Fitzwilliam Darcy – Pride and Prejudice
“Do you dance, Mr. Darcy?”
“Not if I can help it.”
— Elizabeth Bennett/ Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
Ah, Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberton. With his fancy schmancy high collars and his ten thousand pounds a year, he sounds like every marriageable woman’s wet dream. Or, well, you know, pretty damn good, once you adjust that fashion sense for modern times, and that income for inflation, et cetera.
Jane Austen really broke the mold when she created this guy. Somehow, she managed to read some hapless guy’s personality better than anyone else of her time, and spun it into one of the most revered characters of all time. Even today, everyone wants a Darcy to spend their lives with.
Which means that I’m going to raise some hue and cry (I love that phrase – some day I actually want someone to stand up and scream, “HUE!” and watch all hell break loose… but I digress) with the following bold statement.
Darcy was a total asshole.
There, I said it. It’s a very good thing I keep my general whereabouts a secret because I’m sure I know quite a few women who would not spare me for this. But I base this statement in solid fact. And I stand by it.
You want more evidence? Then observe – Elizabeth and Darcy’s first encounter with one another:
Bingley: “Look dude, you gotta dance. Look at this place – it’s infested with single chicks. You can’t just stand there and look sullen. That shit is not on.”
Darcy: “Yeah, uh-huh, I think I’ll pass. Besides, you’re dancing with the only hot chick in the room. You dog, you!”
Bingley: (guffaws) “I know, right? SCORE! But yo, check out that sister of hers. She ain’t half bad, na? Why don’t you, like, ask her or whatever?”
Darcy: “Psh, right. She’s, like, perfectly TOLERABLE, but not handsome enough to tempt ME.” [Which in modern times would probably translate to “butt-shit ugly compared to that hot piece of ass that she shares DNA with, dawg.”]
Charlotte: “Oohhhhh, snap…”
Elizabeth: “Oh no, he di’nt!”
Then, once more, when he’s actually proposing to her (the first time):
Darcy: “So, like, you and me… that seems like a pretty good idea, right? Because I’ve been thinking…”
Elizabeth: “WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU? You just bitched my family out, cockblocked Bingley while they totally could’ve gotten it on, and then to top it all off… you totally raped that sexy devil Wickham. I WOULDN’T MARRY YOU IF THE NUCLEAR WARHEADS ALL BLEW THE HELL UP AND WE HAD TO REPOPULATE THE WORLD OURSELVES, YOU COCKY SON OF A GUN!!!”
Darcy: “…and like, I think I kind of love yo- wait wait, WHAT?”
Or something. So, maybe, on second thought, Lizzie can take care of herself just fine.
[Yes, I’m fully aware of the extent of blasphemy I’ve committed. That would explain why I cannot maintain eye contact with any of y’all. Just… just keep reading, OKAY?]
But seriously, moving on from that atrocity, WHO DOES THAT? Obviously, it’s the sign of a completely shallow and arrogant son of a gun who’s out to prove his jewels are bigger than everyone else’s, using a feigned superiority over a woman to mask his own insecurities. I mean, OBVI!
“BUT WAIT!” I hear some of you exclaim to me. “The whole point was that he got better, and he became nicer to Elizabeth, and they lived happily ever after… wasn’t it (you hateful, spiteful nonbeliever in all things sacred and holy)?”
Well, sure, he was trying to score the girl, wasn’t he? Everyone knows guys will do anything to get in a girl’s pants. Who’s to say he wouldn’t revert back to that ODIOUS behavior once the wedding night was through? Can’t you just see it?
Elizabeth: “Hey, you wanna, maybe, like, do that again?”
Darcy: “Yeah, sure… maybe later? I’m kind of not feeling it right now.”
Elizabeth: “What? WHAT?”
Darcy: “Okay, look, I don’t mean to be rude, but like, that was… barely TOLERABLE!”
Elizabeth: *LE GASP*
Darcy: “And while I’m the topic, your family’s bat-shit crazy, you know that, right? Especially that hoor Lydia. PSYCHOPATHS, the whole lot of you.”
And then they both killed each other. The End.
[You know that’s how it happened.]
Seriously, though, here’s my real issue with Darcy – or more accurately, the whole Darcy-Elizabeth relationship. Their love so eternal is based almost entirely on two main principles:
1) Darcy’s high income, and thus, eligibility and status as ideal husband material.
2) Elizabeth’s indebtedness to Darcy for his intervention in the Lydia-Wickham fiasco.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong – I’m not exactly an expert on the matter of love – but that sounds like a pretty fickle couple of reasons to base an entire relationship around. And, dare I say it, it’s all kinda anti-feminist. Which I shouldn’t be surprised about, considering the time period and the setting and all, but still… it kind of hurts my sensibilities, somewhat.
Sure, Darcy ends up winning the girl with a few well-placed tactics and toning down his mean character, but does that really change who he is, as a person?
Despite all of that, though, I still believe that the Liz-Darcy pairing was meant to last. You can tell that neither of them would stand the other’s bullshit, and the promise of financial security takes away the stress that 70% of all normal couples have to face, even today, leaving room for a lot of time to get to know one another better, get used to being in each other’s faces, etc. They don’t really start their relationship in what I’d call lurrve, but the prospects look good.
And despite all of that, I really do love the guy. <embarrassed blush>
I don’t care if you own the hottest car/crib/gadgets, there is absolutely no reason in the world that you have the right to be rude to females. ESPECIALLY if you like ’em. This is not the 3rd grade, y’all. Darcy knew, and you should too, that it pays to be nice and respectful. Not just to win the girl, but as a general rule of life.
And for the females, for God’s sake! GET A GRIP! Stop falling for assholes. You deserve to be treated well, and you should demand it. I DON’T CARE IF HE’S HOT, GO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!
/end angry outburst
Dateability = 2/5
Marriageability = 4/5
Hott factor = 4/5
Transformation over course of novel = 5/5
Total score = 15/20 (see, I don’t HATE him)