Welcome to our board! Log In Create A New Profile
Use mobile view

Advanced

Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Redson
February 04, 2015 12:07AM
Is Bingley to be admired or scorned?

I am with Elizabeth on this one. She and Darcy argued early on at Netherfield about the meaning of Bingley's nature: Bingley has bragged about his ability to make quick decision and Darcy chides that he does know himself. Darcy is in the middle of saying the Bingley could easily be swayed from his decision.
Quote

... if, as you were mounting your horse, a friend were to say, "Bingley, you had better stay till next week," you would probably do it, you would probably not go -- and, at another word, might stay a month."

"You have only proved by this," cried Elizabeth, "that Mr. Bingley did not do justice to his own disposition. You have shewn him off now much more than he did himself."

"I am exceedingly gratified," said Bingley, "by your converting what my friend says into a compliment on the sweetness of my temper. But I am afraid you are giving it a turn which that gentleman did by no means intend; for he would certainly think the better of me, if under such a circumstance I were to give a flat denial, and ride off as fast as I could."

Now guess who makes each of these statements.

1."To yield readily -- easily -- to the persuasion of a friend is no merit with you."

2. "To yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either."

Ah, the irony. Elizabeth, who will have reason later on in the novel to decry Bingley's being so easily persuaded, makes the first statement. Darcy, who will manipulate Bingley to do what he wants, here says people should decide based on conviction and understanding.

Even though his excuse is that he is saving Bingley from himself, Darcy shamelessly uses the man's pliable nature. Bingley had every intention of returning to Meryton but Darcy and Bingley's sisters wanted to make sure that did not happen.

Quote

The part which I acted is now to be explained. -- His sisters' uneasiness had been equally excited with my own; our coincidence of feeling was soon discovered; and, alike sensible that no time was to be lost in detaching their brother, we shortly resolved on joining him directly in London.

-- We accordingly went -- and there I readily engaged in the office of pointing out to my friend, the certain evils of such a choice. -- I described, and enforced them earnestly.

-- But, however this remonstrance might have staggered or delayed his determination, I do not suppose that it would ultimately have prevented the marriage, had it not been seconded by the assurance, which I hesitated not in giving, of your sister's indifference. He had before believed her to return his affection with sincere, if not with equal, regard.

-- But Bingley has great natural modesty, with a stronger dependence on my judgment than on his own. -- To convince him, therefore, that he had deceived himself, was no very difficult point. To persuade him against returning into Hertfordshire, when that conviction had been given, was scarcely the work of a moment.

This is one of Austen's delicious dilemmas. Bingley is a sweet guy who relied on a friend's judgment and unwittingly breaks the heart of the sweetest girl in Meryton and thereabouts.

In contrast, Darcy does not suffer from Bingley's brand of great natural modesty. Once he has decided he is in love with a girl, he leaps to the conclusion that she must love him to and is patiently hoping for his proposal. Darcy is as wrong as Bingley except that he cannot assume a higher moral ground. His hubris leads him astray rather than any desire to protect the other person.

In Darcy's defense, he backs off quickly when he realizes his attentions are not wanted. Hey, wait--isn't that the same thing Bingley did--back off when he was convinced his attentions were not wanted? So, in my opinion, Bingley is not weak. He is strong enough to think about someone else's feelings, and his mistake is that he listened to Darcy. But Bingley is also young. I imagine he will get more in the habit of taking his own counsel rather than substituting the persuasions of another. In this sense, he is like Anne Elliott. She could be persuaded at nineteen but at twenty-seven, she had grown up enough to trust her own heart and judgment.

Actually, I think that if readers see Bingley as a wimp, then maybe Austen is not such a good writer. She should have given Jane someone better. But I think Austen knew what she was doing and that she was right.
SubjectAuthorPosted

Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

RedsonFebruary 04, 2015 12:07AM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Agnes BeatrixFebruary 12, 2015 04:06PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Jim G.MFebruary 12, 2015 04:52PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Agnes BeatrixFebruary 12, 2015 06:37PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Jim G.MFebruary 12, 2015 08:16PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Agnes BeatrixFebruary 12, 2015 09:51PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Jim G.MFebruary 12, 2015 10:33PM

Pictures! Pictures! (nfm)

Suzanne OFebruary 17, 2015 03:36AM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

BrontesawusFebruary 12, 2015 01:39PM

Alias

Amy I.February 12, 2015 03:30PM

Re: Alias

Jim G.MFebruary 12, 2015 04:32PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

BrontesawusFebruary 12, 2015 03:14PM

I vote wimp

Harvey S.February 11, 2015 08:42PM

Re: but....

Sarah WaldockFebruary 12, 2015 12:57PM

Re: but....

Harvey S.February 14, 2015 04:44PM

Re: luckier than perhaps he deserved.... (nfm)

Sarah WaldockFebruary 16, 2015 01:05AM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

MichelleAnne (not signed in)February 04, 2015 10:33PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

RedsonFebruary 06, 2015 12:11AM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Little NellFebruary 08, 2015 10:38AM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Sandy CFebruary 08, 2015 01:13PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Little NellFebruary 08, 2015 03:47PM

Jane living happily ever after with Bingley

Agnes BeatrixFebruary 10, 2015 02:50PM

Re: Jane living happily ever after with Bingley

Jim G.MFebruary 12, 2015 07:26PM

Re: Jane living happily ever after with Bingley

RedsonFebruary 10, 2015 10:58PM

Re: Jane living happily ever after with Bingley

Agnes BeatrixFebruary 11, 2015 01:45PM

Re: Jane living happily ever after with Bingley

Little NellFebruary 10, 2015 10:42PM

Little Nell, had I seen your post,

RedsonFebruary 11, 2015 01:34AM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

RedsonFebruary 08, 2015 11:36PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Sandy CFebruary 08, 2015 09:34PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Little NellFebruary 08, 2015 09:56PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Jean M.February 11, 2015 01:11AM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

RedsonFebruary 11, 2015 02:08AM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

PeterFebruary 14, 2015 06:53PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Little NellFebruary 14, 2015 07:11PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

PeterFebruary 04, 2015 06:18PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Suzanne OFebruary 04, 2015 07:29PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

gloria L.February 04, 2015 10:07PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

RedsonFebruary 05, 2015 11:29AM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Harvey S.February 11, 2015 10:10PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

RedsonFebruary 12, 2015 11:19PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Harvey S.February 14, 2015 04:39PM

Situation. Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Jim G.MFebruary 13, 2015 12:43PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Mari A.February 04, 2015 08:40PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

PeterFebruary 04, 2015 07:51PM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

Little NellFebruary 04, 2015 08:32AM

Re: Bingley: Wishy-washy Wimp or Sweet-Tempered Champ

RedsonFebruary 04, 2015 11:46AM



Author:

Your Email:


Subject:


Spam prevention:
Please, solve the mathematical question and enter the answer in the input field below. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically.
Question: how much is 12 plus 24?
Message: