Friday, August 14, 2015

Why Your Daughter's Crush on Mr. Darcy May Actually be a Good Thing

Hello Bookworms,

            It is widely known that one of the greatest love stories in literary history is included in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I’m talking about the love story between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Generations of women have had crushes on Mr. Darcy since the book’s publication in 1813.

            Some people are concerned with their daughter’s crush on a fictional character. Especially since the story is set in 1797! But I’d like to highlight a few reasons why your daughter’s crush on Mr. Darcy can actually be a positive thing (Warning!! Loads of SPOILERS from this point on!!!).

            You see, Mr. Darcy, though he is fictional and is from a bygone era, possesses many qualities that you’d want your daughter to seek in a husband:

Mr. Darcy is willing to work on himself.

In the beginning of the story, Darcy is prideful, prejudiced, and somewhat arrogant. He is painfully shy and somewhat withdrawn. Yet, when Darcy sees the pain and chaos his attitude causes himself and those he loves, Darcy works hard to change. A man who can acknowledge his faults and work on them is definitely a good man.

Mr. Darcy is a gentleman.

Mr. Darcy is the kind of man that escorts you to your carriage, and helps you get in (like he did for Elizabeth after the ball at Netherfield). Darcy stands when a lady walks in. Now that last one isn’t required so much these days, but don’t you love when a man holds a door for you or escorts you safely to your vehicle when needed? Of course you do because Chivalry isn’t dead! When your daughter takes notice of Mr. Darcy, she’s reading about/watching a gentleman in action and getting the idea that a man who is a gentleman is a good thing.

Mr. Darcy is financially stable and smart.

Mr. Darcy has a large fortune and a large estate. While Darcy inherited both of these, it takes brains and hardwork to keep the money flowing and the estate afloat. Darcy is providing a good example of what a hardworking, stable man looks like.

Mr. Darcy is a family-minded man.

Mr. Darcy finished raising his little sister, Georgiana and is her guardian. Darcy dotes on Georgiana, providing for her needs and protecting her from evil influences (like Mr. Wickham) and he genuinely enjoys it! I’d say that’s a pretty good advertisement for his potential as a father. Your daughter has a crush on a hardworking man who takes care of his family.

Mr. Darcy isn’t afraid of showing affection.

Now this may be a bit harder to see, because showing affection was very different in the 1700’s and 1800’s than it is today. However, if you look for it, you’ll see it. Mr. Darcy is so proud of Elizabeth that he’s just dying to show her off to his family (that’s a pretty big step) and, most famously, in the final scene, Mr. Darcy professes his love for Elizabeth is the most beautiful speech. A man that’s so proud of you that he wants to show you off and he tells you how much he loves you is something I think we all want and it’s good to encourage that for your daughter.

Mr. Darcy is generous and kind, even with his in-laws.

Mr. Darcy fixed the scandal Elizabeth’s sister Kitty caused (even though it cost him dearly). Mr. Darcy also made sure that Elizabeth’s sister Jane was proposed to by the man she loved more than anything. Also, he invites Elizabeth’s uncle to come fish on his estate. Darcy doesn’t think only of his own household and that’s it, he’s generous and willing to go the extra mile, even for his in-laws.

Mr. Darcy loves that Elizabeth is smart and self-sufficient.

One of my most favorite things about Mr. Darcy is that he recognizes that Elizabeth is smart, strong, and self-sufficient and he doesn’t want to change that. As a matter of fact, Mr. Darcy admires Elizabeth’s abilities. Elizabeth embodies some of the qualities Darcy wishes he had but for which he is too shy. Darcy wants to spend time with Elizabeth and see how she does it and learn how to do it himself. And He’s proud of her for being strong. You would want your daughter to be with someone who recognizes her strengths and encourages them in her, and Mr. Darcy is providing an example of what that looks like for your daughter.

So, when your daughter starts re-reading Pride and Prejudice, or wants to watch the movie again for the millionth time, go ahead and let her. Mr. Darcy is reinforcing what a good man looks like for your daughter. Much better than the love story between Edward and Bella from Twilight, a love story where the teenage girl is so dependent on the guy that she cannot function when he suddenly walks out on her. Elizabeth and Darcy embody a more healthy relationship and the more positive examples we can put in front of our girls, the better. So encourage your daughter’s crush on Mr. Darcy, and maybe buy her that “I <3 Mr. Darcy” tote for Christmas this year. ;)


Until next time,

                        Lizzie <3

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