Why Does Darcy Begin His First Proposal To Elizabeth By Saying In Vain Have I Struggled?

Updated 30 September, 2023
Darcy's first proposal begins with a strange phrase because of his previous dislike of Elizabeth's family. By using the phrase “In vain have I struggled “, he emphasizes Elizabeth’s lower rank, instead of than actually asking her to marry him.
Detailed answer: checkExpert-verified answer

Mr. Darcy’s introduction before his fateful first proposal involves him inquiring about Elizabeth's health, Mr. Darcy then nervously paces around the room for a few minutes, this may serve of evidence of an internal battle between his love and admiration for Elizabeth and contemporary societal beliefs that would prevent him from confessing such feelings. This is evidenced later in the chapter during Darcy’s speech when he references her connections. Mr. Darcy says that 'perhaps these offences could have been overlooked, if your pride had not been hurt by my honest confession of scruples which had prevented me from forming a serious conception for a long time'. This explains why he believes his honesty made her reject him and asks her: 'Can you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections?'. This statement further emphasises how much Darcey has changed at the end of the novel in pride and demeanour. After what seems like much internal debate suddenly, he declares his love for her. He starts by eloquently expressing his admiration. He then refers to the inferiority of Elizabeth's social connections and explains that her family's rather unattractive behaviour dissuaded him from proposing sooner. He says, “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you”. Darcy allows his pride to guide him. In his proposal to Elizabeth, he spends more time emphasizing Elizabeth’s lower rank than actually asking her to marry him (“he was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride”).
Elizabeth is absolutely baffled. She replies with, “...or had [my feelings] even been favourable, do you think that any consideration would tempt me to accept the man, who has been the means of ruining, perhaps for ever, the happiness of a most beloved sister”? Elizabeth, it seems, only declines him out of disgust because of what he’s done against her sister.

Do you have any other questions?
Question has been sent. We'll take a look at it in 1 day Ask another question

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!

    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now