Possibly the most iconic of Jane Austen’s couples, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy have made audiences fall in love for over two hundred years. Pride and Prejudice is one of the world’s most-loved stories, with its dislike-to-love romance at its center.
Here are three reasons Lizzy and Darcy are my favorite Austen couple:
“...I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”
Lizzy and Darcy are characters of strong opinions, which often leads to conflict. They make mistakes and come to wrong conclusions about each other. Their flaws—the titular pride and prejudice—stand between them. They don’t really see how these traits have become their biggest flaws until they are honest with each other and acknowledge their own mistakes.
“...I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly.”
Of Jane Austen’s many iconic characters, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy have two of the most notable character arcs. Both are very set in their opinions and ideas and are bold about voicing them when necessary. They disagree on many things.
But they also change. The flaws which cause their conflicts turn into traits that draw them closer. They are not static characters; they grow because of their mistakes. They become better people because of each other. With such strong beliefs and convictions, they balance and complement one another to bring out their best selves.
Their love story.
“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation…. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
Elizabeth and Darcy don’t even like each other at first. Throughout the story, they act with some civility (most of the time), but have a strong reluctance to think well of one another. But when they realize their own misconceptions and ill treatment of each other, they find a shared admiration and respect for each other’s boldness, capacity to love, and desire to protect those they care about.
Pride becomes humility and prejudice becomes acceptance. Admiration and respect quickly turn to love.
“It is settled between us already, that we are to be the happiest couple in the world.”