Do you think Lizzy would have accepted Darcy the first time if she had never met Wickham, and if Colonel Fitzwilliam hadn't told her about Darcy's separating Bingley and Jane?
- He told her that he likes her against his will, reason, and character
- He tore Jane and Mr. Bingley apart.
- He cheated Wickham out of his inheritance
- Since meeting him, his manners convinced her that he was the last man she could marry.
So, to rephrase Scullery Maid's question, was tearing Jane and Mr. Bingley apart and cheating Wickham out of his inheritance just enough to convince Elizabeth to refuse Mr. Darcy proposal, or was she convinced to never marry him before finding out those pieces of information?
Now, you may recall that Elizabeth during her refusal of Mr. Darcy's proposal said,
|Elizabeth refusing Mr. Darcy|
"From the very beginning—from the first moment, I may almost say—of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry."
From that quote alone, one could argue that Elizabeth would have refused him even if she didn't know about the facts of the question. But if you just go off that quote, the argument can be defeated by someone saying "Well, she said it in the heat of the moment and didn't really mean it." So, to fully answer this question, I'm going to have to come up with more evidence that Elizabeth would have refused Mr. Darcy no matter what.
You may have noticed that I bolded the last bullet point of the above list. That's because, for purposes of this question, I'm going to delve into the details of that bullet point to see if those smaller details to see if I can prove that she would have refused Mr. Darcy no matter what.
So, let's go to the beginning of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's acquaintance.
|"Come, Darcy! I must have you dance!"|
|Elizabeth recounting Mr. Darcy's refusal to dance with|
her to Jane.
Elizabeth over hears Mr. Darcy say that she was only tolerable and not handsome enough to tempt him to dance with her. This immediately wounds Elizabeth's pride. If she didn't care for him before, she dislikes him now. Sure, Elizabeth goes around to her friends and tells them what Mr. Darcy said about her (since she delights in anything ridiculous), but even if she was going around poking fun at Mr. Darcy, there must have been a part of her that was seriously wounded.
And then after he refused to dance with her, Mr. Darcy doesn't really impress Elizabeth all that much before Wickham even came into the picture. They verbally sparred quite a bit while Elizabeth was staying at Netherfield while Jane recovered from her cold. When Jane finally recovered, Elizabeth was glad to get out of there and away from Mr. Darcy.
And since then, even after Wickham came into the picture, Mr. Darcy hadn't really improved his character to her. Really, Mr. Darcy hadn't begun to improve in Elizabeth's mind until she had refused him. Her refusal showed him how he came off to other people. Elizabeth was probably the first one to tell him exactly what she thinks of him because everyone was probably kissing up to him (after all, with £10,000, who would have the guts to stand up to him?). If it wasn't for Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy would never have mended his manners and she would have never accepted his proposal even at a later time.
So, to answer the question directly, even if Elizabeth hadn't met Wickham or never heard from Colonel Fitzwilliam about Mr. Darcy's hand at separating Jane and Mr. Bingley, I think she still would have refused him because his overall demeanor was still proud and he came off as a jerk. There wouldn't have been a reason for her to like him because by the first proposal she still would have thought of him as a jerk.
What do you think? Do you think Elizabeth would have accepted Mr. Darcy had she not have met Wickham or heard about Mr. Darcy separating Jane and Mr. Bingley? Do you agree with me? Disagree? Leave a comment!
Thank you, Scullery Maid, for sending in your question! If you have a question you would like to submit for me to do a post on, leave a comment. Just follow these guidelines. It can be about anything related to this blog: period dramas, blogging, reviews, etc.
And in case you need a little refresher on the proposal scene, I've included this YouTube video of the 1995 first proposal scene. Definitely the best P&P Proposal scene in my opinion.