Mr. Darcy is one of the most romantic male characters I’ve ever come across in my reading. Not only does he love Elizabeth throughout the course of the novel, he makes sacrifices to show her his love in unexpected ways. While I am not at the end of the novel, I am seeing how Darcy comes to love the woman who only sees his “pride and prejudice” towards others.
In the early scenes with Darcy, the dialogue seems to overshadow the side comments Austen makes about his observations. Since it has been a bit since I have read the novel, I forgot about the narrated sections recalling Darcy’s looks and assessment of Elizabeth as he encounters her in different situations and places. I almost wish that I didn’t love the movie so much and have watched it so many times. The movie focuses more on their verbal sparring and you lose the emotional impact of Austen’s words as Darcy continues to encounter Elizabeth and strengthen his feelings for her.
I say all this after stopping my reading earlier today in the chapter before he makes his proposal and she rejects him. That scene is one of my favorites because it’s where the reader first sees that Elizabeth is just as proud and prejudiced as Darcy, and she is even more vocal about how she feels. It is also the scene where your heart just starts to melt. Here is a man who loves this woman, but he really doesn’t know how to show it. That is when his romantic nature begins to emerge, as he attempts another go at winning her heart.
On the other hand, you have the incredibly awkward and humorous Mr. Collins. I love his quirky nature and lack of manners—especially in the moment at Bingley’s ball when he takes it upon himself to introduce himself to Mr. Darcy. Or in his proposal to Elizabeth where he mechanically lists the reasons why he wants to marry. Had Matt decided to propose to me in the same way I probably would have laughed in his face, much like Elizabeth did to Mr. Collins (I assure you, Matt proposed in a wonderfully romantic way and there were only slight nervous giggles). Contrasted with Mr. Darcy, Mr. Collins just seems like an incredibly awkward horrible man.
Even with that being said, I still like his character. Austen did a remarkable job creating male characters that while different, are still incredibly likable. Even Mr. Bingley is a well-developed and well-rounded character who is purely male and distinctly different from Mr. Collins, Darcy, and Elizabeth’s father.
I thought I would share some of my favorite lines thus far from the male characters in the novel. Enjoy them as much as I did.
Mr. Bennet (Elizabeth’s father)
“’You mistake me my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least,” (7).
“’An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do,’” (111).
“’My reasons for marrying are, first, that I think it a right thing for every clergyman in easy circumstances (like myself) to set the example of matrimony in his parish; secondly, that I am convinced it will add very greatly to my happiness; and thirdly—which perhaps I ought to have mentioned earlier, that it is the particular advice and recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honour of calling patroness,” (105).
“’I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offences against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost is lost forever,” (58).
“’In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you,’” (188).