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

Advanced

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

Redson
February 06, 2015 12:11AM
MichelleAnne (not signed in) Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Actually, I believe he was a mix of both. He
> was rightly characterized as sweet-tempered
> and modest. He coild have stayed away from Jane to
> avoid putting her in a positon where she felt she
> had to say yes to a man because a marriage was
> what her mother wanted. However, he was also
> wishy-washy. Bingley did not have a strong enough
> conviction to return to Jane to determine for
> himself if, at best, she really did love him and
> at worst, that she liked him enough to fall
> in love with him. Perhaps, if he knew her better
> he could have judged better.
>
> Austen didn't characterize Bingley's actions as
> reprehensible, but neither did she must have felt
> them significant enough to have Darcy to apologize
> and for Bingley to be angry (albeit briefly) about
> Darcy's manipulation--or was he angry about the
> concealment of Jane's presence than he was about
> Darcy's incorrect interpretation of Jane's
> feelings?



I went back to the text to check before I offered an opinion on your question. It would seem that Jane blamed Bingley's sisters for failing to tell him that she had called upon them. Of course, she wanted Bingley to know because if he was uncertain of her interest, then her seeking out his sisters in London was a clear indication that she wanted to see him again. At the least, had he known he would have been emboldened to ask her about her feelings, to inquire more closely, rather than to take someone else's words that she did not want his attentions.

Here is what Jane told Elizabeth once she and Bingley were engaged:
Quote

"He has made me so happy," said she, one evening, "by telling me that he was totally ignorant of my being in town last spring! I had not believed it possible."

"I suspected as much," replied Elizabeth. "But how did he account for it?"

"It must have been his sister's doing. They were certainly no friends to his acquaintance with me, which I cannot wonder at, since he might have chosen so much more advantageously in many respects. But when they see, as I trust they will, that their brother is happy with me, they will learn to be contented, and we shall be on good terms again; though we can never be what we once were to each other."

Now, did Elizabeth divulge that her dear Darcy also knew and kept it to himself? We cannot be sure from the text,. but the answer seems to be that Elizabeth did not fully divulge Darcy's role. Indeed, right after hearing Jane and Bingley became engaged:

Quote

Elizabeth, who was left by herself, now smiled at the rapidity and ease with which an affair was finally settled, that had given them so many previous months of suspense and vexation.

"And this," said she, "is the end of all his friend's anxious circumspection! of all his sister's falsehood and contrivance! the happiest, wisest, most reasonable end!"

I could find no place where Jane seems angry at Darcy for the role he played. Perhaps she accepted, as did both Charlotte and Elizabeth, that her diffidence was hard for a stranger to read and she forgave him for thinking she did not care enough for his friend. Given that Bingley and Darcy are great friends, perhaps Jane made a strategic decision to let bygones be bygones. After all, Darcy had become the beloved of her most beloved sister, so would it have been worth it to hold a grudge?

The Bingley sisters, on the other hand, were a different matter. I think sweet and forgiving Jane can be forgiven, indeed, applauded (!) for saying she would never trust them as she once would have. I know that in saying this, someone may write that there was no difference between the "heroic" Darcy and the "villainous" Caroline (and her henchwoman, Louisa). Darcy and Caroline could be argued to have made exactly the same mistake and to have done it for exactly the same reason, namely, they feared for Bingley's best interests.

As subtext, each could also be said to have less noble and more self-interested reasons: Darcy feared that Bingley's connection to the distasteful Bennets would put him, Darcy, in the path of a woman he was trying not to like, and Caroline wished her brother to provide her a better social connection with his marriage than a family of country no-accounts (respectable land-owning gentry but relatively low in rank and often badly behaved in person.)

It can even be argued that the reason we revere Darcy and revile Caroline (at least, some readers) is that she makes ugly remarks about Elizabeth, who is the reader's favorite and the heroine of the book. Caroline teases Darcy about his growing attachment to Elizabeth ("fine eyes" and "how soon am I to wish you joy"), never really thinking Darcy would ever pursue a woman from such a family. And, when she can all but see the handwriting on the wall, Caroline's anger leads her to tease Darcy in a way that makes him finally snap back. He is not uncouth or rude but he finds exactly the comment that will cut Caroline to the bone.

But even taking Caroline's teases, are they really any different from the teases that Elizabeth probably makes when she and Darcy and married? That is, both women like to tease. Given that Caroline has lost in the end, because she did not get Darcy and all she is left with is the consolation prize of being able to visit his great estate where he is happily ensconced forever with his wife, maybe we readers should show Caroline more compassion. Yes, we know nothing specifically good of her, but has she really been so bad? (Despite my own argument, I personally do not like the character and I love stories in which she acts badly and gets punished. It is not the most noble of sentiments, I know.)

Besides, I also agree with Elizabeth's assessment that Darcy's mistake had been "anxious circumspection" while the Bingley sisters' mistakes were in "falsehood and contrivance." They (Caroline) wrote to Jane to try to get her to believe Bingley did not care for him when they knew their brother had every intention of returning to Netherfield -- and to Jane. It was their persuasion (along with Darcy) that kept him away. But that letter in which Jane is supposed to be made to feel less than Georgiana is cruel. The letter is unforgivable, and they compound it when they try to ignore Jane's London visit, with Caroline finally returning it in a fashion that is also cruel. For me, at least, this is why I always like seeing Caroline get comeuppance--but I can certainly understand the argument that she has done pretty much the same thing Darcy has.
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 14 plus 11?
Message: