My A to Z of Pride and Prejudice – Letter G

A2Z-Pride-and-PrejudiceThe 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 the 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.

GG is for Gentlemen

“You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.”  – jane Austen Pride & Prejudice

raining-gentlemen

It’s raining gentlemen! Hallelujah!

It’s hard to find a real gentleman. Even in the novel Pride and Prejudice, where you should be able to swing a stick and knock down a few, you can’t come by one easily.

There are several men in the story who have the manners and refinement of a gentleman. Mr. Bingley and Colonel Fitzwilliam come to mind. They treat the people around them with care and dignity. But that isn’t what it takes to be considered a gentleman in England of the 1800’s. A gentleman is supposed to be a landowner who has no occupation (other than being a gentleman). None of these men fit the bill.

Mr. Darcy is ‘technically’ a gentleman, but it takes him a while to earn his stripes when it comes to respect and kindness. His early incarnation refuses to dance with women he doesn’t know and easily points out their faults. He looks down his nose at everyone and finds his pride a virtue.

It is with some help from Elizabeth that Mr. Darcy is taught about how a real gentleman should behave. At the end of the book he says, “By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.”

Hurray Mr. Darcy!

Let the rain of gentlemen begin!

 

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Categories: Book Recommendations, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “My A to Z of Pride and Prejudice – Letter G

  1. *swoon* I love it when Mr. Darcy finally comes around. Elizabeth tells him off so well at first, too, since he fancies himself a true gentleman. We could use more gentleman in the world.

  2. It’s interesting that the idea of the gentry has changed over time. It used to be that it was a term for what we might label an aspiring middle class, not quite high enough born to be aristocrats. The theory is that it’s from them that we get a lot of our ideas about manners and gentility, because they needed something other than the advantages of birth to distinguish themselves from the lower classes.

    • Yes. What my mind pulls up when I think the word gentleman is a man with manners and grace. I was fascinated when doing research for these posts to find that in Austen’s day it meant a man who owned land and didn’t have to work. I wonder if SHE had anything to do with the change of definition as we know it today.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  3. Stephanie Scott

    I did not realize that gentlemen owned land w/o occupation. Wouldn’t that be nice? I love your A to Z theme banner–very cool!

  4. Liz Blocker

    Great point, and it’s one of the best points in the book, too – that being a gentlemen isn’t just about social class. I always loved the Colonel- what a darling!

  5. After reading all of your posts to this point, one thing has become obvious…I need to read this book again. It’s been too long… Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie

    • I get that feeling myself every once in a while. It stays by my bed as one of my go to books. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I too ….(the comment above!)
    Happy A-Z April!

  7. I think that’s the one drawback of reading books like Austen as a young girl (and as an old girl)…there are no real Darcy’s or Wentworth’s in the world (at least not in my world). I settled for less once…I won’t do it again even if it means I never do it again. They just don’t build men like that anymore.

    • I don’t think they EVER built men like that…except in books. And, I agree. It sets us up. We want the dream.

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