If anyone asks me who is my favourite literary character whom I love and would like to meet in person, it has to be the handsome Mr. Darcy. For those who are not familiar with who I am talking about, Mr. Darcy is the hero of the classic novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ written by ‘Jane Austen’. If you haven’t read it yet, I would strongly recommend you to get the book and read it. Amazon offers a free Kindle version of the book. The book completed 200 years of being published in 2013. But the story, the characters, the plot of the novel is evergreen.
Pride and Prejudice has been made into a movie many times in Hollywood and also Indian cinema. It was also a BBC Mini series where Mr. Darcy was played by Colin Firth available on Youtube. In India, there was the infamous ‘Bride and Prejudice’ by Gurinder Chadha. But those of you who have been around in the 80s, Doordarshan had shown a serial based on the book. It was called ‘Trishna’. It was very popular in those days. And we had completely fallen in love with ‘Rahul’, the Indian Mr. Darcy played by Tarun Dhanrajgir. We all imagined to find husbands like Mr. Darcy. So, what is it about him that we love him beyond anything?
The characters of Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth are introduced as –
1) Mr. Darcy was announced as the ‘proudest and most disagreeable’ man in the first chapter.
2) He is declared as being super rich and a good catch as a husband. Still with a man who has such ‘terrible manners’, it was declared the lady marrying him will have a sad life.
3) The judgement passed by Mr. Darcy on Elizabeth is ‘She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me’.
That sets the tone for the novel. Two people who are not impressed by each other at first sight. We do start off the novel with a negative attitude towards Mr. Darcy.
But, we start liking the proud Mr. Darcy over his actions and finally we love him so much, all we want is for the prejudiced Elizabeth to accept his proposal. I have detailed some of his characteristics which make us love him, though not necessarily in the order –
1) Brains over beauty – Though Jane is the most beautiful lady in the novel, Mr. Darcy is more attracted to Elizabeth who is a very intelligent lady. I think, this quenches something inside us, wherein we want the hero to see us for our brains as all of us are not so beautiful.
5) Wealthy – Did I not mention he is super rich? He lives in a sprawling estate known as ‘Pemberly’. Though money is really not the most important thing in life, but, well, who wouldn’t want to live in a huge estate with not a care for money, with servants at your beck and call?
6) Strong-willed – Mr. Darcy follows his mind. He does exactly as he wishes and doesn’t care about what people think about him. This is shown when he rejects his Aunt Lady Catherine De Bourgh who wants Mr. Darcy to marry her daughter, Anne de Bourgh. She even tells him, that the marriage was fixed when Darcy and Anne were infants. Its so good to see him support Elizabeth here.
7) Not swayed by praises and attention – Being rich, he is sought after by many for personal gains. He also rejects his friend, Mr. Bingley’s sister, Carolina, who is trying her best to catch Mr. Darcy as her husband. He tells her forthrightly that he loves Elizabeth and nobody else. Thus putting an end to her plans.
8) Loving Brother – He is a loving brother to his sister Georgiana. He rescues her from Mr. Wickham who wanted to marry her to get a share of the Pemberly estate. It shows his caring nature towards his family.
9) No badmouthing – Darcy doesn’t indulge in loose talk even when he comes to know that Mr. Wickham is spreading not so good stories about him to the families at Netherfield Park. He waits for the truth to be discovered instead of setting things right himself.
10) Dearest friend – He is a friend indeed. When Elizabeth’s sister, Lydia, elopes with Mr. Wickham, it was Mr. Darcy who traces him and gets Wickham to marry Lydia and brings them both back home.
11) No bragging – Darcy doesn’t publicise or take credit for this noble deed. He doesn’t even want Elizabeth to know the same. This act would have made him a hero in her eyes. But he is not self-promoting.
12) Intelligent, caring and loving – Darcy also comes across as an intelligent, caring and loving person. Though Darcy was thoroughly rejected by Elizabeth initially, he still continues to love her and at the end again asks her for marriage. It shows he is patient enough to wait for his true love to come around.
Are these what we look for in a person when falling in love or marrying someone? Add more features you can think of Mr. Darcy. Till then, love him.