" /> Pride and Prejudice Class Quotes - 47 Important Quotes with Analysis

Pride and Prejudice Class Quotes

Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticise. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she hardly had a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness. Of this she was perfectly unaware; to her he was only the man who made himself agreeable nowhere, and who had not thought her handsome enough to dance with.

– Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 6. Elizabeth may not have been handsome enough for Mr. Darcy to dance with at the Meryton ball, where he found her appearance just "tolerable." But now he sees Elizabeth in a new light as she and Jane spend more time with the residents of Netherfield. Observing Elizabeth close up, Darcy develops an attraction for her, despite having said earlier that she lacked the manners of his class. Now he finds himself drawn to her intelligent expression, her beautiful dark eyes, her pleasing figure and her playful personality. Darcy is mortified by his discovery, because it injures his pride – at the Meryton assembly he was "above his company, and above being pleased." Elizabeth is fully aware of his attentions, but to her he is still the disagreeable man who didn’t think she was attractive enough to dance with.

"In vain have I 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." Elizabeth’s astonishment was beyond expression. She stared, coloured, doubted, and was silent. This he considered sufficient encouragement, and the avowal of all that he felt and had long felt for her, immediately followed. He spoke well, but there were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed, and he was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride. His sense of her inferiority – of its being a degradation – of the family obstacles which judgment had always opposed to inclination, were dwelt on with a warmth which seemed due to the consequence he was wounding, but was very unlikely to recommend his suit.

– Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 34. Mr. Darcy arrives at the Hunsford parsonage to make his first proposal of marriage to Elizabeth. While he is frank and honest and open, he goes about it in a clumsy and unromantic way. He speaks of how he has struggled to repress his feelings for Elizabeth, her inferior social rank and the family obstacles to such a union. But despite Elizabeth’s inferiority, he manages to declare his strong admiration and love for her. Elizabeth is absolutely shocked by the proposal, especially as she finds Darcy less "eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride." Darcy’s proposal seems to be more about himself than about the woman he says he loves and admires. One might say that his presentation leaves a lot to be desired. This is an example of situational irony, because Darcy proposes at the precise moment when Elizabeth hates him the most.
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