Via: Daily Prompt – Inkling
Remember this moment in cinema?I recently had a moment like this. Not that it suddenly dawned on me that I have been unwittingly in love with a person who has always been in my life. It was something much more worrisome.
I was discussing the love of Mr. Darcy with a former work associate when I found myself mentally sneering, “Yeah, everyone wants to be Elizabeth Bennet and find their own Mr. Darcy. What they don’t realize is that they are all Marianne Dashwood chasing after Willoughby.” Then I further added to myself, “Lately, it’s been an endless parade of Lydia Bennets complaining about how they have been completely had by Wickham. Well, what can I expect from a Millennial*?”
And then I became wholly ashamed of my less than charitable feelings towards others. Here was a young woman who has always looked up to me for advice like one does a sister and I was abusing her for her romantic aspirations instead of encouraging her to develop the kind of consistency shown by Austen’s heroines. Even the mild-mannered Jane Bennet would be disappointed in me. Shouldn’t the fact that the younger generation is once again picking up authors like Austen be a source of hope? So I proceeded to correct my stance and discuss with my friend all the reasons why the Elizabeth-Darcy relationship prospered.
Later that day, I was thinking about why everyone loved Mr. Darcy so much; why I loved him, actually. And I came up with the following list of traits:And also:
At heart, he is a noble beast though his pride hides it well
He does not love universally but when he loves, he is ardent and steadfast
He has difficulty delegating and whatever is to be done must be done by him so obviously very capable
He feels deeply, reflects greatly, and holds his own opinions at the highest esteem
He is honest and has no need to deny his feelings or actions
Though he is ill at ease in a crowd or among strangers, he feels no compunction in speaking his mind
He makes short order of assessing people and situations nor does he forgive easily when they fall short of his expectations
He has a superiority complex but only because his mind is so improved
His speech is eloquent, his manners are without art
His actions are made with conviction and confidence
He knows how to handle information with discretion, he approaches life with consistent gravitas
As I added more and more attributes to the list, I became struck by my own reality…
OH MY GOD! I AM MR. DARCY!
[Someone needs to write a fanfiction with that title, by the way]
Apart from the tall, dark, and sexy man thing, of course. But does this mean that all these years I have been in love with myself? Who would’ve thought? If so, how narcissistic is that? The more I mulled it over, the more convinced I became that I might be a borderline egomaniac in my appreciation of the characteristics attributed to Mr. Darcy. If I am ever dissatisfied with myself, I can will away whatever unease I feel with the self-possessed knowledge that should I apply myself to the task at hand, I will succeed.
In fact, the only thing I have truly ever feared in my life is failing to become a revered author. It is the one place where I am not absolutely convinced that were I to practice and push, I would become a best-selling novelist. No matter how much effort I put into the craft or to the purpose of building my author platform, it may all still come to naught. Writing keeps me grounded. It probably even prevents me from using means of manipulation and coercion on others to create little replicas of my personality.
WHEW! Close call, huh?
*Dear Millennial, I don’t really think I’m superior to you. Any harsh feelings I may harbor towards you probably stems from a jealous resentment that you have greater social stamina and enthusiasm for life than I do – and so, the fault is actually mine. With all candor, I actually admire your pluck and ability to discover adventure and entertainment in every task that you set yourself to. XOXO
Back to the topic at hand, why do you love Mr. Darcy?
#1 by jrusoloward on January 29, 2018 - 4:57 am
There is nothing wrong with being Mr. Darcy. Perhaps this means you have to look for Elizabeth in your male counterpart. That’s an interesting approach, isn’t it? As my mother often said – in despair – that my sister and I are like men, I approve.
I love your description of millennials being Lydia. Of course it’s a generalization. I also don’t think it applies to millennials only. Time and again, over the years, I’ve had friends, both male and female, who chase “Mr. Wickham” (or Ms. Wickham), make poor choices, and behave poorly, then wonder why they’re not with a Mr. Darcy. I blame fairy tales. They chase an ideal and not a person.
Have you ever read Colleen McCullough’s The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet? If you haven’t read it, I suggest you give it a try. I picked up my first Colleen McCullough book (Cesar’s Women) while traveling in India. I had finished the book I brought with me and needed something to read. I love her writing style. Unfortunately, she passed away last year. That being said, she writes about the Bennets and Darcys twenty years after Pride and Prejudice.
#2 by lupa08 on January 29, 2018 - 2:48 pm
Oh, believe me when I say that the implications of this revelation on my love life isn’t lost to me. While I’m the reserved one, my longtime manfriend is indeed the one with the more playful spirit. I just keep asking him to grow up a bit and take more responsibilities. Guess the joke’s on me, huh? Let me tell you, being Mr. Darcy ain’t fun all the time 😏
I know what you mean. Falling for the bad boy is as old a complex as the story of Cane and Abel. But I compared Millennials to Lydia because they generally tend to be more susceptible to Wickham-s but then again, like I wrote in my disclaimer, I essentially don’t have anything against their approach to life (hey, you gotta shuffle through the bad apples before you can appreciate the glossy crunchy one), I just sometimes get jealous of their joviality(?)
Thank you for recommending the book! I always wanted to read a book that reflected more on Mary. Austen wrote her off but I always felt both Mary and Kitty had more potential and needed to be taken in hand by a fanfic author to help them reach it. Poor middle child Mary, unlike Jane-Elizabeth and Kitty-Lydia, she had no one to exchange ideas with or engage in the improvement of her mind.
#3 by jrusoloward on January 30, 2018 - 7:34 am
That’s the beauty of this book. She finds love and her intellect is appreciated. It does happen later in life (by regency standards, of course) for her. Now I want to dust off the book and re-read it.
#4 by lupa08 on February 7, 2018 - 9:44 pm
Just got the book! Am excited! 🤩
#5 by jrusoloward on February 8, 2018 - 2:31 am
Let me know what you think. Perhaps I’ll reread mine so we can discuss it.
#6 by lupa08 on February 9, 2018 - 10:19 pm
It’s a deal!
#7 by Louise@DragonspireUK on January 30, 2018 - 5:12 pm
I love Elizabeth and Darcy 😀
I think what I love most about them is how much I can relate to both characters.
I’m stubborn like Elizabeth, but can relate to many of your Mr Darcy points too!
#8 by lupa08 on February 7, 2018 - 9:46 pm
I have always wanted to be playful and charming like Elizabeth; and while I can find humor in every situation if I try, I’m afraid in practical life, I analyze life too seriously.