The most legendary literary couple has to be Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen’s evergreen masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice. In fact, Pride and Prejudice is so popular that even those who haven’t read it know about Darcy and Elizabeth thanks to its countless movie remakes. What makes this story so captivating and attractive? Jane Austen’s impeccable wit and sarcasm, the variety of couples, and their personalities make Pride and Prejudice the famed love story it is today.
Austen paints vivid and deep characters. When they’re coupled, the results are very dynamic.
First and foremost, let’s commence this couple conversation with Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. It is often quoted that opposites attract. Mrs. Bennet is extremely energetic, determined, overdramatic, and headstrong. On the other hand, Mr. Bennet can be found either in his study with a book or in the living area with another book. He is reserved and thoughtful but knows how to counter Mrs. Bennet’s remarks with a clean wit. This exchange encapsulates their dynamic relationship:
“You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves.”
“You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at last.”
It is instances such as this and Mr. Bennet’s proper sarcasm against Mrs. Bennet’s concern over silly matters which make this couple a core part of the story. They balance each other out perfectly, making readers laugh every time. Their conversations are delightful to watch in motion pictures because they’re such a relatable, hilarious duo.
Next up, we have the charming and adorable Mr. Bingley and Jane. The manner in which their relationship plays out is smooth and mysterious. The reader knows they are in love and will end up together in the end, but the two have their fair share of doubts. Their interactions are proper, polite, and playful. When Jane falls ill at his manor during lunch with his sisters towards the beginning of their relationship, the concern he expresses towards her is pure and genuine, displaying the adoration he has towards her and truly setting the scene for the rest of their relationship. Though Bingley is pretty much the ideal man (in my personal opinion), he has one fatal flaw: he’s easily influenced by others’ opinions and makes decisions based on their input rather than on solitary discernment and conviction.
Darcy and Bingley are the best of friends, and when Bingley consults Darcy about his relationship with Jane, Darcy expresses doubts, causing Bingley to run away from Jane until he comes to his senses and hurries back to Netherfield, drops on one knee, and marries Jane.
This couple contributes to the attachment fans have to this novel because they know what is going on inside the hearts of both Jane and Bingley – they’re just waiting for it to unfold. The excitement over Bingley’s realization and Jane’s relief is tangible every single time because it is so genuine, innocent, precious, and relatable. Many have wondered whether they let “the one” go, but Bingley and Jane’s story illustrates how one man successfully caught his catch. It is so uplifting and joyous and it makes hearts happy.
Lastly, we have the famous Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. At the beginning of the novel, the two harbor immediate animosity toward each other. Darcy, a British elite with a jaw-dropping salary of 10,000 which all the ladies covet, initially appears to be a stuck up, pretentious man whose attractive looks by no means resemble his inner heart. He holds contempt against dancing and small-town parties and possesses ridiculously high standards. Elizabeth Bennet, on the other hand, is a much more modest soul who loves her town but who also inherited her father’s wit and has her own share of pride. Her pride fuels the prejudice she harbors towards Mr. Darcy and his arrogance. Darcy’s ego is particularly clear when Bingley attempts to convince Darcy to dance with Elizabeth, and she overhears Darcy’s response: “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me.” After hearing this, Elizabeth vows to “never dance with him.”
Their relationship throughout the novel is complicated. They continue running into each other and having awkward interactions, but each one sparks additional interest, slowly unraveling Elizabeth’s promise to never dance – or to fall in love – with the prideful Mr. Darcy. Eventually, Mr. Darcy gathers up enough courage to propose, but, disastrously, he puts down the entire Bennet family in the process. Elizabeth wholeheartedly refuses.
What makes this couple so intriguing is their distinct differences and how love comes in and softens each of their hearts, both the pride and prejudice. Both Elizabeth and Darcy realize that there is more to each other than meets the eye. It takes time, but eventually, they see each other as people with flaws and qualities, and fall in love. The novel culminates with their long-awaited marriage which ends the novel beautifully, giving readers a sense of closure.
Among countless other elements, the relationships of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Jane and Bingley, and Darcy and Elizabeth make Pride and Prejudice the renowned novel that it is. Everyone should read this book and experience the wonder of words Austen offers. To end, I want to share my favorite Austen quote which happens to be very fitting for the romantic month of February:
“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.” – Jane Austen
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Classics). Penguin, 2011.
“Pride and Prejudice Tv Show: Pride and Prejudice (1995 TV Mini-Series): Pride, Prejudice, Wedding Movies, Darcy Pride, Prejudice.” Pinterest, www.pinterest.com/pin/292874781990694053/?lp=true.