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Pride and Prejudice Norton Critical Edition Book
Her comment to Fitzwilliam is ever exact: “I do not know anybody who seems more to enjoy the power of doing what he likes than Mr. Darcy.” And what about Darcy’s own accuracy? His judgment of Jane is just as mistaken—and, though he denies it, as partial—as Elizabeth’s view of Wickham.
Yet Darcy’s credibility remains intact. Finally admitting to having misinterpreted Jane, Darcy explains that he was corrected not by Elizabeth but by his own subsequent observations, and on this basis, he readvises the ever-pliant Bingley. Whereas Lizzie’s mistake discredits her judgment for good, Mr. Darcy’s, far from disqualifying him, gives him an opportunity to judge again.
What happens in Pride and Prejudice, then, is not simply that an a priori prejudiced character, at last, sees the error of her ways. Rather, a character introduced as reliable, whose clarity of vision is evidently the author’s own, is re-presented—in the context of her marriageability— as prejudiced.
In my reading, the psychological drama of a heroine “awakening” to her true identity is brought into conflict with the social drama of an outspoken girl entering a world whose voices drown out her own.
Pride and Prejudice Norton Critical Edition PDF
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