How could you not love him?
- Discuss the whole of Lizzie's stay at Hunsford. There are many great, famous moments in this stay, as well as memorable characters. Discuss your highlights and low points (if any), your thoughts on characters like Lady Catherine and Col. Fitzwilliam, etc., as well as the new facets we see of the familiar characters
I think Elizabeth's stay at Hunsford is my favorite part of the book. I may have said that about the ball in my last post, but I was wrong, this is totally my favorite. All of the characters in these chapters are really strong and memorable. Mr. Collins goes out of his way to be as proper (read:foolish) as possible around Lady Catherine, and since Elizabeth spends a lot of time observing Charlotte and sort of avoiding talking to Collin's his ridiculousness is easier to handle. Which brings me to the infamous Lady Catherine. To me, Lady Catherine is one of the funnier characters in Pride & Prejudice. Not in a haha funny way, but in a real life way. You know when you're sitting with someone who obviously thinks they know everything there is to know about life and more importantly, they know you're doing everything wrong? That's Lady Catherine, and she's hilarious to talk about behind her back. Sure, she's a witch with a capital B when you're with her, but she every encounter with her means you have a great story to tell at dinner parties!
- Discuss Darcy's proposal. Prompts: What are your feelings on this scene; what do you think of the behavior of both Darcy and Lizzie. Contrast this to Lizzie's first proposal from Collins. Is Lizzie's complete surprise believable, especially in light of Charlotte's prolonged insistence that Darcy feels something for Lizzie, and the slight hints Darcy drops prior to the proposal?
First off, I love this proposal, even if I think it's really flawed and is not what I'd want to hear. I get it, Darcy knows Elizabeth is below him and that's why he's "Struggling" and fighting his own emotions and everything but THAT'S NOT WHAT YOU SAY WHEN YOU ARE PROFESSING YOUR UNDYING LOVE FOR SOMETHING. You say things like "you're perfect" and "I'd catch a grenade for you" ...okay, scratch that, it's just as bad, but still you don't tell the object of your affection that you could do better but you'll settle for her. Especially since Darcy's pretty garuded about his feelings. I totally buy that Elizabeth didn't realize how he felt. She'a already formed her opinion of him by this point and despite the fact that Charlotte thinks that he might like her she has no reason to believe his feelings would be strong enough to come over and sneak propose to her.
- Lizzie has to this point turned down two proposals. Share your thoughts on this from the perspective of the modern woman (presumably) you are, and from the perspective of a Regency gentlewoman. Consider the reactions of the people in her life, especially Mrs Bennet, if they were to find out. Also, consider her rejections from the males' perspectives. Is Darcy (or even Collins) justified in being shocked to be rejected?
I discussed this in my last post. I think it's very interesting that Austen chose to have Elizabeth turn down two socially acceptable proposals. As a modern woman I'm all for Elizabeth's independent streak, and if it happened today it really wouldn't be a huge deal (especially since Mr. Collin's is a buffoon) but in the 1800's that would be a huge deal. Mrs. Bennet would have gone crazy if she found out Elizabeth turned down a second proposal, and she'd probably become the subject of town gossip.
- Discuss Darcy's infamous letter. Does/did it change your opinion of Darcy? Lizzie feels she has acted "despicably" and regrets much of what she said; do you have reservations about any parts of it, things you still think Elizabeth should hold against him? If you could question him or react to him, what would you say. Consider writing your own response letter.
I know when I first read Pride & Prejudice I had a really hard time liking Mr. Darcy until I read his letter and started to understand the man that is Darcy. He was right about the character of most of the Bennet family and his story of Wickham is very heartfelt and honest. True, if I had gotten that letter and he was telling me how he'd ruined my sisters life and how silly my family was I'd probably be pretty mad for a bit, but as an innocent bystander who has watched the Bennents be silly the entire book it's perfectly acceptable and makes Darcy more human.
- In the first response post, we asked ourselves about our opinions of Darcy and Wickham. Give your opinions of the two now. Also, reevaluate your opinions of Collins and Bingley, our other 2 "eligible" men.
My opinions of the four men are pretty straight forward. Darcy's cool, Wickham's irritating, Collin's is a buffoon and Bingley is a pretty boy.
I'm running out of time so I'll leave you with with that. Hope everyone's enjoying their reading!