The April A to Z Blogging Challenge is a month long event where I, and more than 2000 other bloggers, will post every day of the month (except Sundays) using a different letter of alphabet. The theme of my posts will be “What I Love About Pride and Prejudice.” Click the link above or the A to Z badge in my sidebar to visit other participants.
“My object then,” replied Darcy, “was to show 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.”
― Jane Austen
Okay. So I’m not the only one to have a thing for Fitzwilliam Darcy. In fact, there have been many, many admirers before me and I have no doubt there will be many more than that in the future. And it’s not because Colin Firth as Darcy climbs out of the water in a wet shirt during the 1995 BBC adaptation of the story (Though, come on. That certainly didn’t hurt). There was something about this character long before anyone tried to play Mr. Darcy on screen that makes us fall for him.
Darcy is our flawed male lead. He’s brooding, arrogant, proud and quick to find fault. He seems to find the whole of Meryton society beneath him. Darcy isn’t kind to anyone. He even slights our beloved Elizabeth when he first lays eyes on her. After months of debates and keeping his friends from her crude family, he can’t deny his feelings for Elizabeth any longer. Darcy begrudgingly asks her to marry him. In almost the same breath, he points out that he’s doing so against his own better judgement. All in all, he’s got some issues. Sad. Sadder still, he would be gobbled up by the local mothers as a catch for their daughters because of his enormous…bank account.
So if he’s so flawed, why do I love this character? Simple. Fitzwilliam Darcy redeems himself. When Elizabeth refuses his proposal by throwing in his face his “selfish disdain of the feelings of others,” he’s surprised. Darcy leaves feeling shocked and humiliated. He could easily have gone off resentful and bad mouthed her to all his friends. But he doesn’t. Instead Darcy wants to be a better man.
When Elizabeth shows up unannounced at his country estate some time later, Darcy greets her with kindness. He even goes so far as introduces her to his young sister. After her family is on the brink of complete disaster, Darcy comes to their rescue anonymously making the arrangements that will assure them relief. He does these things for her, even though he doesn’t know if she will forgive his earlier behavior.
Fitzwilliam Darcy does the thing we hope for, but don’t think people will do. He changes for love. What more could anyone ask?