Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen, is one of the most popular novels of all time. It tells the story of the complicated relationship between Elizabeth Bennet, a witty and independent young woman, and Mr. Darcy, a wealthy and proud gentleman. The novel explores themes such as love, marriage, social class, reputation, and prejudice.
One of the main questions that readers may have is: how is Darcy attracted towards Elizabeth? What makes him fall in love with her despite their initial dislike and misunderstanding? In this blog post, we will try to answer this question by looking at some of the quotes from the novel that reveal Darcy’s feelings and thoughts about Elizabeth.
The first time Darcy sees Elizabeth is at a ball in Meryton, where he is visiting his friend Mr. Bingley. He is not impressed by her appearance or manners, and he says to Bingley: “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me” (Chapter 3). This remark is overheard by Elizabeth, who feels insulted and forms a negative opinion of Darcy. She later tells her sister Jane: “I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine” (Chapter 5).
However, as Darcy spends more time in Elizabeth’s company, he begins to notice her fine eyes, her lively wit, and her intelligence. He admits to himself: “He began to feel the danger of paying Elizabeth too much attention” (Chapter 6). He also appreciates her honesty and courage, as when she walks three miles to Netherfield to visit her sick sister Jane, without caring about her appearance or the opinions of others. He tells Miss Bingley: “I was very much flattered by his asking me to dance a second time. I did not expect such a compliment” (Chapter 9).
Darcy’s attraction towards Elizabeth grows stronger when he visits her family at Longbourn. He is amused by her playful teasing and her lively conversation. He also observes her affection for her sisters and her father. He confesses to his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam: “I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow” (Chapter 33).
However, Darcy’s attraction towards Elizabeth is also mixed with doubt and conflict. He knows that his family and friends would disapprove of his marrying a woman of lower social status and inferior connections. He also dislikes some aspects of Elizabeth’s family, such as her vulgar mother, her silly sisters, and her scandalous elopement with Mr. Wickham. He struggles with his pride and his prejudice, which prevent him from acknowledging his true feelings.
Darcy’s attraction towards Elizabeth reaches its climax when he proposes to her at Hunsford. He tells her: “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you” (Chapter 34). However, his proposal is also full of arrogance and condescension, as he mentions the obstacles that he has overcome to love her, and he expects her to accept him gratefully. He is shocked and angry when Elizabeth rejects him, accusing him of being proud, selfish, and ungentlemanlike.
Darcy’s rejection by Elizabeth makes him realize his faults and his mistakes. He writes her a letter explaining his actions regarding Jane and Bingley’s relationship, and revealing Wickham’s true character. He also tries to improve himself and his behavior towards others. He shows kindness and generosity to Elizabeth’s family, especially when he helps Lydia recover from her elopement with Wickham. He also treats Elizabeth with respect and admiration, as when he introduces her to his sister Georgiana at Pemberley.
Darcy’s attraction towards Elizabeth is finally rewarded when he proposes to her again at Longbourn. He tells her: “My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever” (Chapter 58). This time, his proposal is sincere and humble, as he respects Elizabeth’s feelings and opinions. He is overjoyed when Elizabeth accepts him, saying: “You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever” (Chapter 58).
In conclusion, Darcy’s attraction towards Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice is a complex and dynamic process that involves both physical and intellectual attraction, as well as emotional growth and moral change. Darcy learns to overcome his pride and prejudice, while Elizabeth learns to see beyond appearances and first impressions. Their attraction is based on mutual respect, admiration, and love, which makes them one of the most memorable couples in literature.