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Mr Misunderstood Darcy

Mr Misunderstood Darcy

Has it ever happened to you that when you read a book or watch a movie for the first time, you despise a particular character but when you re-read or re-watch the same work your perceptions change a bit? This exact thing happened to me when I was revisiting some beloved works of literature that have made a special space in my heart and a distinct impression on my mind.  

A book that hit discretely different this time around was Jane Austens much-loved novel Pride and Prejudice’ a classic romance novel arraying a modern-day love story where an open-minded and opinionated girl couldnt fathom settling for less when it came to choosing a life partner for herself and how she finally finds love in the most unexpected person under the most unforeseen state of affairs.    

The specific character for whom I felt a change of heart was the widely disliked and now I would say, misunderstood character, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. 


Our initial lack of understanding of certain characters mostly stems from the fact that when we are reading a story for the first time, we have no clue about what is going to happen next and we are depended upon the narrator. The preoccupation of following the narrative at times stops us from plunging deep into the character’s spurs and goads but when we go through the narrative again with a fresh headspace, we comprehend more effectively. 


When I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time the initial impression of Mr. Darcy that I formed was a very generalized one and my outlook towards the character was pretty superficial. I just took him as another entitled man thriving on the principles of patriarchy, the kind who think they are doing a favor on people by talking to them. The novel’s protagonist, Elizabeth Bennett, seemed like a paragon of virtue when compared to him. For the longest time, for me, Mr. Darcy was an archetype of the cold-hearted and arrogant hero of the Romance Novels who reforms after the kind-hearted heroine wanders her magic stick and fills him with warmth and affection.  


It was only until a few days back when I picked up the book again but this time, I didn’t just construe the story but also the characters, their behaviors and motivations. After re-exploring the characters, I realized how erroneously I had judged Mr. Darcy’s character. He is so much more than I thought him to be. He was never hostile just for the sake of it and was one of the most layered characters whose actions weren’t vague and had some motivation behind it. We were given inklings about how he’s not as bad but his own stuck up ways prevented us (and Elizabeth, for the larger part of the story) from reassuring this conception. 


At the end of the day, he is portrayed to be as human as any one of us and his love for Elizabeth took precedence over his shortcomings as a person.    


Author: Mehak M. is a Freelance Content Writer and Graphic Designer. In her working experience of less than a year, she has worked with three different companies. 


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