Pride and Prejudice Pride and Prejudice question

Elizabeth's Visit to Pemberly
Maxwell Miller Maxwell Sep 02, 2020 07:39PM
How much does Elizabeth's visit to Pemberly influence her opinion of Darcy? This seemed to me a real turning point for her, and while Elizabeth would never mary for convenience, she never seemed like someone totally oblivious to it either. Thoughts?

I think it was a turning point for her, firstly because of how much the housekeeper seems to love him. She'd already been kind of regretting how much hate she gave him on the basis of Mr.Wickham, and she felt kind of guilty about that. When the housekeeper "gives him a most flaming character," that's a real turning point for her, where she begins to think she could like him. I don't think the actual estate of Pemberley has much to do with it - although Lizzie does pay attention to convenience, it wouldn't change her opinion of a person. When she sees him, and he's super polite and really friendly, that's what really makes her start to fall in love with him.

I think a lot of her change of opinion at visiting Pemberly is actually due to the estate itself, though not because of it's richness as we know Elizabeth would not be swayed by that. Her visit happens after reading Darcy's letter when she is already starting to have tender feelings for him. Then the accounts of his gardener and housekeeper on his character make a large impression on her. But equally important, in my opinion, is the intimacy created by getting an insider's look at his world and home. It's like when you go to your significant other's childhood home for the first time and get to see their baby pictures and where they grew up. You can learn so much by seeing where a person comes from. She is surprised to find that while rich is it elegantly decorated and "not gaudy or uselessly fine". She appreciates this as she realizes that Darcy does not place half as much importance in his wealth as she thought before. She is also moved by seeing the room and gifts had appointed for his sister which shows her how loving he can be
Finally, Elizabeth has a great love of nature and walking and Pemberly is described as perfectly fitting with the gorgeous nature surrounding it. I feel like Pemberly is purposely crafted by Austen to be the perfect home for Elizabeth so as to enhance her early love of Darcy. There is a sense of peace, beauty, and wonder that the house evokes and everything Elizabeth sees is exactly to her taste. It almost conveys a feeling in the reader that Elizabeth belongs there, and I think she see's for the first time at Pemberly how similar her and Darcy in the kind of life and home they would want to have.

back to top