except Elizabeth and Darcy. Mrs. Bennet is still desperate to have her daughters married, Lydia is still flirty, Jane is still kind hearted as ever, and Bingley is as amiable as he always was.


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