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Darcy in Pride and Prejudice Research Papers

The character of Darcy in Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice gives contrast to the sweet innocence of Elizabeth. Paper Masters can explain Darcy's character in a research paper for any American Literature course you have.

Darcy is the second most important character in Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. He is a counterbalance to Elizabeth. Darcy too has a sharp intelligence, though it is not so sharp as Elizabeth's. Whereas Elizabeth's intelligence is quick and lively, Darcy's is broad and deep. Darcy is older and more experienced. Whereas Elizabeth's intelligence gives her a carefree spirit and liveliness, as well as quick powers of perception, Darcy's intelligence grasps the connections among persons and circumstances making for society and controls his behavior to maintain his social position and do what he thinks is right in particular circumstances. Because of his idea of independence, Darcy can appear inconsiderate and even harsh, as he did when he insulted Elizabeth at the ball in town. Darcy's intelligence is tied in with his self-consciousness of his social position. In contrast to Elizabeth's intelligence which makes her spirited and somewhat unpredictable, Darcy's intelligence gives rise to the bearing he tries to maintain, even at times to the point of impressing this bearing on others by being inconsiderate.





Intelligent – Sharp and Cutting

Intelligent – Quick and Lively


Older – Experienced

Age - Innocence

Moral Character

Prideful and Socially Superior

Balanced and Restrained


Darcy in Pride and Prejudice

At the ball in town, before he insulted Elizabeth, Darcy is described as "the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world." In this behavior, Darcy exhibits an independence of his own. But it is a different independence than Elizabeth's. Where Elizabeth is set off from all of the other characters because of her balance, restrained feelings, and intelligence, Darcy is set off from them by his sense of social superiority. He kept mostly to "his own party," i. e., the group of persons he came with. He is set off from those who are not in his party, and he seems to know this. In fact, his intentional insult of Elizabeth demonstrates not only that he knows he is setting himself off from others he does not consider his social equals by keeping mostly to his own group, but he also goes beyond this to let others know in no uncertain terms that he considers himself superior to them.

But there is more to Darcy than exceptional pride and what seems to be deliberate offensiveness. He also has a sound sense of responsibility. This comes out in the course of the novel, and is seen to be his most representative trait; although it does not block out the pride. His pride, in fact, can be seen as an aspect of this strong sense of responsibility.

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