Study Guide

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Love

By Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Love

Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her. He really believed, that were it not for the inferiority of her connections, he should be in some danger of falling in love, and were it not for his considerable skill in the deadly arts, that he should be in danger of being bested by hers for never had he seen a lady more gifted in the ways of vanquishing the undead. (10.29)

Love is a beautiful—and dangerous—thing. Mr. Darcy realizes he's falling in love with Elizabeth not just because she's really, really good looking, but also because she might also be able to kick his butt.

"You forget, sir, that I am a student of Shaolin! Master of the seven-starred fist! I am perfectly serious in my refusal. You could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the world who could make you so. Nay, were your friend Lady Catherine to know me, I am persuaded she would find me in every respect ill qualified for the situation, for I am a warrior, sir, and shall be until my last breath is offered to God." (19.13)

Mr. Collins really is a dope, isn't he? He can't possibly be in love with Elizabeth, but he insists that she isn't seriously refusing to marry him. She finally has to lay down the law and tell him—in the nicest way possible—that she's a warrior who could never, ever in a million, billion years make him happy.

"I am not romantic, you know; I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins' character, connection, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state—especially since, oh! Elizabeth, I beg you will not be angry with me or cut me down where I stand! But Elizabeth, I can have no secrets from you—I have been stricken." (22.19)

Okay, so it's not exactly true love between Charlotte and Mr. Collins. She has something else in mind—she just wants a comfortable home before she succumbs to the zombie plague. Is that so crazy? Does everyone need to marry for love?

"I am a warrior, madam: survivor of the thirty-six chambers of Shaolin, beholder of the scrolls of Gan Xian Tan. I do not seek love, and at present I am not in love with Mr. Wickham; though he is, beyond all comparison, the most agreeable man I ever saw—in form, character, and musketry. However, I see the imprudence of an attachment with one so deeply in want of fortune."(26.7)

When Mrs. Gardiner advises Elizabeth not to fall in love with Mr. Wickham (he doesn't have any money, so it would be a really bad idea), Elizabeth tells her aunt she'll do her best. After all, she's a highly-skilled zombie slayer. She can control her own mushy feelings, right?

What remained of Charlotte would liked to have believed this change the effect of love, and the object of that love her friend Eliza[…] Mr. Darcy certainly looked at her friend a great deal, but the expression of that look was disputable. It was an earnest, steadfast gaze, but she often doubted whether there were much admiration in it, and sometimes it seemed nothing but absence of mind. And upon imagining Mr. Darcy's mind, her thoughts would again turn to the subject of chewing on his salty, cauliflower-like brain. (32.30)

Charlotte didn't marry for love, but she seems to know a whole lot more about it than Elizabeth does. She's the first one to pick up on Mr. Darcy's growing attraction, while Elizabeth writes it off as nonsense. Charlotte is obviously too distracted by her desire for brains to know anything about love, right? That's what Elizabeth thinks, anyway.

That she should receive an offer of marriage from Mr. Darcy! That she should fail to kill him when her honor demanded it! That he should have been in love with her for so many months! So much in love as to wish to marry her in spite of all the objections which had made him prevent his friend's marrying her sister, and which must appear at least with equal force in his own case—was almost incredible! It was gratifying to have inspired unconsciously so strong an affection. (34.31)

Okay, so Elizabeth has a lot of complicated feelings here. On the one hand, she clearly hates Mr. Darcy and wants to see his head on her mantle. On the other hand, she realizes that he's super rich, so it's kind of flattering that he was secretly in love with her all this time. It's like the most popular guy in high school had a crush on you the entire school year and you just found out…and then drop-kicked him to the gym floor.

"Why is he so altered? From what can it proceed? It cannot be for me—it cannot be for my sake that his manners are thus softened. It is impossible that he should still love me, unless, by kicking him into the mantelpiece during our battle at Hunsford, I affected some severe change in his countenance." (43.55)

Hey, you never know what a good kick to the head will do. Elizabeth runs into Mr. Darcy while she's at Pemberley, and he's all gentlemanly and sweet. No way he's still in love with her, though. That would be soooo crazy…

She respected, she esteemed, she was grateful to him, she felt a real interest in his welfare; where she had been taught to ignore all feeling, all excitement—she now found herself with an excess of both. How strange! For the more she dwelled on the subject, the more powerful she felt; not for her mastery of the deadly arts, but for her power over the heart of another. What a power it was! But how to wield it? Of all the weapons she had commanded, Elizabeth knew the least of love; and of all the weapons in the world, love was the most dangerous. (44.15)

Poor Elizabeth. She can behead a zombie without breaking a sweat, but she can't quite get a handle on this whole love thing. Wow. Love really is a dangerous game.

She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. […] What a pair of warriors they would make! Sparring by the river at Pemberley; crossing the Altai Mountains in a fine coach on their way to Kyoto or Shanghai—their children eager to master death as their mother and father had before them. (50.15)

This is kind of sad. Elizabeth hears that Lydia has run away with Mr. Wickham and thinks that's scared Mr. Darcy off for good. Of course this is the moment when she decides she's head over heels in love with him. She pictures a whole life complete with little zombie-slaying children. It figures: we always want the thing we can't have.

"A man who has been refused with foot and fist! How could I ever be foolish enough to expect a renewal of his love? Is there one among the sex who would not protest against such a weakness as a second proposal to the same woman? He should sooner make an offer to a zombie!" (54.17)

Elizabeth's got a point here. She made her hatred for Mr. Darcy pretty clear. Is he really gonna come crawling back now? Could he possibly love her after everything? (Spoiler alert: he totally does.)