Over at Goodreads, on the discussion boards, we’ve got a nice thread going about the on-going popularity of the novel, and Darcy’s legendary status in particular. There have a been a large number of really insightful, helpful comments, here are just a few.
Darcy is not perfect, as we hope no one ever will be, as they would then be a very boring person. Darcy is a rich snob; but at heart he has a kind heart, honesty and sterling principles. There is no more powerful scene in English literature than when Elizabeth confronts Darcy with the result of his snobishness.
We see the most demonstrable growth in Darcy’s character – Elizabeth has a change of heart, but her behavior is pretty much the same; Darcy, on the other hand, exhibits a definitive change in his conduct, an emergence of a chivalry that had been part of his early training, had been overshadowed by pride, but ultimately loses out to his love for Elizabeth, and his own natural gallantry.
Women love P&P because it’s our gender’s favorite fantasy: a man is humbled by a witty woman and they fall in love and live happily ever after. This man “rescues” her and gives her a life fit for a princess. A Jane Austen novel is a world that seems like it could have been a real place in history, so much so that the reader doesn’t feel guilty for wishing he/she was one of the leads.
More to come.