The thrill of the chase

I doubt that Mr. Darcy ever had to chase a woman in his life.  Using Caroline Bingley as an example, he was usually the one being chased. Blatantly. Until he met Lizzy.

This might be the most brilliant irony in Jane Austen’s prose. The opening line tells us, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

While Mr. Darcy probably wanted a wife on an abstract level, it is more accurate that an unmarried gentlewoman (along with her mother, her father, and probably her entire family) was much more deeply “in want” of a single man of good fortune.

Our gal Lizzy had it figured out.  She recognized Darcy’s dissatisfaction with the women who spoke, dressed, thought, and behaved for his approval alone. So she did the exact opposite. Teased him. Laughed at him. Refused to dance with him. And instead of hating her for it, he persued her harder. She became unforgettable.

I’d say the thrill of the chase made him eventually love her more. Most everything in his life was handed to him on a silver platter, simply by the virtue of him being born.  He had to work at this. She taught him that he had to earn her respect, esteem and love by being a true gentleman.


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