Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Was he going to propose again?

  1. #1
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Saarburg, Germany
    Posts
    3,105

    Was he going to propose again?

    I wonder what you all think.

    In the chapter Lizzy gets the two letters from Jane informing her that Lydia has eloped with Wickham, Darcy shows up all alone.

    In the 1995 adaptation they seemed to imply that he was going to propose to Lizzy again (chosing his clothes with care, gallopping off on his white horse where he usually was sitting on his black one (symbolically)). I like that idea, because, unlike the other times he came to call, he does not have his sister with him. Also her comment at the end that she won't see him again, would then be rather funny.

    As Bingley and Jane are at the end left alone strategically by the mother in order for him to have time to propose, I can't help thinking Darcy wanting to propose too, or Jane Austen at least wanting to imply that. He showed up in the Rosings vicarage on his own too. And he had been at the Gardiners' place a few times to 'call' (usually a foreshadowing of something more, as with Bingley).

    It would also be quite ironic too that his plans are hindered by Wickham. And the fact that he becomes gloomy again, not knowing what to do: show his feelings or what? Is it proper to do that at such a time or not? Obviously the answer was no and he left, because there was nothing left for him there as he was not concerned as just a friend and not a future hubby. The irony would also sit inside the situation that now involves Wickham, because Darcy would degrade himself even more by marrying a woman not only of low birth and without a penny, but also with a spoilt sister. As Lizzy says, Lydia's shananigans (spelling?) degrade the honour of the whole family Bennet. And the only person can actualy solve this problem and have Wickham marrry Lydia is Darcy himself, but that involves eating up his pride and paying Wickham's debts off and actually kind of bribing him into it. And in order to get Lizzy as his own, he would have to tolerate him as brother-in-law...

    What do you all think? Does that sound lik Austen, or am I thinking too far, here?
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'âme ne se vide à ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scène VII)

  2. #2
    Woman from Maine sciencefan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    460
    Hi kiki...

    umm... would you mind very much posting the chapter number for me... perhaps from the text version on this website?
    http://www.online-literature.com/austen/prideprejudice/

    I'd be intersted in analyzing this with you, it's just been several years since I've read the book.
    I need to refresh my memory.
    .
    .
    .
    I became a widow in April of 2009.

  3. #3
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Saarburg, Germany
    Posts
    3,105
    Chapter 46.

    His air suddenly becomes gloomy when he hears of it.

    Foremost, what makes me think is the ways then (no intention for a chperonne). But then again, he could not really have predicted that she was going to be alone. On the other hand, if he really did not want to raise suspicion, he could have taken his sister like the first time. You see, he has now established that the two girls like each other and that was, in my mind, for him the the greatest hurdle. Caroline would just walk over Georgiana, but Lizzy will take care of her. As such an affectionate brother, he wants Georgiana not to feel alone.

    It would be quite ironic too that Lizzy believes never to see him again, whereas to readers it is clear that there was another aim in that visit?

    It is equally strange that after Lydia's marriage Darcy returns straight away with Bingley and then tells him about his escapades to separate Jane and him. As if 'the way is now free, so let's take my friend and make amends.'

    Darcy himself at the point of chpter 46 has been to call serveral times, has invited the Gardiners to his place sveral times and has taken great pains to get acquainted with Lizzy's uncle. There is definitely a plan in my opinion.

    However, he only thing that puzzles me is what he says in the end (in their last conversation) that hs aunt's (Lady Catherine's) visit taught him to hope as he had scarcely dared to hope before, becase if Lizzy were decided against him she would have told his aunt. That is a little strange, or was he in chapter 46 so much in the clutches of passion that he could no longer wait?

    'I thought only of you' could definitely be about the fact that he had to make Lydia and Wicham marry, or otherwise he could not marry Lizzy. That certainly nails it that he was 'obstinate' in wanting Lizzy for his wife, despite her lower status and despite her penniless nature. But why does he need to hope in the end?
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'âme ne se vide à ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scène VII)

  4. #4
    Woman from Maine sciencefan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    460
    "though it spoke compassion, spoke likewise restraint, said, ``I am afraid you have been long desiring my absence, nor have I any thing to plead in excuse of my stay, but real, though unavailing, concern. Would to heaven that any thing could be either said or done on my part, that might offer consolation to such distress! -- But I will not torment you with vain wishes, which may seem purposely to ask for your thanks. This unfortunate affair..." ch. 46

    The parts that I bolded seem to show his deep concern and care for Elizabeth... and let's not forget, because of her words to him at the first proposal, he has reformed himself and he does owe it all to her. He needs only to know if perhaps his new behavior has changed her mind about him.

    I think you may be onto something, kiki... and as you pointed out, those who produced the film seemed to think he was going to propose to her.

    Perhaps all he needed was the approval of his sister, and he had received that.

    In reading chapter 45, it seems to suggest that it's possible he was heading there to propose to her, especially since he confesses to Miss Bingley "it is many months since I have considered her as one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance.''


    Very subtle, but good catch!
    I think you're right!
    .
    .
    .
    I became a widow in April of 2009.

  5. #5
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Saarburg, Germany
    Posts
    3,105
    Thank you. At least there is one who thinks so too and not only the adaptors of (let's be honest a fantastic) adaptation.

    I just arrived at that conclusion because of Austen's irony.

    I had seen his passion before that too (especially the part you state about her being the handsomest woman of his acquaintance), but that in itself is not funny... It is unlike Austen to me to be saying merely that he cared for her. That is nothing new. It is too romantic to me to have a man changing only for a woman. That is something for Brontë, who does not make fun. Austen needs to have fun, so se makes people do things they would not otherwise.

    Reading P&P again was much more fun and much more satirical than the first time, because we now what the characters after that will be feeling. Read like that even the first proposal is hilarious. 'I come to ask for your hand in marriage, but I don't know why I like you. In fact, I was determined not to like you, but it cannot be helped. Anyway, despite my deep concern with myself for doing this, would you give me the honour of being your husband?' 'No' 'And why, pray? Am I not good enough for you?' 'There is no way you could have asked that would at all convince me to accept you. Never.' (haha, you should know what you'll think afterwards, Lizzy. You'll be wishing fr him to ask almost). And then, when he has gone, she cries. Aaaaaaaah. Why, actually? Not because she loves him? or might we be wrong there? He was in the middle of it when he realised he loved Lizzy, so why not he other way around?

    And then it struck me that a disguised second proposal would really be a laugh to Austen. Having him help Wickham? That is against his nature too, like liking Lizzy...

    And in chapter 58:

    ' "My object [in Pemberley],'' replied Darcy, `"was to shew you, by every civility in my power, that I was not so mean as to resent the past; and I hoped to obtain your forgiveness, to lessen your ill opinion, by letting you see that your reproofs had been attended to. How soon any other wishes introduced themselves I can hardly tell, but I believe in about half an hour after I had seen you.''

    He then told her of Georgiana's delight in her acquaintance, and of her disappointment at its sudden interruption; which naturally leading to the cause of that interruption, she soon learnt that his resolution of following her from Derbyshire in quest of her sister had been formed before he quitted the inn, and that his gravity and thoughtfulness there had arisen from no other struggles than what such a purpose must comprehend.

    She expressed her gratitude again, but it was too painful a subject to each, to be dwelt on farther.'

    So at first seeing her in Pemberley on the lawn he wants to display her his new self (caritable, nice, talkative etc. everything what he wasn't before: pleasant). But certainly oter wishes adter half an hour came to be. Might we say again?

    Painful a subject? What can be painful to him? It is her sister for God's sake. It has become a personal problem to him...
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'âme ne se vide à ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scène VII)

  6. #6
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,606
    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    And the only person can actually solve this problem and have Wickham marry Lydia is Darcy himself, but that involves eating up his pride and paying Wickham's debts off and actually kind of bribing him into it.
    Not 'actually kind of bribing' but overt and blatant bribery, such is the character of wretched Wickham.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    However, he only thing that puzzles me is what he says in the end (in their last conversation) that his aunt's (Lady Catherine's) visit taught him to hope as he had scarcely dared to hope before, because if Lizzy were decided against him she would have told his aunt. That is a little strange, or was he in chapter 46 so much in the clutches of passion that he could no longer wait?
    Clearly, Darcy was 'so much in the clutches of passion that he could no longer wait'. On learning this, 'Elizabeth was too much embarrassed to say a word'.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    Painful a subject? What can be painful to him? It is her sister for God's sake. It has become a personal problem to him...
    I assume Darcy's 'resolution of following her [Lizzy] from Derbyshire in quest of her sister' refers to sister Lydia? If so, 'it was too painful a subject to each [Darcy and Lizzy]' because of the appalling lack of propriety shown in the disgraceful actions of Lydia and Wickham.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    Reading P&P again was much more fun and much more satirical than the first time, because we now what the characters after that will be feeling. Read like that even the first proposal is hilarious. 'I come to ask for your hand in marriage, but I don't know why I like you. In fact, I was determined not to like you, but it cannot be helped. Anyway, despite my deep concern with myself for doing this, would you give me the honour of being your husband?'
    Even on the first read, P&P is hilarious. Since I had laughed continuously as I read the last quarter of the book, I would likely laugh from the beginning on a re-read. As well as satirising her characters, I am convinced that Austen toys playfully and artfully with her reader.

  7. #7
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Saarburg, Germany
    Posts
    3,105
    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    I assume Darcy's 'resolution of following her [Lizzy] from Derbyshire in quest of her sister' refers to sister Lydia? If so, 'it was too painful a subject to each [Darcy and Lizzy]' because of the appalling lack of propriety shown in the disgraceful actions of Lydia and Wickham.
    What I was actually thinking was that he is still not through with himself on that. His pride has been humbled, but on the other hand he has to live with himself and the idea of actually having given Wickham something. Bribery or not, it is still money given to Wickham, and in that, Darcy did something for Wickham, or at least that is what Wickham was after. After that action he will be seen by the naive as a generous and noble man, they will all idolise him, and Wickham will have a good laugh at that. Certainly the truth cannot come out: 'If I give you, let's say 10,000, will you marry the woman?' One can imagine at every family gathering with Wickham, Darcy being embarrassed in the same way as he was when Lizzy saw their first meeting in Meryton... And he will even have to suffer his wife giving money from her clothes-allowance to her sister... Poor man.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gladys View Post
    Even on the first read, P&P is hilarious. Since I had laughed continuously as I read the last quarter of the book, I would likely laugh from the beginning on a re-read. As well as satirising her characters, I am convinced that Austen toys playfully and artfully with her reader.
    I suppose I'll have to re-read the whole thing... I didn't get that, but possibly with a second read, it'll become clear. I find Austen tricky. P&P was my first and it takes a while to get used to her iony. I am slowly getting on and P&P's re-read was something that opened my eyes.

    But has anyone have an idea where the hope-bit comes in? Was it just the certainty that he would ask and get a yes (as his first proposal, ironically )? That is the only thing that does not fit with a second proposal in chapter 46, or else he was at that point just so low that he was going to try it for the heck of it and then chastise himself further.
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'âme ne se vide à ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scène VII)

  8. #8
    Registered User mona amon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    India
    Posts
    1,502
    It's a nice little idea, Kiki! I'll keep it in mind next time I read Pride and Prejudice.
    Exit, pursued by a bear.

  9. #9
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,606
    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    But has anyone have an idea where the hope-bit comes in? Was it just the certainty that he would ask and get a yes (as his first proposal, ironically )? That is the only thing that does not fit with a second proposal in chapter 46, or else he was at that point just so low that he was going to try it for the heck of it and then chastise himself further.
    More or less the latter. Although Darcy was 'so much in the clutches of passion that he could no longer wait', he understood too well the reckless impropriety of his previous behaviour toward Elizabeth, so that he 'scarcely dared to hope'.

  10. #10
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,606
    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    What I was actually thinking was that he is still not through with himself on that. His pride has been humbled, but on the other hand he has to live with himself and the idea of actually having given Wickham something ... One can imagine at every family gathering with Wickham, Darcy being embarrassed in the same way as he was when Lizzy saw their first meeting in Meryton.
    I think this explanation is much less likely. The quote 'it was too painful a subject to each [Darcy and Lizzy]' talks also of pain to Lizzy. Propriety, civility and respectability are the monumental concerns (part of the Austen humour, I think). Besides, Darcy is too focussed on dearest Elizabeth to worry here about his past or future relationship to Wickham. For instance:

    "If you will thank me," he replied, "let it be for yourself alone. That the wish of giving happiness to you might add force to the other inducements which led me on, I shall not attempt to deny. But your family owe me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe I thought only of you."

  11. #11
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Saarburg, Germany
    Posts
    3,105
    deleted
    Last edited by kiki1982; 07-17-2009 at 05:29 PM. Reason: system did not recognise or register post. I had to post it again below.
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'âme ne se vide à ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scène VII)

  12. #12
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Saarburg, Germany
    Posts
    3,105
    Nono, on her side it could have been the appalling lack of propriety, but on his side?

    '[He] only thought of [her]' and 'only thought of giving happiness to [her]' just because of his obstinacy. He must and will have Lizzy and there is an end to it. Cost what it may. Changing to a talkative man, fine, but bribing Wickham? What an affront to a gentleman' honour! But there was nothing else to be done. How was he going to get married to a woman with a fallen sister? Not, improper. How was that to be helped? Have Wickham marry her. But then he gives him money for it and Lydia must shut up. Is this so shameful? Improper, maybe. Dishonourable, because that action is essentially giving Wickham and Lydia, whom he mistrusts both, hushmoney .

    Ok, maybe he was through with it, but I don't think he could look back comfortably and say: 'That was a good honourable action of mine.' In fact it is not. The honourable action to take would have been Mr Bennet challenging Wickham to a duel to avenge his daughter's honour, not bribing him into marrying her and certainly not have another man have that do for you. But Darcy's obstinate nature goes where it goes. 'Imagine Wickham wins (which he certainly will do, because he is practiced shot), then I still have nothing.' So, he takes the shorter route which is very underhand and ungentlemanly.

    So, essentially, he indeed only thought of her and not of her family's honour directly, but that was also his fault.
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'âme ne se vide à ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scène VII)

  13. #13
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,606
    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    Nono, on her side it could have been the appalling lack of propriety, but on his side?
    Admittedly, my memory of the novel is fading, but I think Darcy is embarrassed because:

    1. In failing to broadcast the initial perfidy of Wickham, Darcy has facilitated Wickham’s deception of Elizabeth and, later, Lydia.

    2. Darcy at first treated Elizabeth in a highhanded, condescending and presumptive manner.

    3. Shamefully, Lydia has eloped with Wickham.

    4. Darcy has now bribed Wickham to marry Lydia.


    The quote 'it was too painful a subject to each [Darcy and Lizzy]' talks also of pain to Lizzy. Lizzy is pained, in part, by her initial gullibility towards Wickham. In the case of Darcy, all four points explain his pain, and involve some impropriety, if only perceived so by him. The bribery of Wickham is assuredly the least painful of the four.

    You have highlighted an excellent, though subtle, example of Austen's ironic humour. Darcy makes something of a mountain out of molehills, and Austen dares us to take his plight seriously! It's funny.

  14. #14
    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Saarburg, Germany
    Posts
    3,105
    Ah, yes, now I see. Propriety as you mentioned it, is the whole thing, everything connected with it, so not only the shame of Lydia eloping but also his own approach to it and what he did wrong...

    Then I do agree.

    I don't know if actually bribery is the least of his concerns. It is a very ungentlemanly thing to do. (Think about our approach to bribery now.) And I'd like to think that he kind of can't believe it of himself that he did that out of passion for Lizzy...

    Admittedly, Darcy does not disclose Wickham's bad character, but I think that was not done (discretion, you know...). In Persuasion, Mrs Smith is also anxious about her being impertinent when she discloses Mr Elliot's real fraudulous character to Anne, who is being wooed by him. So essentially, Darcy also asks Lizzy for discretion, because disclosing Wickham would mean disclosing his sister whose honour would also be a little compromised, though not totally spoilt because she did not actually elope. So, Lizzy, when Lydia wants to go to Brighton and her father is thinking about it, has essentially the same dilemma as Darcy had when Lizzy reproached him to have left Wickham to rot. 'Do I disclose the situation as it is yes or no? What is most important? My honour or his honour?' To us, the answer would be clear, but not then, I imagine.
    The question concerning all this which I was actually asking myself, thinking about the whole situation is: Why was there no duel between Wickham and Darcy? As I said, the honour of his sister was compromised and he, as her guardian and brother, or Colonel Fitzwilliam, as her guardian and cousin, could have challenged Wickham. The plot to elope had been disclosed by Georgiana herself, admittedly, but Wickham cannot possibly have been moved to secrecy on that part without any gain from it. He needs bribing to marry Lydia, so he must have needed bribing in order to shut up about Georgiana. Disclosing Georgiana's promiscuous nature ('She wanted to elope with me, you know'), could have been highly damaging to both Darcy and Fitzwilliam, as Lydia's escapades are damaging to all of the Bennets. It is strange that Wickham only mentions (very improperly) Darcy's 'real' character that deprives him of money promised to Wickham in the testament of his late father. So, he was moved to secrecy on Georgiana's part, so he must have been paid. Darcy or Fitzwilliam could have challenged him to a duel, but Darcy did not (maybe Fitzwilliam as on campaign, who knows). Aaaaaaaaah, Darcy is a soft egg and a cunning one at that!

    One could write a great sequal to P&P with blackmail from Wickham's side and maybe some more about softy Darcy. I think, although Darcy comes across as a very intelligent and down-to-earth man who knows what he wants, that he was also a little secluded in his youth and does know enough of the theory, but not enough of the practice. And the result is that the strong man he puts on the scene, sometimes faultres in situations that should not be. Wickham is more streetwise (the stuart's son) and can actually get around the higher status of Darcy, because Darcy doesn't know how things work, where Wickham does. So Darcy is exactly like Pemberley: a magnificent, strong, stately façade. Though he also has its inside: books and decorations, but there are other people in it who keep everything in order: his life stays the same: they run the house and he just walks around in it, he doesn't really make his own decisions, has a lot of knowledge, but does not really put it in practice, or at least not then. He only has a room decorated for his sister, unlike Lizzy who decorates her own bonnet. And Wickham stays in his life (the miniature in Darcy's late father's room, kept exactly like it was for 5 years). Ironically, indeed, he seems to run his life (he is the servants' boss), but what would he be without them? He probably has his estate run by a stuart too, so esentially leaves everything up to somene else and only cashes the money. The most striking thing is that he tolerates Caroline, hyper*****. Who would want such a scheming, caniving, two-faced wretch in his party? Propriety, I suppose...
    Maybe Lizzy was better off in her case: they had fewer personnel, so she did things herself and made some more decisions by herself. It shows in her conduct towards Lady Catherine in the end. Lizzy knows much more of the practice.

    Ok, it is great to be discussing this. Now, at least I know that I am not totally thinking too far...
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'âme ne se vide à ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scène VII)

  15. #15
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,606
    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    (Think about our approach to bribery now.) And I'd like to think that he kind of can't believe it of himself that he did that out of passion for Lizzy...
    Darcy also bribed to save the reputation of the Bennet family, a noble act. Moral ambiguities add to the humour.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    'Do I disclose the situation as it is yes or no? What is most important? My honour or his honour?' To us, the answer would be clear, but not then, I imagine.
    Again, the somewhat petty, moral dilemma adds humour.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    Why was there no duel between Wickham and Darcy? As I said, the honour of his sister was compromised and he, as her guardian and brother, or Colonel Fitzwilliam, as her guardian and cousin, could have challenged Wickham.
    As you suggest, a duel would shed light on the impropriety of Georgiana and cause scandal dreadfully damaging to family reputation.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiki1982 View Post
    Wickham is more streetwise (the Stuart's son) and can actually get around the higher status of Darcy, because Darcy doesn't know how things work, where Wickham does.
    Darcy is not unlike the aristocrats in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard: dinosaurs from an age of Chivalry. And like them, Darcy warms the heart.

Similar Threads

  1. News
    By Scheherazade in forum Serious Discussions
    Replies: 1250
    Last Post: 03-11-2014, 09:02 AM
  2. Alfie Wallace: A Love-story
    By MAXIM in forum Short Story Sharing
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-30-2007, 08:26 AM
  3. Propose some short stories one must read?
    By springrain in forum General Literature
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 05-24-2006, 07:26 AM
  4. I propose...
    By Tabac in forum General Literature
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-10-2004, 12:03 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •