Friday, July 17, 2009

Darcy's Resentful Temper?

Darcy Units
(Image from Wikipedia)

For the scientifically inclined, the permeability of Darcy's resentful temper can be measured using the above formula.

Just kidding.

More seriously, I'm starting one of my breaktime research projects, this time on Darcy's resentful temperament, to which we are introduced in the following bit of dialogue between Darcy and Elizabeth in chapter 11 of Pride and Prejudice, an exchange of views that follows immediately after Elizabeth is asked whether Darcy has survived her examination of his character, to which she replies with irony:
"I am perfectly convinced by it that Mr. Darcy has no defect. He owns it himself without disguise."

"No" -- said Darcy, "I have made no such pretension. I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. -- It is I believe too little yielding -- certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offences against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. -- My good opinion once lost is lost for ever."

"That is a failing indeed!" -- cried Elizabeth. "Implacable resentment is a shade in a character. But you have chosen your fault well. -- I really cannot laugh at it; you are safe from me."

"There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome."
What I find interesting in this passage is that Darcy appears to confess a flaw in his character, a "particular evil, a natural defect," and in line with Christian presuppositions even acknowledges that "not even the best education can overcome" such an innate tendency toward evil.

Yet . . . Darcy seems proud of his flaw, affirming that his "feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them," words that appear to be spoken with a notable degree of pride, especially in light of an earlier discussion in chapter 10 concerning the flaw of one whose opinions are too easily swayed by the opinions of others, a disposition that Darcy particularly criticizes.

Several layers of irony will need to be peeled away in my investigation . . . but I've only begun and therefore have little to say at present . . .

. . . other than to note that Darcy's resentful temper does turn out to be permeable.

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At 12:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't recognize the formula at the top of your blog.
That is understanderable, since I never had algebra, nor any other kind of formula of similar fashion.
I have been distrustful anyway, since someone told me pie are square.
We picked a few blackberries off our drought damaged vines yesterday, and Gay made a blackberry cobbler, which was wonderful.
I noted that cobbler are square, but Gay's pie are round, thus disproving that time honored formula.
We managed to freeze a few packages, and plan to have more cobbler when Sun-Ae, Sa-Rah and En-Uk arrive.
And since nephew Bill said he might visit sometime this fall, we are going to set two or three tablespoonfuls aside for him.

As far as personalities are concerned, as this blog deals with them, I suppose all of us have some level of egotism, and certain other hidden faults that we carefully hide.
For instance, my pride is easily wounded by attacks by yours truly, by nephew Bill, and sometimes by JK. This stirs up unbidden anger and a desire to retaliate in like fashion. It is only with the greatest self restraint that I keep myself from responding in like fashion. I thank the good Lord daily that I am not like others. Did I read that somewhere?

At 1:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, Cran?

Whenever I've come across the phrase "...For instance, my pride is easily wounded by attacks by yours truly,..."

The "yours truly" part has generally been used to denote oneself. Are you saying that you are part of the diabolical crowd wherein you've included peaceable ol' JK?

In other words you're saying that on occasion you "might" be - as they say - "shooting yourself in the foot?"

If such is the case then how can any resulting anger truly be "unbidden?" True - it might be accidental.

Me? I don't make attacks.

I simply make observations.


At 1:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Almost forgot.

That, "This stirs up unbidden anger and a desire to retaliate in like fashion."

Does that mean you'd resspond by shooting yourself in the other foot?

Seems counterproductive.


At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A simple case of typing the wrong preposition.
It should have read "wounded by attacks upon yours truly."
Thank You, JK, for noticing my comment!
I have been worried about you, after a prolonged silence on your part.
I could be discourteous, as nephews Bill and Jeffery often are, and notice a small errata in your comments, but I am above such things.
Don't be such a stranger on this blog.

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK beat me to the punch on "yours truly" . . . but I'll offer an observation on a remark that follows your misused expression, a remark in which you acknowledge your natural reaction to being 'attacked':

"This stirs up unbidden anger and a desire to retaliate in like fashion."

Here, you illustrate the emotion of resentment, Uncle Cran, but I see that you have kept it under control through an exertion of "self restraint," and thus outdo Darcy on this point.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I take it you've noticed, "resspond."

Too much coffee, too little time.

(I almost submitted another comment, noting my error but I was afraid of that ol' "third time's the charm" thing.")

Well that, and I knew you needed something to nitpick.


At 5:33 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, Uncle Cran, and others -- eliminating errors is like Zeno's Paradox. You can correct each one that you find, but there's always another, so you'll never reach a perfectly error-free final draft.

Although . . . Zeno was wrong about motion.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I accept that Zeno was mainly wrong but, that thing (now admittedly it's been awhile) that line of thought that

" a particular moment in time an object can only occupy one place..."

seems pretty straightforward.

(Wordplay intended Cran).


At 7:23 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

JK, I'll have to revisit Zeno, but he and I are in different places right now.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it seems to be true that at a particular moment in time an object can only occupy one space.
I can only observe that the attempt by two objects to occupy one space at a particular moment in time has served to endure the continuation of the human race.
However, philosophical musings must be left to greater minds than "yours truly."


At 4:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The correct word would be "ensure"
the continuation of the human race,
A situation that some feel would be best described as "endure."


At 4:11 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Many would find "endure" to be also correct, for two humans striving to occupy the same space can help one (or two) endure much human strife.

Jeffery Hodges

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