Launch Time for the Other Mr Darcy! P&P Question 1

The 1st of October is here, which means The Other Mr Darcy should be hitting the shelves (hopefully not too hard) as of today!

Hurray! I thought the day would never come.

But now, without much ado, since this is what you've been waiting for, I'll cut the ribbon to launch the month-long competition.

Some of the questions I pose this month are about things in Pride and Prejudice that struck me or puzzled me. Others are just fun questions that occurred to me while reading the novel, or just very easy opinion questions, so everyone will get a chance to enter. You can enter as many times as you like, but remember, the answer must must provide a reasonable explanation.*

Day 1, Question 1

Why does Elizabeth react so strongly to Darcy’s initial proposal?

*Contest open to US and Canada residents only


  1. Firstly, here is a man who has for the most part been very aloof with her. And now he's proposing marriage?!? Crazy.

    Secondly, he practically insults her as he proposes, mentioning her lower station and the fact that it was against reason to ask her.

    I think she was wise to decline!

    Laura Hartness

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  3. Darcy insults Elizabeth when he proposes her by telling her that her whole family and the social stand she is on are inferior to the one he is on.
    Elizabeth has just heard that he was the one who got Bingley out of Netherfield. Elizabeth does not know the truth about the conflict between Wickham and Darcy and she thinks Darcy is the bad guy!
    Darcy had also been very aloof with Elizabeth, not really giving any attention to her.

  4. I think Elizabeth reacted so strongly for a few reasons, some more obvious than otheres.
    Firstly, Darcy had been extremely rude to her throughout most of their acquaintance. He goes from cold to proposing marriage - and Elizabeth views marriage as a commitment that should not be taken lightly. Elizabeth is a romantic!

    Also, I think that part of her reaction had to do with her shock. Despite his horrid behavior, I think Elizabeth couldn't help but feel something for Darcy. His proposal caught her off guard and she was surprised at the fact that part of her wanted to say yes...

    This is going to be a fun contest! :)

  5. There are several reasons why Lizzy refuses Darcy's first offer. His rejection of Lizzy at the Meryton assembly still stings. She has been taken in by Wickham's lies and believes Darcy has injured him. But I think the big reason is his pivotal role in separating Jane and Bingley. There is no one closer to Lizzy than Jane, and any injury to Jane is an injury to herself.

  6. Elizabeth had no regard for Mr. Darcy and did not respect him as a person, and so she was thrown off by his proposal. She didn't understand his true feelings because he didn't show them outwardly -- it took his future actions to prove himself worthy.

  7. Why does Elizabeth react so strongly to Mr. Darcy's first proposal?

    I think there are multiple things going on here--sure, Elizabeth is prejudiced against Mr. D because of Wickham's stories and because Col. Brandon has just confirmed Elizabeth's worst fears concerning D's involvement in separating Bingley from Jane.

    However, I think the strength of her emotion stems from her sense of shame and embarrassment that he has verbalized what she herself has privately acknowledged about her family's shortcomings. She knows he is right about them and her pride is hurt. Furthermore, her pride is further stung in that he has assumed she would welcome his proposal, that she had been wishing for it, as if she had been angling for it. She says it's Jane and Wickham that are at the root of her refusal, but I think it's really pride.

  8. I believe that she acted so strongly because One...He manages to insult her during the proposal! Not the way to go. Especially if he knows anything about Elizabeth! Two...He has been extremely rude to her up to this point. Why would someone like Elizabeth marry Darcy if all he shows outwardly is contempt for her family and station in life! Three...I like to beleive that despite everything Elizabeth has started to have feelings other than hate for Dacry, her enemy, without knowing it. And when he proposes then, she is just as mad at herself as she is at him!

  9. I believe that Elizabeth reacted so strongly the Mr. Darcy's first proposal because she just found out who was responsible for breaking Jane and Mr. Bingly. And, before that proposal, she was quite put off by his behavior.

    Then the way he phrased his proposal was not entirely flattering to her. However rich or handsome he may be, he could have done a better job. He should have started and stopped with "I love you. Most ardently"

    But then again, if he had, then the book would have ended right there, and we wouldn't have Colin Firth and Matthew MacFadyen to ogle, I mean watch.

  10. How can I possibly add to the previous comments.
    But - here goes:

    Darcy is rude and pompous. His demeanor would be enough to scare off just about any woman(unless she was only interested in his wealth). Lizzy is insulted by his comments concerning her family's "station in life", but more than anything else, I think that Lizzy is so close to her sister Jane, and she cannot abide by anyone seeming to intentionally hurt her loved ones.

  11. 1. Elizabeth didn't really like Darcy to begin with anyway.

    2. She just found out he went out of his way to separate Jane and Bingley.

    3. The way he proposed to her, and went on about her "station" and status just enhanced Lizzy's anger towards him.

  12. I think the first time was completely surprising for her. As far as she knew, the guy was a total jerk. Any time they'd spoken, they'd been barely civil with each other. And even in the proposal he was insulting. I'm mostly remembering the movie version, but didn't he say something to the effect of "Your family is crazy and unsuitable, but I still can't stop thinking about you, please marry me?" Would you have said yes? I wouldn't!

  13. Elizabeth never saw it coming. She thought that Darcy didnt like her and was critical of her. Also Darcy's proposal was insulting to Elizabeth saying that she was below his station in society. Elizabeth also believed Wickham's lies about what Darcy has done to him. That compounded with the fact that Elizabeth just found out that Darcy persuaded Bingley that Jane wasn't right for him.

  14. Elizabeth reacted so strongly because 1) he was so rude to her before (She wasn't handsome enought to tempt him) and 2) his speaking on how she was actually below his station in life and it was wrong that that he should like her.

  15. Lizzie believed very strongly that people should marry for love and she did not love Darcy. Quite the opposite, she had gathered quite a few reasons to despise him. Add to this the manner of his proposal, and she would have been totally out of character to have wavered in her refusal.

    I don't think she had any feelings of love towards him at this point (his proposal) and I have sometimes wondered myself why she did finally fall for him. She did find her earliest impressions to have been wrong, but did his efforts on her family's behalf stir her to a true love for the man? I can imagine that she would respect and admire him, but what did she love about him?

  16. Elizabeth denies his proposal for a number of reasons, including the fact that he insults her basically telling her that he had to overcome his station and her lowly status to confess his love, he insults her family, and he separates her sister Jane from Bingley. Nevermind that she's initially prejudiced against him.

  17. Darcy was quite offensive against herself and her family, which would have been cause itself. But the fact of her already prejudice feelings against him really sealed the deal.

  18. Since nobody's brought it up, I've got to point out that Mr Collins' proposal is every bit as offensive as Darcy's, and likely much more so - given that we don't know what Darcy actually said, and Elizabeth later thinks she'd gladly accept the proposal he offered in April. Yet Elizabeth thanks him politely and, though eventually 'vexed,' never loses her temper. She certainly never tells him what she really thinks of him. She's also poised and calm when Lady Catherine comes to Longbourn.

    So, in my opinion, there's something about Darcy, specifically, that causes her to overreact. Not attraction, but some sort of... something.


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