Character Analysis: Mr. Darcy
Introduced to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as a tall, handsome, self-absorbed aristocrat, Darcy experiences a change in personality and character. In order to dispose of his existent views on money and marriage, Darcy needed to feel something, to fall in love. Although he was well mannered, he did not know how to treat women with respect, especially those of a lesser economic status. The love of Elizabeth Bennet, however, changed his behavior.
The reader is first acquainted with Mr. Darcy's arrogance at the Meryton Ball. Speaking of Elizabeth Bennet, he so snobbishly says that she was, "
tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me" (Austen 9). His feelings of superiority to the people of the town
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It is not only Darcy who experiences a change in character due to the forces of love. Elizabeth, with her strong personality and stubbornness is equally won-over by Darcy and his ability to keep her on the edge of her seat. In the beginning of the novel, as noted previously, Miss Bennet and Darcy did not appreciate each other's company. As the novel progressed a mutual understanding between the two was slowly reached. When visiting Pemberley, although trying to avoid him, Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle encounter Darcy. After requesting a visit between Elizabeth and his sister, Darcy departed the family for the time being. That night Lizzy "
retracted from the window, fearful of being seen; and as she walked up and down the room endeavoring to compose herself, saw such looks of enquiring surprise in her uncle and aunt, as made everything worse" (Austen 169). The fact that Elizabeth could not sleep and found herself pacing all night shows the reader that her views of Darcy have began to change, that perhaps his marriage proposal was what she now wanted. Quiet possibly the most surprising influence that Darcy had on Elizabeth was late in the novel when Lizzy finally allowed Darcy to understand her true feelings for him and she was speechless. "Elizabeth was too much embarrassed to say a word
Had Elizabeth been able to encounter his eye, she might have seen how well the expression of