Monday, January 29, 2024

Struggling against emotions: Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” (1813) and Pastor Maybold in Thomas Hardy’s “Under the Greenwood Tree” (1872)

In Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" (1813), Mr. Darcy's first proposal to Elizabeth Bennett begins with his "struggles": "In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." She then rejects his proposal (but later accepts his second one). In Thomas Hardy's "Under the Greenwood Tree" (1872), Pastor Maybold's proposal to Fancy Day begins like Darcy's: "[...] I have struggled against my emotion continually, because I have thought that it was not well for me to love you!" Although already engaged to Dick Dewy, Fancy accepts him – but later retracts her acceptance. (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 29 January 2024)

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