Of all the conflict and difficulties to over come in any continuation of a story between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy the saddest is any that interferes with the expected happiness so many of us imagine for them. The delaying of that happily ever after can be very trying, especially when we see things that we believed to have been resolved resurface. In Mr. Darcy, Vampyre this is particularly felt in Elizabeth’s internalizing thoughts.
He was the man she had married and yet different, more reserved, and she wondered if it was just because of the tiring nature of the journey or whether he were reverting to his former aloof ways. [p19]
And thus the tone is set, and Darcy is not so communicative. Yes, he says reassuring things here and there, but we find especially in chapters 6-10 he is frustratingly withholding. Each time he is on the cusp of revealing some point of vital information he pulls back, allows the world to interrupt, and we are left as bewildered as Elizabeth.
I will say that it is also within these chapters that so much takes place that I found myself extremely put out by Elizabeth’s dubious curiosity. She is not as curious as I expected her to be, and certainly not as demanding as I would have been for answers. Granted, I am not Elizabeth and she is not me. However, within the pages of Pride and Prejudice there is an admission that Elizabeth makes to herself that is so character revealing and establishing that it adds to my frustration here.
I refer to the point at which Elizabeth writes to her aunt Mrs. Gardiner asking to know more about Mr. Darcy’s presence at the marriage ceremony of Lydia and Wickham, of which Lydia had let slip though she had “promised them so faithfully” that she would not breathe a word. In her message Elizabeth asks for information “unless it is, for very cogent reasons, to remain in the secrecy which Lydia seems to think necessary” at which point she concludes that she “must endeavour to be satisfied with ignorance.” However it is the next few lines that directly follow where she admits:
“Not that I shall though,” she added to herself, as she finished the letter; “and my dear aunt, if you do not tell me in an honourable manner, I shall certainly be reduced to tricks and stratagems to find it out.” [p574, The Annotated Pride & Prejudice]
One can only guess that the reason Elizabeth does not now employ “tricks and stratagems” is her fear of what the truth may be, and her reluctance to attempt them with Darcy who would no doubt detest such methods. I am surprised that his use of omission does not compel Elizabeth to confront him more forcefully. There is a moment where such a confrontation seems in hand, but the moment is interrupted. What’s worse is that it is allowed to dissipate when I don’t see how Elizabeth could even pretend to move on with it unresolved.
What do you think of Darcy’s withholding and omission? Does he seem to be regressing? And what of Elizabeth? Is she really so bewildered about married life to be more demanding of understanding between Darcy and herself?
*Photo: Tear Of a Tree by ˙·▪•● Peyman ●•▪·˙, obtained through Flickr.