Tuesday, March 31, 2009


"And never allow yourself to be blinded by prejudice?" "I hope not." (pg. 94)

In this scene, Darcy and Elizabeth are speaking while dancing at the ball at Netherfield. Austen's irony comes through in full force in this passage. Her two main characters are both appraising each other again in this scene after both have already determined that they don't like each other without really knowing one another. The fact that Elizabeth asks Darcy if he is ever prejudiced speaks volumes about her slightly hypocritical nature, as she is extremely prejudiced when it comes to Darcy. Darcy is hypocritical as well in saying that he is not prejudiced when we well know he is, especially when it comes to Elizabeth and her family. Austen's decision to include this piece of irony helps to characterize her protagonists as well-meaning but ultimately wrong in their primary judgements.

1 comment:

  1. At this point (Chapter 18), Darcy has not determined that he dislikes Lizzy. Since at least Chapter 10, in fact, he has felt himself attracted to her but, due to her low connections, he is resisting those feelings.

    Also, Lizzy was not wrong in her first impression of Darcy. She realized that he was haughty and that he looked down on her; neither judgment was wrong, and both were supported by the evidence. It was only when she listened to Wickham that she passed over into prejudice.