Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice Chapter 34 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
"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." (34.4)
Aw, so romantic! Or is it? When Mr. Darcy tells Lizzy that he loves her, he leads with: "I didn't want to tell you this," and the subtext is, "because I totally think you're beneath me." Remind us again why people put this line on coffee cups?
He concluded with representing to her the strength of that attachment which, in spite of all his endeavours, he had found impossible to conquer; and with expressing his hope that it would now be rewarded by her acceptance of his hand. As he said this, she could easily see that he had no doubt of a favourable answer. He spoke of apprehension and anxiety, but his countenance expressed real security. (34.6)
What does Darcy's boneheaded proposal have to do with marriage? It shows us exactly why he's not ready to tie the knot. He hasn't learned to respect Elizabeth yet, much less think about her feelings. A happy marriage takes a lot more work from both partners.
He spoke well; but there were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed; and he was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride. His sense of her inferiority—of its being a degradation—of the family obstacles which had always opposed to inclination, were dwelt on with a warmth which seemed due to the consequence he was wounding, but was very unlikely to recommend his suit. (34.5)
Excuse us while we snicker for a minute. Darcy's proposal to Elizabeth is more about how he's losing class by proposing to her than it is about he, you know, loves her. Smooth move, guy.