Truths of Life in Pride and Prejudice

Every event in life expresses a truth. Great literature is rich with them. There are hundreds of such instances in Pride & Prejudice.

  1. People project what they are on to another person: The story itself starts with the famous statement about a single man with a large fortune being in want of a wife.
  2. The English believe that a woman must be handled softly: Mr. Bennet refuses to shout at his wife for her foolishness and embarrassing behavior.
  3. Children represent parents. They express the qualities which the parents don’t express: Lydia and Kitty express Mrs. Bennet
  4. The first child takes after the father. The mother is attached to the last child. The father’s personality is expressed in the older children, the mother’s is expressed in the later children: The delight which Elizabeth takes in teasing Darcy is an expression of the same trait expressed by her father’s when he teases his wife.
  5. Make of virtue of necessity: Mary
  6. Man criticizes himself in criticizing others: Mr. Bennet
  7. In exposing his wife, he exposes himself: Mr. Bennet
  8. Tolerance of another is, in practice, criticism: Mr. Bennet’s attitude to his wife and younger daughters
  9. The less intelligent is more dynamic: Mrs. Bennet
  10. The physical refuses to learn: Mrs. Bennet
  11. Children will never be able to see the defects of the parents: Elizabeth fails to see Mr. Bennet’s sarcastic humor and passivity as defects until catastrophe strikes.
  12. The parents will never be able to see the defects of the children: Mrs. Bennet never feels Lydia has made a mistake or lacks character.
  13. To see own one’s defect as an endowment is human nature: Lydia
  14. Liking makes you oblivious of the shortcomings in other people: Elizabeth’s attitude toward Wickham.
  15. Education cannot compensate for basic deficiencies in nature. It rather exaggerates them: Mr. Collins.
  16. Smallness of the mind sees its defects as endowments: Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine, Mrs. Bennet.
  17. The physical (consciousness or parts of being in us) loves drama: Mrs. Bennet is very physical
  18. The urge of the physical is irresistible: Lydia cannot contain her impulses.
  19. Self-sufficiency is stupidity: Lady Catherine.
  20. Stupidity expresses as authoritativeness. Authority of a stupid person believes the world will obey him: Lady Catherine’s wish to determine the weather the next day.
  21. Shyness is always mistaken for pride: Georgiana is mistakenly described as proud
  22. Pride is indifference to the value of manners and unwillingness to learn manners: Darcy is accepted by his tenants as an important man, so he has no need or incentive to acquire good manners. He confesses later to Elizabeth that he had been selfish all his life in practice and taught to think meanly of the rest of the world.
  23. A well-bred man easily enters conversation: Fitzwilliam
  24. Life rewards good will: Charlotte’s goodwill for Elizabeth, her eagerness to promote a relationship with Darcy -- results in her marriage to Collins, which is a reward from her point of view.
  25. The snob delights in servility: Collins.
  26. Opposite qualities can be expressed by the same character: Wickham displays extreme charm, consideration and politeness in relating to Elizabeth, combined with ruthless calculation in his pursuit of Mary King and heartless disregard for the consequences of his attempted elopement with Georgiana and his successful elopement with Lydia.
  27. Countenance counts: Wickham is valued for his appearance and behavior rather than banished for his low character.
  28. Rationality of the superstitious is self-righteousness: Elizabeth has superstitious notions about romance and marriage but thinks herself very rational. She does not see that Darcy’s concern for Bingley is justified. Neither Bingley nor Jane have demonstrated any passion for one another. There is no love or obligation on either side, only a superficial liking. Bingley can form a much more prestigious alliance and avoid relationship with an uncultured vulgar family. Elizabeth herself has mentioned to Jane that she is the only beautiful girl in the family and if she marries well, all the other girls, Elizabeth included, will have better prospects. If Elizabeth can think socially about the prospects for her and her sisters, why cannot Darcy thing the same way on behalf of Bingley?
  29. Initiative cancels: Mrs. Bennet’s efforts to promote the relationship between Jane and Bingley result in Bingley’s departure for London.
  30. Parents are partial without exception: Mr. Bennet favors his elder children. Mrs. Bennet favors the younger.
  31. Education embellishes: Bingley’s sisters may lack good intentions or positive personalities, but mere education gives polish to the surface, imparting an aura of respectability and acceptability.
  32. Good manners without character is hypocrisy: Caroline.
  33. The more you try to attract, the more it moves away: Caroline’s strenuous efforts to attract Darcy and mock at his attraction for Elizabeth are counterproductive.
  34. One cannot escape an interested woman: Darcy successfully conceals his attraction to Elizabeth from her, her family and even from Bingley. Only two people see the truth. Caroline sees it because she is jealous and wants him for herself. Charlotte sees it because she has common sense.
  35. Physical self-sufficiency invariably hurts itself by initiative. When a small man tries to offend another, he ends up offending himself: Caroline.
  36. No event occurs without announcing itself sufficiently early: Elizabeth had ample occasion to suspect Wickham’s true character long before calamity struck. In there very first meeting he told her that because of his gratitude to Darcy’s father he would never speak against the son, but then proceeded to do just that. He also said that nothing could keep him from the ball at Netherfield, but then he did not come. Elizabeth might naturally suspect Caroline’s motives when she spoke of Wickham’s bad past, but she also ignored the blatant fact of his mercenary pursuit of Miss King and even justified it on his behalf. Darcy’s letter at Rosings was only icing on the cake, but still she was reluctant to believe because she was still attracted to Wickham. That is the manner in which we disregard life’s warnings when it does not suit us.
  37. Man’s subconscious does not miss the offense intended: Elizabeth cannot miss the fact that Mr. Collins’s letter about Lydia intends to offend in retribution for the offense Collins felt when Elizabeth rejected his suit and her sisters laughed. Subconscious understanding is instantaneous.
  38. Neglect can end in accomplishment: Neglect of Mary was a spur to development of her musical abilities.
  39. Accomplishment seeks display: Mary has an irresistible urge to play and sing for an audience.
  40. Marriages are decided on the basis of pretty faces: Jane and Bingley are instantly attracted to one another. It means, handsome countenance is a social complement. Human life has not developed yet to make marriage a psychological complement. Had it been so, romantic marriages would be between ugly people.
  41. Society develops its institutions based on physical sensations: The institution of marriage is based on sensations of attraction.
  42. Every major event, positive or negative can be traced to a small, significant event earlier: Elizabeth’s withholding the information from her father about Wickham made possible Lydia’s elopement. A corresponding positive event in Elizabeth’s life is when she felt gratitude to Darcy after reading his letter and again after reading Mrs. Gardiner’s letter about how Lydia was finally found and married by Darcy’s efforts.
  43. Attraction is social, not emotional: There is no love felt by Jane or Bingley or Elizabeth or Lydia or Wickham. The attraction was clearly marriage and only marriage. In Darcy’s case, the source of the attraction to Elizabeth was not marriage, but it was not love either. It was passion of Level 6 (the physical vital center) which saved his individual property. He was attracted to her fine eyes, to the vital energy and strength he felt in her. Incidentally it was Pemberley which brought about the change in Elizabeth’s mind. For him, the motivating factor was the saving of his personal property and by extension, saving the aristocracy of England. Had it been love on the part of Darcy and on the part of Elizabeth, English aristocracy would have been transformed.
  44. Any insult aimed at someone will never be forgotten. It will surface when there is scope. The capacity to forget an insult is a major step toward spiritual transformation: Mr. Collins remembers how he was scorned by the Bennets and delights in retribution. He reacts twice by sending two letters.
  45. Cynicism can never miss an occasion to be subtlety offensive: Caroline, Mr. Bennet and Mr. Collins all display this trait.
  46. Cheerfulness is a greater foundation for social accomplishment: The family of Longbourn is a very happy one. When Lydia came back nobody found fault with her. Even the village of Merton, though anxious to see Lydia lost, does not seem to be vicious or malicious in its active gossip. The Bennet family’s native sense of cheerfulness is a principle reason for the positive final outcome.
  47. What seems socially outrageous or objectionable often has an underlying social sanction: In Darcy accepting Elizabeth as his bride, he is driven to also accept Wickham and his doings. Had Wickham succeeded in eloping with Georgiana, he would have spent all her money and ruined Pemberley. The rightness of that course of social evolution is underlined by Lydia’s marriage to him.
  48. Small details are significant: Jane contributes to her ultimate success in marrying Bingley by never blaming him for abandoning her.
  49. A positive atmosphere leads to accomplishment: In the entire story, except in Caroline and Wickham, there is an absence of deceit, cunning and falsehood. The novel depicts a clean atmosphere. That accounts for the positive ultimate outcome.
  50. When the atmosphere is positive, even blatant foolishness and blind stupidity may escape disaster: When Lydia won the fish in the lottery ticket, on her way back she was talking about it so loudly that Elizabeth was not able to speak to Jane about Wickham. Lydia was talking so loudly that her mind was shut out. In Gardner’s house, Lydia says her mind was like that. She said she did not hear what Mrs. Gardner said. After marriage, she continued to be so at Longbourn. In spite of such coarseness, she was rewarded with marriage. That is the atmosphere of the story. Loud-mouthed Lydia can still be made successful with a shameless Wickham. Darcy and Elizabeth had to act within those limits for a face saving exercise. What a passionate Darcy, longing for a pair of bright eyes, could accomplish within those limitations, is explained by the story.
  51. Even profound psychological growth may not eliminate temperamental sensitivities: It is most rewarding to see that after Darcy’s engagement, in spite of all the psychological growth and the transformation he had undergone, neither he nor Elizabeth were able to stand the exhibitionism of Mrs. Bennet and her sister.
  52. Actions express a subtle knowledge of future circumstances: Charlotte’s initiative to foster the relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy was an initiative in the subtle plane to attract a marriage proposal from Collins.
  53. Negative acts can be rectified up to a certain point. Beyond that lapses or errors inevitably lead to failure: Mr. Bennet has erred in marrying Mrs. Bennet because of her beautiful face and dowry. He has to put up with her uncultured behavior and endure it in his younger daughters as well. His error in marrying her leads to further difficulties. Her vulgar exhibitionism which startled and offended the whole Netherfield household was a major reason for the sudden departure of Bingley’s family to London. Her insistent encouragement of Lydia was the reason for Lydia’s trip to Brighton and her elopement. In spite of Mr. Bennet’s initial error which was repeated by Mrs. Bennet so many times, he managed to salvage the situation and save the family from ruin. He did that by psychologically reversing his earlier error at several points. He genuinely acknowledges that Elizabeth had given him good advice when she warned him against sending Lydia to Brighton and acknowledge full responsibility for that decision. He also accepted responsibility to repay Mr. Gardiner for the expenditure on Lydia’s marriage. Events in the story show that it was still within his power to avoid calamity and get his daughters married, in spite of his initial error in marrying Mrs. Bennet.
  54. Lower impulses have an uncontrollable urge to cancel achievement: After they are engaged, Elizabeth wants Darcy to tell her what it was about her that he liked. She insists on his answering in a teasing manner. Her insistence is in danger of disillusioning him about their engagement. Elizabeth’s behavior in this incident is a close reflection of her mother’s character. Mrs. Bennet never knows when to keep quiet. She thinks she can do no wrong. She loves to press her case. She did it when Bingley was paying attention to Jane and canceled the initial progress in their relationship. Elizabeth is far more sophisticated but it is the same insistent trait that presses on for its own satisfaction. She forgets that even now Darcy is marrying her in spite of her family background, not because of it. As a woman it is pleasing for her to hear that Darcy is so very much attracted to her that he has ignored all other considerations. She wants to be flattered. However deeply taken with her Darcy may be, no man likes that to be pointed out. She is in danger of offending him just as her mother has done. Elizabeth’s impertinence in insisting that Darcy discloses why he liked her was a foolish attempt that could have opened up a old wound which he had closed in himself. It was not as if he was in love with her entire family. He maintained his attraction for her in spite of her family. At that point Darcy pleads ignorance. That is unconsciousness. It is grace preserving the engagement against her prodding to spoil what has happened. Caroline shows the same insistence on pressing her case against Elizabeth to Darcy, but she has no hold on Darcy or strength in the relationship to support it, so the more she presses the closer Darcy moves to Elizabeth.
  55. Man loves to receive help from someone above him, not his equal or his inferior. A small man by virtue of circumstances is in a position to offer a handsome help to somebody above him. It is socially considered to be very offensive: Collins’s offer of help to the Bennets by wanting to marry one of the girls evoked no response from the family, except from the mother. Foolishness thinks itself resourceful and magnanimous when it is really offensive.
  56. No man wants any advice even in the shape of information from any other man whoever it is: It was Bingley who first ‘introduced’ Elizabeth to Darcy. In response to that act which Darcy resented, Darcy withholds from Bingley the information that Jane is in London.
  57. Difficulty in seeing the other person’s point of view: Elizabeth is outraged at Charlotte for accepting Collins’ marriage proposal. As the daughter of an English gentleman of means with a cultivated mind, Elizabeth cannot imagine marrying a stupid man whom she could not respect. She does not stop to consider that Charlotte’s position is very different. Her father was in business, she lacks the fine breeding of Elizabeth and at age 27 is very unlikely to get another opportunity for marriage. She does not have Elizabeth’s romantic notions of marriage. She wants stability and security which Collins offers. In this respect Elizabeth is irrational and superstitious. Jane is better able to appreciate Charlotte’s point of view and argues in her favor.
  58. Self-restraint and self-control are high marks of culture to which life responds: When Lydia disclosed that she knew a secret about Darcy’s role in her wedding to Wickham which she had promised not to reveal, Jane replied that she did not want to know since Lydia had given a promise. Elizabeth also restrained herself from asking questions. The capacity to Honor someone’s privacy in an issue where the entire family fortune is involved shows remarkable self-control and culture. Perhaps for Jane it is merely good behavior. But for Elizabeth, the whole existence and security of her family may depend on what Lydia reveals. It does not seem to have struck Elizabeth that Darcy might have gone to London in search of Lydia for Elizabeth’s sake until Mrs. Gardiner explained it to her in response to her letter. In some countries, Elizabeth would have dragged Lydia to her room and physically shaken her until she revealed the information. The story truly depicts the development of character in England. That is why it is difficult to change character. Because the restraint of Elizabeth was great, the reward she received was great.
  59. Respect and freedom are the basis for development of individuality: The good will of Mrs. Gardiner for Elizabeth was genuine and really great. It is right that such a prize: marriage to Darcy -- comes to Elizabeth through her. It as a response to Elizabeth’s own good will for Jane. The self-discipline the aunt and uncle show in not asking her about Darcy at Lambton is a rare behavior. For the individuality of a person to be developed, the greatest possible freedom is necessary. The respect which the Gardiner’s show for Elizabeth’s privacy and freedom, their decision not to intrude on her privacy by asking questions or even hinting at her relationship with Darcy, reflect the general social freedom within the family necessary for one to develop individuality. They are inconceivable in many other countries. Individuality is so sensitive and tender an emotion that it cannot brook the presence of one vibration of authority.
  60. Character of truth: Georgiana tells Elizabeth her brother never exaggerates. For one who normally exaggerates, this statement of Georgiana must be striking. The capacity not to exaggerate is an attitude that should have been self-developed by the person. That means Darcy was a character of truth. Therefore he was able to see the truth about himself when Elizabeth abused him. It is also true that in spite of that much of truth in him, he demeaned himself by concealing the fact of Jane’s presence in London from Bingley.
  61. Opinions are powerful either to accomplish or to prevent accomplishment: To start with, Jane could not suspect Caroline of deceit. That wrong opinion of Caroline stood in the way of her relationship with Bingley. She could not conceive, as Elizabeth did, that Bingley was being manipulated by his sister. Jane concluded instead that he really did not care for her. Later, Jane admits that she had been deceived about Caroline. Her mind was disabused of that naive opinion. In that way she prepared her mind for receiving Bingley.
  62. The blending of the classes is social evolution: In the last page, the story speaks of reconciliation with Lady Catherine. It confirms that Darcy worked for the preservation of the aristocracy, not its destruction. The events represent not so much aristocracy descending as the other classes rising to a higher level.
  63. The establishment is respected even when it is defeated: Lady Catherine, after she was vanquished by Elizabeth, says she would not send her compliments to Mrs. Bennet and she would not take leave of her. It is a historical experience that the dying forces survive for a very long time in spirit, as we see the British legacy in India or the reverence for Europe which still remains in America. That is the truth of the dying forces that once ruled the society.
  64. Jumping to conclusions from a single incident can lead to conclusions that are completely erroneous: At Pemberley, Elizabeth comments that Darcy’s behavior is much changed from their previous meetings when she had described him as proud. Mr. Gardiner explains that people of high status are often capable of sudden changes in behavior and suggests Darcy may be whimsical. His conclusion is based on a single impression which is not sufficient for an intelligent conclusion. Darcy’s position was not something typical or common. No other character has undergone such a drastic transformation as Darcy has done. To Mr. Gardiner it looks whimsical. But in practice Darcy proves that he is not whimsical.
  65. Subconscious awareness determines our conscious attitude: The invitation of the Gardiners to the Lakes was vastly interesting to her. She was almost inspired. "Her enthusiasm burst forth." Now we know her enthusiasm was not for the Lakes. Her subconscious awareness of Pemberley released that enthusiasm.
  66. Help once received is returned by betrayal or hurt. As long as there is a vestige of ego, this rule holds good: Wickham was unprincipled, capable of deceit. His mother was extravagant and there was no money to educate him. The elder Darcy educated him. The sense of obligation which Wickham should have felt to Darcy’s family converted itself into falsehood. The rule is true when the ego is present. When ego is not there, even in a trace, help is the interaction of souls which increases love.
  67. Response of life to goodwill: There is no mention in the book about Charlotte going to Pemberley after Elizabeth’s marriage. In the normal course of things, the one person Elizabeth would invite to Pemberley would be Charlotte. It is not possible because she has to come there with Collins. Charlotte’s good will was repaid by life by her marriage to Collins. She got what was offered to Elizabeth and there is no excess to be compensated. In the subtle plane, Charlotte subconsciously worked to marry Darcy and Elizabeth, so that Collins could receive some promotion. Once a mercenary calculation of personal benefit enters, the genuine good will Charlotte had for Elizabeth is diminished in power.
  68. Compromise with lower ways of life makes an average man cynical: This statement explains Mr. Bennet’s life. His philosophy was to resign to the inevitable evil. He knew by experience that the more he resists it, the stronger it will grow. He did it for 25 years.
  69. What man cannot rightfully achieve, life achieves by its initiative: It is Lydia’s elopement that made Mr. Bennet stop his destructive indulgence of his wife. When Lydia ran away, he put his foot down and said no more of that. The moment he asserted his authority, Lydia’s infamy was reversed and invitations opened up to marriages with Bingley and Darcy.
  70. Popularity among uninformed people is no compliment. The more you are disliked by low people, the more your opportunities will open up: Elizabeth was least liked by her mother and was even disliked by her. Her mother’s intense liking of Lydia got her a worthless philanderer. Her mother’s intense dislike of Elizabeth made Darcy fall in love with her. What is the subtle mechanism of these processes? When a low vibration likes, the object of liking becomes a low vibration. The result is appropriately a low vibration. When a low vibration intensely hates, it creates the opposite vibration in the object of hatred. The very intensity of the dislike of a low person creates an intensity of the opposite vibration in the object of hatred. It makes a Darcy fall in love with Elizabeth.
  71. Selfishness appears as rationality: On her return from Lambton, Elizabeth expressed more concerned about Jane’s health and beauty than about Lydia’s elopement. This expresses Elizabeth’s good will for Jane. Early in the story, she told Jane that she is the only pretty girl in the family. If Jane marries well, opportunities would open up for other girls. It is good will based on understanding. Darcy’s effort to persuade Bingley to drop Jane is a reasonable course for people in their position. Because it doesn’t suit her purpose, Elizabeth resents Darcy’s interference. She feels that she is being quite rational. Darcy and Elizabeth have known each other for a very short time. It is true that Darcy spoiled her sister’s marriage. In the normal course of things, Darcy has done something good to Bingley. Bingley was not violently in love with Jane, nor was it a question of romance either from Bingley or from Jane. It was a question of marriage. Elizabeth feels a righteous anger against Darcy. It dozen’t strike her that she is being extremely selfish for Jane and for herself. She is far from rational. It is an irrational, selfish intensity which she explains to herself as rationality. Though Darcy’s explanation was crude, he had all the justice on his side. The only Honorable security for an educated, middle class woman was marriage. Elizabeth’s family was very weak in that respect. The mischief was done 25 years before by Mr. Bennet’s marriage. Elizabeth knows all this and speaks it out. But she was angry and describes her anger as righteous and rational. In spite of all those things, Jane gets married, Elizabeth marries Darcy because she represents a stronger social vibration whose writ was running large. A revolutionary vibration having become the evolutionary urge confers on her that vast benefit. She was basking in the sunshine of the changing times.
  72. Personal character can overcome social prejudice: The Bingley sisters find Jane to be a sweet girl and that impression continues even after they discover that two of her uncles are in law and trade. Their attraction for Jane is genuine and necessitated by Jane’s character. We can say Jane’s strength of character as reluctantly reflected in the attitude of Bingley’s sisters, is the cause of her marriage with Bingley. It can be cited as one of the reasons for Caroline’s reversal of attitude toward Jane. It is true Carolina and Louisa were disenchanted on hearing about the attorney and Cheapside. It is that which gave Jane the fever.
  73. Love goes out irresistibly, does not hide: Darcy tries to conceal the fact that he is in love with Elizabeth.
  74. Work will not be completed till the obstacle created is removed: Darcy cannot marry until Bingley marries Jane.
  75. The finite soul emerging through Non-Being is there all over life: Lydia’s shamelessness
  76. Intense people are in tune with life: Mrs. Bennet is intense. After Lydia left for Newcastle, Bingley returned to Netherfield to keep up Mrs. Bennet’s enthusiasm.
  77. Life acts when Man exhausts: Caroline exhausted her last shot at Elizabeth when they met at Pemberley. Her ill-will resulted in news of Lydia’s elopement.
  78. The powerful form of yesteryears cannot know their content is empty: Lady Catherine exercises her ‘spent authority’ on Elizabeth.
  79. Cause and effect cannot be reversed: Mr. Bennet awaited a son to take care of the entail and failed to save money. Had he saved, a son would have arrived.
  80. One can offer only what she has: Mary offers a sermon when Lydia ran away.
  81. The physical collapses when it fails: Mrs. Bennet confines herself to her room.
  82. Level 4, the mental-vital center, knows what is, what is past and even what is to come: Wickham senses that Elizabeth was offended by Darcy and therefore takes the liberty of spreading lies about Darcy.
  83. Greater attraction raises greater opposition: Mr. Bennet goes to Pemberley at a time he was least expected. This is understandable because he is fully attached to his daughter. An Englishman will not behave like him. Why does he act contrary to the social behavior? When Elizabeth informs him of her engagement, Mr. Bennet expresses opposition to it. After some explanation he consents. Again he pleads with her not to accept Darcy. His greater attraction to Darcy was inversely expressed as opposition. He already feels deeply grateful to Darcy for having saved Lydia and the family, for having paid for Lydia's wedding and procured a commission for Wickham. Coming on top of these acts, the proposal to Elizabeth is almost too good to believe so he hesitates to accept it as real or endorse it emotionally. Once he consents, his attitude for Darcy can no longer be constrained by the normal bounds of social propriety, so he come to Pemberley unannounced -- not as dispensing with normal social politeness but out of a sense of intimacy or gratitude that cannot be bound by social convention.
  84. When life is routine, but there is aspiration and energy to rise, life brings opportunities to fulfill the higher aspirations. Simultaneously it brings conditions that can cancel the opportunity or convert it into its opposite. Everything depends on the human choice. Often it is the way we respond to the opposite condition that determines what happens to the opportunity: This principle is illustrated in the role of Bingley, Darcy, Collins and Wickham in the marriages of Jane and Elizabeth. Bingley, Darcy, Collins and Wickham all arrived in Meryton at about the same time and all met in the town at a particular moment. What is the connection? The first two represent opportunities for the Bennet family to rise. The last two represent opportunities for it to level off or fall. Mrs. Bennet, a lawyer’s daughter, married a gentleman and was elevated by the match. She has a similar aspiration for her daughters. The moment Bingley responds to Jane, Collins arrives and offers to marry her. The Bennet property is entailed to Collins so marriage to him represents security for the family. It is not a small achievement. It means the whole future is secured. Collins’ offer is an opportunity that would cancel out all higher opportunities for the family. Had Jane married Collins, Darcy could never have married Elizabeth. Mrs. Bennet tells Collins Jane is spoke for, when in fact nothing has been spoken. It is only her aspiration. She encourages Collins to propose to Elizabeth, a foolish notion. When Collins is rebuffed, he storms out of the house and proposes to Charlotte. The Bennets lose the entail. It is a very great loss from their point of view at a time when nothing is certain and five girls, each with only £50 income, have to be married. From the viewpoint of higher opportunity, Collins comes to cancel that prospect. Had the family responded to the offer of security, they would have forfeit high achievement. Note that when Elizabeth refuses Collins, he becomes an unwitting instrument for her marriage to Darcy, since it is through Collins that they meet again at Rosings. Similarly, Wickham comes as the negative complement of Darcy. Darcy offers highest accomplishment. Wickham offers failure. Elizabeth, who could not be persuaded to marry Collins for financial security, is willing to marry Wickham for his charm and handsome face. Life presents her the very thing she finds it difficult to resist and it almost cancels out her higher achievement. Fortunately, she has the rationality to accept Darcy’s explanation about Wickham and give him up in her mind even if she cannot give up her vital attraction to him. That preserves the higher opportunity. Note that when Elizabeth gives up Wickham in her mind, he becomes an unwitting instrument for her marriage to Darcy, since it is through his elopement that the relationship between them is finally fulfilled.
  85. When we fail to act appropriately against a negative force, that force acts in a similar manner toward us: After Elizabeth learns the truth about Wickham's character from Darcy, she hesitates to expose Wickham publicly or even to her family. As a consequence Wickham exposes the whole family to scandal by eloping with Lydia.


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