Jane Austen’s celebrated novel, Pride and Prejudice, completed 200 years in 2013. On this event, Sampurna Majumder pays her homage to the extremely disagreeable but irresistibly handsome Mr. Darcy – the man who’s appeal years could not take away!
Last night I was watching the screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Almost every sentence of the book had been adopted. I was relieving every bit of the pages from of the book.
Well, it is a truth universally acknowledged that even 200 years down the line, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy continues to linger in the collective imagination of women across the globe. I first fell in love with this “most disagreeable man” when I was barely 12. And then once again while in high school and I still continue to fall for him every time I read (or re-read) the novel or watch the screen adaptations.
But what is it about this disagreeable man that turns him into the most desirable one by the end of the novel? A lot has changed since Austen’s novel was published. We find Elizabeth Bennett challenging every social more about society and marriage and standing by what she believed in – marrying out of love. Today’s women are socially and economically independent. But Mr. Darcy’s appeal has not waned away.
So what is it about this conceited ‘gentleman’ that still women yearn for? Well, let’s ponder over it a little:
According to some, he is the archetypal alpha male, emotionally unavailable and emerges as the good responsible guy at the end. It is probably his mysterious and intriguing nature that women find appealing. There’s something very fascinating in a man who stays aloof and chooses to confide only in the woman he admires and makes her feel privileged. Yes he is blunt, but at the same time he is fiercely protective about people he cares for.
Darcy embodies the perfect example of a ‘diamond in the rough’. At first impression he comes out as conceited and arrogant who is only mellowed down by the goodness of Elizabeth Bennett and also his younger sister.
Most importantly he does not try to be the knight in shining armour to win Elizabeth’s love. He is secretly involved in Elizabeth’s life and considers her as his equal; and he doesn’t pretend. He is matured enough to realise his pride and when he does, we find him going back to Elizabeth and asking her hand in marriage for the second time (since Elizabeth rejects the first proposal).
The irresistible Mr. Darcy has stood the test of time and the various adaptations have proved it time and again. Be it Mr. Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’ Diary or Mr. Big in Sex and the City, Darcy’s various avatars continue to enthral us.
- Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (chiffo227n.wordpress.com)
- Literary Boyfriends Round 2: Battle of the Austen Heroes (astridcook.com)
- Pride and Prejudice (1980) Mini-series – A Review (austenprose.com)
- Pride and Prejudice: Dancing with Mr Darcy (telegraph.co.uk)