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An Exhaustive analysis of Pride and Prejudice, Volume II, Chapter XIII

Shri Karmayogi's in-depth commentaries on the text of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Anthony Trollope's Lady Anna can be found at the Human Science Wiki

  1. Darcy's letter is a Life Response to Elizabeth's silent will to know all about Jane and Wickham. (P.181)
  2. He writes to her what he was unable to speak.
  3. He could not speak as he was not master of himself.
  4. The letter was written the next morning.
    He could not write it till the turbulence of his mind settled down.
    Nor the turmoil of her mind will let him write the same night.
  5. To repeat his proposals several times in the letter is a great possibility. An emotional character, overwhelmed with passion will do it. Darcy is a well formed mind. His uncontrollable passion for her is still under the great need for him that she should know the facts. Jane was her ultimate goal. Her passion for her is biological. Wickham was the charm of falsehood delivered by a pleasant exterior, her first love at the age of 21. Pemberley was not enough to penetrate the emotional captivity of her.
    Darcy does not address her. The letter began ‘Be not alarmed'. Her lashings were so brutal that he dared not address her. Nor does he subscribe at the end, only signs his name. Darcy had so much of facts that could argue his case very well and she was all receptivity to know all. Hence the lengthy Life Response. She took two hours to assimilate the contents of the letter and reach an acceptable countenance for usual conversation. For the same effort he took three months, as his was vital transformation and hers was a mental rationality to be arrived at.
  6. Her vitality was knocked into rational observation by the compelling outer circumstances and the irresistible inner urge not to lose the great proposal that once came her way.
    She does not want to lose Darcy, but is unwilling to accept his good reputation. She wants him to accept her as she is; rather she expects to be adored for being the daughter of Mrs. Bennet. He is prepared to go to any length so that he may be acceptable to her.
  7. Her total absence of expectations brought her a very long letter disclosing what no one will disclose to another even to win the noblest of girls.
  8. She expected no letter and got a letter of full details.
    She took the whole night to digest the proceedings of that evening till her understanding exhausted itself. She was no more thinking of him but only of her who evoked in him a passion for her. Her own wonderment at her deep-seated inner capacity will not allow him to write till those feeling were exhausted.
  9. Darcy himself would like to renew his offer several times in his letter and she would love to hear it written in words, but the power of abuse and his mortal fear to revive it stood in the way.
  10. Total absence of expectations brought totally transforming news.
  11. Eagerness is the energy of the vital to grasp.
  12. She reads the letter, emotions rise - a non-mental, vital state.
  13. Darcy would not write if he were not above the line.
  14. She would not get the letter if she were not above the line.
  15. His being above the line, her being below the line would have resulted in the letter not reaching her.
  16. His being below the line, her being above the line, like John Eames, the letter would have been written and not sent.
  17. Her feelings were scarcely to be defined.
    It is a new intense situation with no precedent. There is no known structure to receive the feelings and define it.
  18. She, the woman in her who has already received the proposal, expects him on his knees to offer humble apologies of every description. All smallness that has seen greatness moving towards it will only do so. The rule is you cannot satisfy anyone for the simple reason you cannot. Smallness is determined NOT to be satisfied. It is Non-Being asking to be assimilated.
  19. Smallness does not allow a point of view to the other. The House of Lords refused to hear the other side.
  20. ‘He could have no explanations to give'.
    No one ever sees any defect in his own situation.
    He must give her the explanations she has in mind.
  21. ‘A just sense of shame does not conceal'.
    His proposal has stirred her shame which still remains subconscious. So, she attributes it to him.
  22. Shame is the live link between the high and low.
  23. Shame achieves where sense fails.
  24. Sense is the link between two of the same plane.
  25. In her condition senses acquire a creativity to read ‘right' as ‘wrong', ‘tall' as ‘short', ‘No' as ‘Yes'.
    Falsehood, in its own eyes, thus becomes truthful.
  26. Had she been entirely vital and had no hope of Darcy in any distant future, she would not have read the letter, thrown it away.
    ‘Do me the honour of reading this letter' is a right request from Darcy.
  27. His haughty composure (P.174) is because he does not enjoy the cultured richness to sustain the ferocity of his offended dignity of his own passion for her.
  28. ‘With a strong prejudice' issues out of her genius for disliking.
  29. She read without comprehension.
    It is an emotional condition that catches his own emotions of disgust on the surface and solicitude underneath.
  30. Impatience knows itself and not what is said.
  31. He is impatient to get a reply but circumstances will not allow it.
    She catches his impatience that could not be satisfied.
    In the second proposal he eagerly asks to know what she felt on reading the letter. (P. 327)
  32. What she went through in this chapter is a transforming parallel to what he confessed to her. (P.328) Construct a tabular column and study the parallel. Let me give one example.



    I sought prepossession I was taught to think meanly of others.

    It will be interesting to see what one does brings about the corresponding change in the other in a sort of inner-outer correspondences. Sometimes the very words may be the same. One cannot escape the same mental consciousness. 

    Page 185

    Page 328

    • How despicable am I

    Painful recollections

    • Prided on my discernment

    Followed in pride and conceit

    • Valued my abilities

    Spoiled by my parents

    • Disdained Jane's candour

    Think meanly of all others

    • Gratified my vanity

    Think of my vanity

    • Blamable distrust

    To ease for none beyond my own family

    • Humiliating discovery

    Was properly humbled

    • Wretchedly behind

    Insufficient to please a woman

    • Vanity, not love

    Selfish being all my life

    • My folly

    My pretensions

    • Preference of the one,neglect of the other

    only son, only child

    • From the beginning of our acquaintance

    From the age of eight

    • Courted prepossession and ignorance

    Believed in your expecting my addresses

    • Driven away reason

    Came to you without a doubt

    • I never knew myself

    To be selfish and overbearing

  33. His letter was delivered to her in the spot where she was awaited every day by him. Space has a significance in this.
  34. Time too has a significance. He catches her in the morning before she formulates her thoughts. It was almost as a first waking thought.
  35. She instantly resolved to be false.
    She wants Darcy to feel about Jane as she feels.
    With Wickham when he deserts, she feels as he feels.
    She is vitally identified with Wickham and wants Darcy to identify with herself vitally.
    Jane wants Bingley to feel what she herself hides carefully. Elizabeth wants Darcy to feel what she shamelessly feels about Wickham.
    Whatever or whoever feels, Life Responds according to its rule.
  36. His objections made her very angry.
    It is from these irrational angry emotions she comes to the rational conclusion that she never knew herself.
  37. The woman who is abjectly submissive to man, in her own heart expects MAN to be fully a slave to her. She has to suffer like that because she was like that.
  38. He does become all that she wants him to be three months later but on the positive side.
    She, who submits to falsehood with pride, wants truth to obey her!
  39. It was all pride and insolence.
    Though Darcy's pride is not pardonable, he has attributes of which he could be proud.
    She is proud of a sneaky viper which has stung her. Even after the sting he is not ‘unwelcome' to her.
    In all small people, especially women, this is disgustingly despicable.
    Henpecked husbands like Bishop Proudie nervelessly submit to this heinous crime. You cannot find a single person who is exempt from this urge.
    Only in yoga, MAN has to accept this to discover the Divine whose face this is.
  40. When Elizabeth is reading Darcy's letter, what Jane is doing or what Wickham is feeling will determine what she understands.
    • Jane was disillusioned by Caroline. The basis for removing the obstacle Darcy has created is created.
    • Wickham has shifted to Miss King and she too left the place. As Wickham's true colours are coming out, Elizabeth is able to shed her charms for him.
    • Which caused which is an issue, but in the subtle plane sequence is not always from past to present. It can be in the reverse.
  41. ‘Difficult of definition'.
    What defines emotions is the understanding behind it.
    The understanding in the emotion can better define it.
    Just now Elizabeth has no right understanding and is struggling to cling to wrong understanding.
    In the struggle there is no understanding left. The emotions will not be defined till some understanding takes hold of her. More than the understanding or the one in the emotion, the cohesiveness of the emotions give it the right definition. Such a definition becomes precise by what underlies it in the physical consciousness. Just now her emotions are in a tumult; her body - Mrs. Bennet - is violently dynamic, ready to burst out. No definition is possible at all.
  42. Acute pain in the emotion is its readiness to fall out in pieces.
  43. Astonishment at the exposure of her low status and the wickedness of Wickham are apprehended by her.
  44. Horror for her at the destruction of the low vulgar falsehood of her mother.
  45. She is like a bastard to whom her own mother disclosed the secret of her birth. She is a social bastard.
  46. She has now heard that the emperor has no clothes, having proclaimed its fineness till then. It is no mere humiliation, but one of hypocritical fakeness.
  47. ‘Scarcely knowing anything of the last page'. (P. 182).
    It is where the scoundrel is out. She dared not KNOW it.
  48. She has the horror of preserving the brittle falsehood of Wickham.
  49. This is the period when his gaming debts accumulated.
    As they build up, his artificial castle sinks.
  50. As her castle sinks, it stinks.
  51. She goes back to the letter in a few minutes.
    Consider the energy movement of Life Response in her putting the letter away and going back to it in a trice.
    The struggle between truth and falsehood is depicted by her indecisiveness.
    It is no ordinary mental struggle but one that gives her fatigue (P. 186) to the body, so telling was its revelation. She had to walk for two hours for her body to absorb her disturbed mental energies and dissipate it in physical movements. Her spirits are originally high and therefore her playfulness readily comes to the surface.
  52. In half a minute she went back to the letter. It is not a conscious act. This act is automatic, subconscious.
  53. The only difference between the first reading and now is she is able to collect herself.
    Being able to collect oneself is in that measure self-awareness. Here it is self-awareness of not thought that is formed, emotions that are defined but self-awareness of unformed energy.
  54. ‘Mortifying perusal'.
    It is mortifying as she is lost in wicked ungrateful falsehood. Still she peruses because the rationality in her is not dead.
  55. While here it is mortifying perusal for her, Wickham is heaping dissipating debts for himself. Darcy has by then set to work on himself to transform himself and is in the process of discovering his cool calm is really bitterness of spirit. (P. 327)
  56. Reviewing the event from Time, Space, sequence, correspondence, etc. relating to its past and future in the story more and more insights emerge. Darcy brought Fitzwilliam as a companion. Now that he saw Elizabeth there, Fitzwilliam is not in his mind. Just as she was reading the letter Darcy is not even with him. Elizabeth of whom William is charmed about has dropped him from her mind. All that is there is Darcy's letter only.
  57. It is a simple act of a charming rascal who has captured the imagination of a girl in bloom. Any girl would have been equally a victim. The event acquires colour only because from a distance a formed character like Darcy has appreciated the fire in her eyes and is willing to sacrifice all his formed character at the altar of her love. In the absence of Darcy, Elizabeth will be a victim like Lydia, to what extent we cannot say and the whole thing will qualify for an undignified episode meriting the label of a misfortune or a tragedy. Imagine Elizabeth in Lydia's place with or without marriage and the turn she would have given to the fortunes of the family. In which case it will not warrant the writing of a novel by Jane Austen.
  58. In her charm for Wickham there is a great truth of romance. By any standard of romance of any century, the wide sympathy of the population will be with her as long as his history is not known. Here is a case of infatuation of a very intelligent girl. It is better to think of some basic truths of Romance.
    • True Romance does not meet false characters.
    • It never becomes infatuation.
    • There will be no element of excitement in it.
    • Nor there will be any calculation, expectation, ruse explicit or implicit in its arena.
    • It can have no goal of marriage in its view, but all those goals will be there without seeking.
    • A false story or character reaching one capable of Romance gets fully exposed before he spreads his net.
    • It can have social, psychological barriers of the period, but no barriers which the society in its cream has already overcome.
    • Non-mercenary conditions, when consummated will find all material benefits automatically. If that element is not there, the Romance will be of a lower order or a higher order of marriage.
  59. She commanded herself to examine.
    She is not able to read. She has to command herself to read the sentences and make out the meaning. It means she is so much possessed by her prejudice. Command is an effort of will
  60. The story of Pemberley is exactly as Wickham has said.
    Elizabeth takes Wickham as the standard for truth and wishes Darcy to rise to his occasion! The culprit asks the judge to rise to his own standards of Justice!
  61. Gross duplicity on one side or the other.
    She did not feel any shock or outrage at the story of Georgiana's elopement. She read it as mere news, did not feel as she felt on Lydia's running away.
    How deeply partial, steeped in prejudice for Wickham she is. There is no shred of fairness. Where is the question of rationality? She was callous to his attempt. It is unpardonable. Had she been fair to Darcy, saw the rogue attempted a heinous crime, Lydia would not have run away. She lacked even a modicum of goodness in responding to the news. To her, Wickham is sacred, he is above blame. No one should blame her idol of any misdeed! She is one who did not even blame Wickham when Lydia was the victim. Her only regret is she had not had that luck of accompanying dear noble Wickham. But she was exceedingly shocked by the charge of extravagance and profligacy. Surely she is tender to him and solicitous, overlooks the elopement, is grieved by extravagance.
  62. When Wickham spread his false wares she readily swallowed it, full of sympathy for him. Now when Darcy speaks of the Will, £3000, elopement, and profligacy she feels there is no proof, it is mere assertion.
    As far as she is concerned, accusation of Wickham is accusation of herself. This after his desertion. Even in the perturbed state of her mind, her sympathies are fully and solidly on his side. It is entrenched prejudice. She would be sorry for his resigning his claims for the living and would feel that £3000 was rightly his due.
  63. Darcy is entirely blameless, only, not exemplary in his unstinted generosity.
    She upgrades Darcy from not less than infamous to entirely blameless. We find no outrageous phrase about Wickham.
    His elopement can be classified under casual errors was her anticipatory wish.
    She, the daughter of Mrs. Bennet, does not deserve Darcy's love. She is fit to be outraged by Wickham for the passion she has for him. Darcy could very well abuse her instead of her doing so.
  64. It is worth noting that Elizabeth has not known anything about the former way of life of Wickham, but let us take great note of the fact that she has no inclination to know about it.
    On seeing him she accepted him totally, lovingly. It was an unquestioning acceptance, almost sacred. She sees that every girl in Meryton lost her senses about Wickham and she is one of them. Her exceeding solicitude about him is seen in many places in the story.
    • She readily swallowed his scandal about Darcy.
    • She, even in the first meeting, asked why he had not gone to law about the living.
    • She was shocked by his losing the living.
    • She thought Darcy prevented Bingley from inviting him to Netherfield.
    • When she learnt he was invited, she was angry at Darcy because Wickham had not attended the ball.
    • Ignoring his boast, she readily accepted the excuse for his absence.
    • She constantly reminded her mother to include him in the parties.
    • He was the model young man in amiability and agreeableness.
    • Wickham betrayed Darcy, tried to ruin him and she is angry at Darcy passionately.
    • Even after his elopement, she never once condemned him. His intrusion was not unwelcome.
    • She sent him her own personal savings.
    • She asked Darcy to promote him in his career.
    • Any girl who gets Wickham is lucky. He is an agreeable man, said she to her father. (P. 123)
    • She abused Lydia for elopement, not Wickham.
    • She dressed more than carefully for Netherfield.
    • His desertion was fully justified by her.
    • Darcy says suspicion was not in her inclination. (P. 180)
    • And that too, ‘ a young man like you'.
    • Handsome young men must have something to live by.
  65. She had never felt a wish to enquiring. (P.183)
    She perhaps had a sense that any enquiry may demolish her castle.
    She may have been unthinkingly oblivious.
    How to fix the character of a decision. His dubious behaviour in his staying away from the Netherfield dance does give her the possibility
    of some skeleton emerging. It was fully confirmed by his desertion. She clings to him, to his falsehood, in spite of signals from life.
  66. ‘She was now struck with the impropriety'.
    The miraculous magnitude of outrage at his attempted elopement with Georgiana gave birth to his impropriety. Wonderful sense of proportion, greatness of emotional fairness and peak of rationality.
  67. ‘Indelicacy of putting him forward' (P.184)
    After reading about Georgiana, she has discovered his indelicacy. He is one who deserves capital punishment. Her unwillingness to condemn him in her mind directly forces him to condemn her by his own action with Lydia.
  68. The first para of this page must be taken idea by idea and compared with what Wickham did to her later. The flow of energy will be seen, the consequences will be self-explanatory. It is an exercise in energy flow of Life Response.
  69. Her intense yearning for a hatefully mercenary character is the first step of Mrs. Bennet's energy - of longing for red coats - aspiring for aristocratic culture.
  70. His eagerness to grasp at anything.
    Demands of the card table are endless. For £1000 Wickham does not mind going through a marriage ceremony. Elizabeth will then discover the consequences of longing for false charm. It may be the second step of Mrs. Bennet's reaching the red coats. It is worthwhile tracing all the steps to aristocratic culture till it embraces the whole nation.
  71. ‘Every lingering struggle in her grew fainter and fainter'.
    If not the will, the design on Miss Darcy should have turned her solicitude for him instantaneously into a hatred of disgust that she was consciously duped by a genius of evil. It had not. It only left a lingering struggle which continued even after her marriage. The intense disgust at Collins' proposal, the implied humiliation of a clown offering to marry her, the equally intense wrath at Darcy's mention of her inferior family are natural emotions. No such intensity arose in her on knowing the truth of his character. It only means that one cannot hate oneself, as she is identified totally with Wickham. Hatred of Wickham is hatred of herself. It is not given to her to hate herself or her mother, a loyal daughter. Late in her life her espousal of his career prospects at court is also serving the cause of Lydia who is a full total representative of her mother.
  72. ‘In further justification of Darcy...' Justice for Darcy, solicitude and tenderness to Wickham is the lie of the land
  73. ‘given her a sort of intimacy with his ways'.
    Man seeks solicitude and tenderness from the woman for his own psychological fulfillment in the social institution of marriage. The woman is willing to offer them in return of solid security of property for the first and humbling total submission for the next. The only possible corrective is the cultural demand on the individuals. This phrase of intimacy with his ways is only a distant beginning of the bargain. In conditions of ideal Romance that grows in intensity with the increasing intimacy, the man's natural status implicitly contains material security, as a king going in for a beggar maid. Her overflowing tenderness for the MAN issues non stop from the love of matter that she is.
  74. Elizabeth negatively clears Darcy - blameless, nothing irreligious, etc. - while Wickham stands before her in all charm of air and address. That is the measure of her response.
  75. ‘She grew absolutely ashamed of herself'. (p.185)
    This is the peak of her mental realisation of the entire episode.
  76. ‘She was blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd'.
    Very few human beings are capable of this self-stricture, but to overcome the charm of falsehood of a handsome face of winning ways, woman or man, this is insufficient. As Queen Elizabeth called out ‘Robert' on her deathbed, the solicitude will linger till the last moment. It knows of no right or wrong but feels in the depth tenderness.
  77. The para beginning "How despicable..." and ending with, "I never knew myself" is the expression of her greatest realisation. One can congratulate oneself for such a transformation. Yet it is only the mind learning the fact of the situation in defiance of the vital tending towards the opposite direction. It is enough for her to receive Darcy's love accompanied by the provocation of Caroline and the elopement precipitated by Wickham and Lydia. For Darcy to seek her in spite of her refusal, to seek the daughter of loud-mouthed Mrs. Bennet, this is not enough. He needs to mortify himself by paying for the sins of the man whose one aim in life is mean malicious revenge and then claim Lydia for a sister-in-law, Lydia the wife of Wickham.
  78. Sense of fairness redistributes the energies of the present equilibrium even as sense of revenge does in the opposite direction. Life does not wait a minute to respond. She did her work in two hours, but, as I said earlier, he took three months to do the parallel work. Even then the standing comparison in the atmosphere - Caroline Bingley - could not help being there in that extremely accidental meeting to provoke Elizabeth and make Wickham run away with her sister. The change accomplished by Elizabeth is from the vital to the mental, by Darcy from mental revulsion to vital acceptance. It was not enough for life. It needs to be repeated in the substance of the vital so as to be permanent. Lydia completes it. It is still the substance of the vital, not the physical.
  79. ‘Widely different was the effect of a second perusal'.
    It means she has now shifted to the mind's perception from vital prejudice.
  80. ‘How could she deny that credit to his assertion, in one instance, which she had been obliged to give in the other?'
    This is exactly what she did when he contradicted himself about the Netherfield dance. She enjoyed his boast that it was not he who would remove himself but it should be Darcy. Next week, at the dance, he reversed himself. Both were fully acceptable to her then. It was vital prejudice. Now she sees that inconsistency in her mental attitude, a great improvement
  81. ‘Neither could she deny the justice of his description of Jane'.
    Elizabeth understands Jane as one who sees no evil in another. In her view Jane takes the defect of another and turns it into good. She finds her sister endowed with enormous patience so that no counsel of patience to her is possible. So far Elizabeth is right. There is something more in Jane which is also in her. Jane does not want to chase any man. She does not even want the world to think of her as one who is after a Man, even if it is Bingley. And in this she is a total success. It becomes SILENT WILL of the most powerful type possible. Everyone expects Bingley to marry Jane, but no one, as the text stands, says Jane is after Bingley. It is the power of such a Silent Will that made Bingley whose one ambition is to obey Darcy, prevail against the domination of Darcy. Her wedding was interrupted, delayed for a year since that will had the credit of a defective faith in Caroline's duplicity. Till she overcame that illusion, even her silent will was powerless. After that opinion was lost, instead of longing for Bingley, she moved to a neutral emotion that she was not after him. To her, her not chasing a MAN is paramount. Elizabeth is unaware of this force at play. Her mother's power and her father's force were on Lydia and herself and not on Jane. Jane was on her own on neutral territory enjoying the support of Elizabeth alone whose lingering partiality for Wickham could not be fully removed till he was married to Lydia. Darcy's perception was right and he was within his right to advise Bingley not to marry Jane. Jane's marriage was primarily brought about by her own silent will and the extraordinary right of Elizabeth to have her married.
  82. ‘The awkwardness of that application'.
    Her one objection to face the colonel is he rejoiced over the triumph of Darcy in saving Bingley. It is more than an embarrassment to her, to own it was her sister whom Darcy found objectionable as a bride to Bingley. In applying to the colonel, she lets out the fact, by implication, that Darcy proposed to her and she refused. It brings to the open that Georgiana was to run away, Darcy's opinion about her family and her own uncertain emotions about Darcy. As she knew the colonel liked her for company and would have proposed to her had she had considerable fortune, her meeting with him raises the issue of her poverty as a material fact. Phineas Finn was so ashamed of himself when Fitzgibbon's sister relieved him of the obligation. Her being a woman, the colonel's acquaintance only a few weeks old, her own charm for Wickham and his own designs on Georgiana were too much for her to lay bare before the colonel. As she accepted Wickham's assertion earlier, she now accepts Darcy's assertion. In her own mind, she has moved towards Darcy even if it is not to move away from Wickham fully, merely on the strength of the letter. In the following phrases Darcy excites her tenderness by his immovable solicitude for her.
    • His offer nor to repeat the proposal declares that the proposal is not dead altogether.
    • ‘for the happiness of both'. (p.174)
    • ‘accept my best wishes for your health and happiness'. (p.172)
    • ‘My sister will be as tall as Elizabeth Bennet, rather taller'.
    • ‘ ardently I admire and love you'. (p. 168)
    • ‘It is enough you thank me.' (p.325)
    Whenever he had an occasion, he expressed his tenderness, though in words that are neither soft nor smooth.
  83. The complement to herself was not unfelt'. (p. 186)
    Among 100 complements, one insult will prevail.
    Only the uninformed and uncultured will mix both.
    Where one is present, the other has no place at all.
  84. ‘It is the work of the nearest relations'.
    Man never turns to accuse himself for his failure. He accuses every other person. (p. 253 - Mrs. Bennet's outpourings)
    When no one is in the picture, he is frustrated. To turn the eye inward when there is no one outside is rational. She does it.
  85. ‘Felt depressed'.
    Self-awareness of low consciousness is depression.
  86. Giving way to every variety of thought.
    With varying gait varying thoughts arise.
  87. ‘Fatigue'.
    Fatigue is the result of accepting ideas that are too much for the Mind. So the energy spreads down below. Fatigue arises from the energy of the vital being drained
  88. ‘She was immediately told'.
    She is anxious NOT to see either of them as they bring to her mind unpleasant memories which she would like to avoid. The environment obliges her by ‘immediately' telling her the news. Her emotions are intense and are capable of evoking instantaneous response. Here the response she is looking for is negative - not to meet them. Her own situation is prominent and both men concede her pre-eminence. Hence her emotions readily evoke a response from both of them.

story | by Dr. Radut