Now, if you're a girl that loves quality books and movies as much as I do, and you've at least seen or read Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) once or more, I've likely drawn your attention simply by the title of my article.
That was entirely intentional.
Since it was a free download, I recently read the book completely through, as I also figured that it might be helpful to my understanding of life in general, and how to comprehend why men do what they do. Besides which I would like to enjoy the movie(s) more by having read the book. If I could, I'm sure I would watch the movie at least once a month, if not more....What can I say? I'm a romantic at heart!
But I digress.
I do not want to spend all of this article discussing the finer points of turning a well-known novel into a movie, nor expounding on the virtues of a most-desired type of man, but rather to lay out what it takes for a single woman to draw the attentions of an honorable gentleman.
I think I speak for most women when I say I want a man who is characterized by gentleman-like qualities. I want a man whom others would refer to as a loyal companion, generous, and governed by right conduct and prudent speech. And of course, I want a man who is irresistibly head-over-heels in love with me - who just can't get me out of his head.
Of all characters in literature and now film, there are few men who have those universally attractive qualities as Mr. Darcy. No matter what kind of feminist rhetoric a woman will proclaim with her mouth, she simply cannot but take notice of a man who opens the door for her and listens politely when she speaks. I do say take notice, because even if she never dates nor marries such a man, at the minimum her interest is piqued by his actions which may give a clue to his deeper character.
I highly encourage the female fascination with the character of Mr. Darcy, as I believe it aides a woman in setting her standards high. The problem comes when the men we know pale in comparison with such character, and we reject every suitor because he's not as perfect as the idea in our heads (based on the perfection of Mr. Darcy).
We seem to forget the change that Mr. Darcy goes through, however, as he reflects upon Elizabeth's rebuke. More often we notice the transformation she experiences, as the story focuses more on her perspective. Indeed, she does misjudge him at the first, and her perception of Mr. Darcy changes as she takes sharper notice of his actions. Yet Mr. Darcy changes as well - his self-righteous pride, once challenged by Elizabeth, must take the backseat to proper chivalry and kindness.
What draws us to the character of Mr. Darcy? How do we find a man that has similar character?
For one, he listens when she speaks - he takes to heart her opinions and strives to measure up to her expectations. He wants to be a better man (i.e. teachable). Do you know any teachable men? Perhaps they are on that track toward high character.
Secondly, he takes care to respect her friends and family. When the family is on the verge of ruin, he steps in to intervene, thus earning her deep regard. Do you know any men who are friendly and kind with the people you love? Perhaps they desire to earn your respect and that of your family.
Thirdly, he finds Elizabeth absolutely and irresistibly attractive, and he cannot repress his feelings for her. He knows a good thing when he sees it! Have you noticed a man who appears tongue-tied in your presence? Perhaps he sees you as most beautiful - that is a great start to a possible match.
But what if you do not know any men at all who seem to fit the category of gentleman? How can you find a man like Mr. Darcy? Let's take a quick look at what Elizabeth did to draw the attentions of Mr. Darcy.
Okay, I've got it. You ready for this? She did....nothing.
Yep, that's right! Absolutely nothing! She had no clue that Mr. Darcy had any regard for her at all - in fact, she concluded the exact opposite. While he fought the growing feelings of affection, she gathered evidence of his disagreeable character, deciding that he was bound in pride and conceit, with selfish motives - a far cry from the truth. It took his challenge of her perception to shake her from her prejudice.
What kinds of things did Mr. Darcy notice about Elizabeth? Her strong affection for her family and friends, her gentle direction of her family toward proper behavior, her desire to better her mind through reading and intelligent conversation, and her strong sense of self-confidence - all this drew his attention until she was the only woman with whom he could see himself. (You might observe other qualities as well, but I have little room to express all the characteristics of our beloved heroine, and I'm sure many others have written far more than I can in this one snapshot.)
The Bible gives us a complete blueprint upon which to model our lives - we don't have to be Elizabeth Bennett to find a man like Mr. Darcy. "Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord," states Proverbs 19:14 (NKJV). The divine nature, as described by Peter in his second epistle, includes such traits as virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. Without the Holy Spirit in our lives, we cannot hope to shine with these qualities, but by God's help, we can be transformed into the character of Christ.
A woman who builds her life on the foundation of Christ will find that the right man will recognize her character from the moment he meets her, and strive to attract her attention. She does not have to find him, nor do anything at all! Let us wait patiently, then, and allow God to build these qualities in our lives.
Mr. Darcy may come walking around the corner any day....may we be ready to inspire him!
Leah writes in her spare time....whenever it's available. She and her husband Ryan live in the greater Los Angeles area, where she works as a labor/delivery nurse, writing and playing the violin on the side. She also enjoys cooking, baking, walking, and reading blogs on the internet.