|Copyright Focus Features|
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.
On the Day of Hearts, whether you already have plans with your sweetheart or you’re single and dreaming of a hot date, you should try to be like Mr. Darcy.
Darcy. Mr. Darcy.
Mr. Darcy is a character from the novel “Pride and Prejudice,” written by British novelist Jane Austen in 1813.
Before you lose interest thinking that his story is too old, let me tell you that Darcy is considered to be the ultimate symbol of the romantic hero. Generation after generation of women have admired and fallen in love with him.
And today, believe it or not, 200 years after his story was first published, the image of Mr. Darcy as the perfect man still lives in the minds of women. That is how strong his effect on girls is.
So, you should learn to respect Mr. Darcy.
And if you want to know his secret, you’d better read about him.
Mr. Darcy in the 1800s
His full name is Fitzwilliam Darcy. He is one of the two main characters in “Pride and Prejudice.” He is twenty-eight years old and single. He is very rich. (Based on his income and property, he was among the 400 richest families in England in his time.) But don’t misunderstand! It is not his money that makes him so popular among girls.
He is handsome, tall, and intelligent. But he is also antisocial and aloof. In fact, people say he has too much pride. (So, the title of the novel). He is bad at making a good impression and he usually says the wrong things. These things make him a normal guy, just like us.
In fact, the novel’s main character, Elizabeth Bennet, hated Mr. Darcy at first.
Elizabeth or “Lizzy” is 20 years old -- intelligent, lively, attractive, and witty. Because of her first bad impression of Mr. Darcy (her prejudice), she judged him at once and decided that she didn’t like him.
In the end, both Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth will realize their feelings for each other. Mr. Darcy will be able to change his character and fight his weakness, “pride,” while Lizzy will overcome her “prejudice.”
Mr. Darcy in the 1990s
In 1996, the story of “Pride and Prejudice” appeared in the pages of a novel called “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”
You might not be familiar with the book but you should know the movie adaptation, which came out in 2001, starring Renee Zellwegger.
|Copyright Universal Pictures|
The story in “Bridget Jones’s Diary” is patterned after the story of “Pride and Prejudice.” In fact, the love interest of the main character, Bridget, is named after Mr. Darcy.
The name of the male lead character in “Bridget Jones’s Diary” is Mark Darcy.
Mr. Darcy Now
Exactly 200 years after the character of Mr. Darcy first appeared, his memory is still very much alive.
And you might strongly disagree (I do not wish to start a fight with anybody) but some people have pointed out the similarity between Mr. Darcy and another fictional character.
Edward Cullen, the vampire character from the novel series “Twilight,” is said to be a modern-day version of Mr. Darcy:
|Copyright Twilight Universe|
The novels written by American author Stephenie Meyer have also been adapted for film. In both print and silver screen, these fantasy romance stories have attracted a large number of fans.
If there’s any truth to the idea that Edward Cullen is the new Mr. Darcy, a lot of women should be happy that their ideal guy is still giving inspiration after so many years.
Guys, on the other hand, don’t need to complain that Mr. Darcy or Edward are making girls have very high (unrealistic) expectations of men.
You don’t need to worry because it’s possible for you to become like either of these charming guys.
5 Easy Steps on
How to Be Like Mr. Darcy
Step # 1: Learn to listen to a girl
Listening is one of the worst skills of a guy. And here I don’t mean ordinary listening, like answering your phone while watching soccer on TV.
Quite the opposite. You need to learn “real” listening.
For example, in the novel “Pride and Prejudice,” there is a part where Mr. Darcy is very angry because he has just proposed to Lizzy, but Lizzy rejected him:
His complexion became pale with anger, and the disturbance of his mind was visible in every feature. He was struggling for the appearance of composure, and would not open his lips, till he believed himself to have attained it…
As she pronounced these words, Mr. Darcy changed colour; but the emotion was short, and he listened without attempting to interrupt her while she continued.
It is often very difficult for a man to pay attention and concentrate on what a woman is trying to say – and it is much, much worse when they are arguing.
But Mr. Darcy was able to know what Lizzy really felt and what she really wanted to say. He was able to know this by listening to her sincerely.
Step # 2: Be a gentleman
Like they said in the 1999 romantic comedy film “Blast from the Past,” you don’t need to own a horse or know how to ride one (like Mr. Darcy) to become a gentleman.
Of course opening doors for your sweetheart is a plus. But being a gentleman is also easy if you know what a gentleman really is.
This is the very simple meaning of the word “gentleman.” You should keep this in mind:
A gentleman = someone who always tries to make sure the people around him are as comfortable as possible.
Step # 3: Say sorry when you make a mistake
Here’s an example of a good apology from Mr. Darcy:
Our conversation last spring, if I may call it that… taught me more about my faults and pride than I would care to admit. That I was prideful and conceited at times has been brought to my attention, and these past months I have tried to become more agreeable to those around me. I hope that you can forgive my abominable behavior from my past actions.
Basically, a man should learn to admit it when he is wrong.
You should follow Mr. Darcy’s example (but please don’t imitate the way he speaks).
Step # 4: Receive criticism constructively
Every guy is really bad at handling criticism, especially from girls.
(Girls, on the other hand, like giving suggestions.)
When a guy hears criticism about himself, he automatically feels defensive and takes it negatively. But if a guy truly wants to become the right person for the girl, he should be open to change.
For example, Mr. Darcy was at first angry at Lizzy’s rejection of his marriage proposal and her strong opinion of his character. But the next time they meet, there is a very big change in his behavior. He accepts her feedback without feeling too offended and uses it to improve himself. Then Lizzy is very surprised at his new kindness to her and her family.
Step # 5: Be a silent doer
Among all the steps mentioned in this post, this is probably the easiest for guys to follow.
Why? Because guys naturally like action. We are terrible at expressing ourselves and talking about how we feel, but when it comes to helping other people like a “knight-in-shining-armor,” we are always ready.
In the novel, when Mr. Darcy knew that Lizzy’s sister was gone, he didn’t hesitate even a second about what he had to do. He got on his horse, rode to London, found the missing girl, saw the trouble she was in, and fixed the problem (no matter what it took).
Most important of all, after everything he had done, he kept his deed (action) a secret from other people.
So, guys, just be your normal, helpful and take-charge self. Learn to take control of difficult situations -- also be reliable with your promises like a real man -- and any girl will naturally depend on you.
Hope You Learned Something!