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Discuss Pride & Prejudice 2009 > Discuss Chapters 1-12

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message 1: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
This is the first section of our P&P discussion.


message 2: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
The first line of the story is well talked-about. WAS Mr. Bingley in want of a wife? Was Mr. Darcy?

You know you are in for an interesting ride when a novel begins with such a tempting line.


message 3: by DebK (new)

DebK | 16 comments I don't think it matters if he "was in want" -- what matters is the general perception that he must be (think Mrs. Bingley). This book is not written from the point of view of Darcy or Bingley at all; it paints a picture of them through the lenses of others.


message 4: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
But it certainly doesn't hurt to wonder what the men were thinking, does it?


message 5: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Or more closely to your point, do Elizabeth and Jane think Bingley is in want of a wife?


message 6: by DebK (new)

DebK | 16 comments There's never any indication that Elizabeth and Jane are "husband hungry." As a matter of fact, they are often the victims of their mother's prowess on their behalf. Elizabeth always stands in juxtaposition to her mother; remember, she refuses to marry Mr. Collins and she looks down on Charlotte for giving in to social pressure to do so.


message 7: by DebK (new)

DebK | 16 comments I would pose a much more provocative question (which my college English professor proposed and answered very well): Why do we like Darcy so much from the beginning when everyone else in the book takes a dislike to him?


message 8: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Just a note to set the pace of the Jane Austen Group Discussions. We'll be hosting a wide range of questions/comments/thoughts from those who read Austen for the first time to those who have studied her for years.

All comments will be welcome and we'll be shooting for a tone that is light, enjoyable, informative and supportive, to make everyone welcome in the group.

Also, we'll try to avoid spoilers by giving away details from the upcoming chapters.


message 9: by jennifer (new)

jennifer (mascarawand) | 8 comments #7-
Maybe we like him because we know that somehow, at some time down the line, he will make himself worthy of Elizabeth.


message 10: by Luiza (new)

Luiza | 6 comments I'm not sure I like him from the beginning. I mean, I do, when I set myself as an outside observer who already knows how things will turn out in the end and how his real character really is, and see him through that light. But when I read the book as an inside observer, as if I'm standing right by Elizabeth's side sharing her every thought, I can't help but disliking him too!
If not hateful, he sounds at least very unpleasant and proud.


message 11: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (last edited Jan 25, 2009 09:47AM) (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Elizabeth and Jane might have at least been curious as to Mr. Bingley's future interests. No, Austen does not portray them as husband hungry but they would have at least hoped he was looking for society and dancing. Which leads to the next thought brought forth by Deb. We quickly learn that he was "haughty, reserved, and fastidious" and his manners were not inviting.

But when do we see a first spark of something interior happening? By Chapter 6 he finds her face rendered "uncommonly intelligent...." Pretty good praise from Darcy for a woman in general and for someone he was trying not to like.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

They may not have been 'husband hunting'but, they knew their situation in life and general expectations. However, I would say their feelings were more romantic than practical, even Elizabeth. If she were to marry it would be someone she truly respected. I know when I first read Pride and Prejudice years ago I liked Darcy right away, but then again, I always liked the supposed under dog.


message 13: by DebK (new)

DebK | 16 comments I think we start liking Darcy when we realize that he is liking her. And because we really like her from the start, we can't help but like him for it. The interesting tension created in the book, as well as suspense, is that the more he likes her, the more she dislikes him because of her "first impressions."


message 14: by Puck (new)

Puck (gentlepuck) | 159 comments I am going to say that Mr Bingley was "in want" for a wife. Think back to how he reacts to the women at that first dance. Think about how he falls for Jane. He wwas horny at the dance. He singled Jane out quickly. He was "in want" for "someone" or "something". Yeah, i'm not feeling tactful today:)


message 15: by Luiza (new)

Luiza | 6 comments Sarah wrote: "I am going to say that Mr Bingley was "in want" for a wife. Think back to how he reacts to the women at that first dance. Think about how he falls for Jane. He wwas horny at the dance. He singl..."

he was ready to be pleased, as he usually was. but i believe he and jane were quickly attracted to each other due to the fact that they had very similar dispositions and minds.




message 16: by Puck (last edited Jan 26, 2009 07:56AM) (new)

Puck (gentlepuck) | 159 comments And I agree with Ashely that Jane and Elizabeth weren't husband hungry. I think that they doubted that anyone interesting would grace them with an offer. Elizabeth doesn't pursue Darcy at all! Never! It's not until she goes to Pemberly that she realizes she wants him, or any man with any kind of commitment.Jane doesn't even know how. Jane is forced into this without a second thought. It's not until Mr Bingley leaves that she is truly hurt and feels rejected, but mostly, lied to by his sisters's feigned friendship.


message 17: by Puck (new)

Puck (gentlepuck) | 159 comments Deb wrote: "I think we start liking Darcy when we realize that he is liking her. And because we really like her from the start, we can't help but like him for it. The interesting tension created in the book,..."

I liked Darcy when he starting giving Caroline Bingley crap about not being a accomplished woman because she didn't read. Loved him from then on:)


message 18: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Hulst (KimberlyHulst) | 76 comments It seems to me it didn't matter if Mr. Bingley was looking for a wife in the first chapter, just the fact he moved to a new area and was single would be speculation enough for the town to believe it. In that time what other reason would a man move if it wasn't for "wife hunting"?



message 19: by Puck (new)

Puck (gentlepuck) | 159 comments Kimberly wrote: "It seems to me it didn't matter if Mr. Bingley was looking for a wife in the first chapter, just the fact he moved to a new area and was single would be speculation enough for the town to believe i..."

Great point! Why would he buy a house inthe country when he had a place in the city if he wasn't looking to settle down?


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Hello, I'm new to this group so, I'm not sure how this works. Can any of us at anytime ask questions?If so, I have a question.
Do you think elizabeth's first impression of mr. darcy was justified?


message 21: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
You're welcome to ask questions anytime. When you are ready, you can go ahead make comments in the next chapter folders for our discussion also. This is sort of a self-paced discussion. Welcome!




message 22: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Hulst (KimberlyHulst) | 76 comments Miss Bingley's teasing of Darcy's "future marriage" to Elizabeth is meant to make him scoff and bad talk her. But does anyone else think it helps to make his mind up that Elizabeth is a much better option? Also would Miss Bingley be so admit about the teasing if she didn't in some way know she had lost Darcy's attention herself?


message 23: by DebK (new)

DebK | 16 comments Another interesting question might be: Do you think Mr. Darcy was "in want" of a wife? Mr. Bingley seems more receptive and engaging, but Mr. Darcy holds himself back. But why?


message 24: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Hulst (KimberlyHulst) | 76 comments Deb wrote: "Another interesting question might be: Do you think Mr. Darcy was "in want" of a wife? Mr. Bingley seems more receptive and engaging, but Mr. Darcy holds himself back. But why?"

I think that he holds himself back in part because he had seen what had happened to his sister and her being taken in by Wickham and is in some part afraid to be that free with his feelings. He knows that he is a target for women who are just after his money.




message 25: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Vogtman (jessica_vogtman) | 10 comments Kimberly wrote: "Deb wrote: "Another interesting question might be: Do you think Mr. Darcy was "in want" of a wife? Mr. Bingley seems more receptive and engaging, but Mr. Darcy holds himself back. But why?"

I t..."



Interesting question. Could it also be that his responsibilities as the head of his family, large fortune, guardian to his sister, etc. could be holding him back? He is proud and unable to live freely.


message 26: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Hulst (KimberlyHulst) | 76 comments Jessica wrote: "Kimberly wrote: "Deb wrote: "Another interesting question might be: Do you think Mr. Darcy was "in want" of a wife? Mr. Bingley seems more receptive and engaging, but Mr. Darcy holds himself back..."

True.
Let's not forget that is is suppose to be engaged to Lady Catherine de Bourgh 's daughter at this point in the story. He might not even be really thinking that he is needing to be looking for a wife of his own choosing. Nor do we really know what his feelings to Miss Bingley were before that first ball when he meets Elizabeth.




message 27: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Is there a place in the novel that makes us think he was committed to that "they were intended from birth" with Miss de Bourgh? Also, I dont remember getting any sense of attachment to Caroline Bingley either. Was that all just wishes (and delusions!) on that part of the women?

If there is not sense of what Darcy was thinking before maybe that is why Pamela Aidan and others have been so tempted to explore Darcy and his own thoughts in their modern novels.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Mr. Darcy is very independent. I can't believe he'd allow anybody to arrange a marriage for himself. I'm sure the 'engagement' was of Lady de Bourgh's own assumption.


message 29: by DebK (new)

DebK | 16 comments Kimberly wrote: "Jessica wrote: "Kimberly wrote: "Deb wrote: "Another interesting question might be: Do you think Mr. Darcy was "in want" of a wife? Mr. Bingley seems more receptive and engaging, but Mr. Darcy ho..."

Then that leads me to another question: Do we have any reason to believe that he considered himself bound to Miss De Bourgh. I don't see it. He is constrained only by the expectations of others, particularly women, i.e., his mother and Lady Catherine.


message 30: by DebK (new)

DebK | 16 comments Ashley wrote: "Hello, I'm new to this group so, I'm not sure how this works. Can any of us at anytime ask questions?If so, I have a question.
Do you think elizabeth's first impression of mr. darcy was justified?"


Yes -- he insulted her, even if she did laugh it off.



message 31: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 31, 2009 09:21AM) (new)

Deb, i agree. Honestly, if I were at a ball (ok total fantasy here) and a gentleman refused to dance and refused to hold a conversation and then I over hear him insult me, well I wouldn't be too thrilled with him either. I would consider him too proud and look for any reason to continue to dislike him.


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