Pride and Prejudice

Walks: The Path of Elizabeth and Darcy's Relationship

Many say that walks bring out emotions that are otherwise unfelt. In Pride and Prejudice, Austen creates walks to portray characters’ emotions and revelations. When looking into Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship, walks serve as important venues. When Elizabeth trudges in mud and dirt to Netherfield, on the famous muddy walk, she sparks Darcy’s curiosity and affection. Three walks following the muddy skirt walk are vital for the buildup of Darcy and Elizabeth’s affection. Austen invents these three walks, which follow Darcy’s proposal, to stage the different steps in Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship. On these three walks Elizabeth is able to admit to her past prejudices, see and understand Darcy’s character, and finally share with Darcy her feelings towards him.

The walk where Elizabeth receives Darcy’s letter of explanation and apology marks an important disclosure of Elizabeth’s character. Darcy’s letter contains his intentions of separating Jane and Mr. Bingley, as well as the full story of himself and Mr. Wickham. After receiving the letter, Elizabeth becomes curious. She finds herself “studying every sentence: and her feelings towards its writer were at times widely different”(140). Elizabeth is quick to realize that she...

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