Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Dangers of Mr. Darcy

That must be one of my most intriguing blog post titles. :D I'm sure you're curious about what could possibly be dangerous about Mr. Darcy, the most popular hero of all the popular Jane Austen novels.

First things first! :)

Mr. Darcy, when we first meet him in the book... or in either of the two newest movie adaptations... is proud. With rather good reason... he comes from one of the oldest families in England and owns "half of Derbyshire". He's incredibly wealthy.

He's also handsome. And tall. With an inscrutable air of mystery about him.

And then he meets this girl... Elizabeth Bennett.

She's witty, and captivating, and beautiful. Three things that we all like to imagine ourselves to be. 

Mr. Darcy's heart is softened. He falls head over well-shod heels in love with this girl, Lizzy, who comes from a rather ordinary background. Just observe the look of tender adoration in his eyes in the picture above!

They eventually marry, and live happily forever after.

So what's wrong with that? What could possibly be so terrible about a wholesome story like this?

Nothing. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this story. I actually enjoy it very much myself and own both a copy of the book and 2 different "Pride and Prejudice"movies.
 Herein lies the danger, my sweet friends:

One word - Obsession.

I've done it too! Before you start to think that I'm pointing fingers, let me say I am as guilty of imagining how wonderful it would be like to marry a man like Mr. Darcy as the next girl. :D

What is wrong with this whole situation is.... when we young ladies begin to absorb ourselves in imaginary worlds of fantasizing about now-perfect heroes, we lose sight of reality. (Now-perfect being even better than perfect, because he has learned his lesson and now will never fail us again) And therefore, when reality smacks us in the face as we blindly run into it while in some daydream about tall, dark, and handsome (RICH) men, we quickly grow discontent.

Girls, real guys are not like Mr. Darcy.

Real guys are not rich. They do not live in perfect mansions with millions of dollars in the bank and servants at their beck and call to banish every miniscule need. Most guys are not wealthy. The style of life which you would be accustomed to would not include your own maids.

This means... you have to do the cooking. And cleaning. And laundry. And when blessed with the incredible joy of children, diaper-changing, feeding, bathing, and all the many tasks that come with raising another little human. It's hard! There's a lot of work to be done! We won't be ladies of leisure if we marry "real" guys.

Real guys are not always "Cuuuuute!" or "Dreamy" or whatever word you wish to describe male perfection. Some of them are, yeah. The models and actors in all the movies and magazines are. But they have a team of makeup artists. And photo-editors that airbrush out all the blemishes and pump up the muscles.

Real guys are just that... real. They have faults. They have flaws. But guess what? So do we! Do any of us girls look like Elizabeth Bennett 24-7, all the time? Maybe some of us look 'as good' as her, when we're all dressed up with our makeup on. But we're not perfect. We have flaws and problems.

Real guys might have a crooked nose. Or a mole on their face. Or they might not be what one could call "handsome" at all. But you know what? If you marry a godly, sweet guy who treats you well and happens to have crooked teeth instead of the stuck-up, unchristian jerk with bulging muscles, you'll end up happier in the long run.

So ladies, don't measure the guys in your life against Mr. Darcy. Don't get  caught up in fantasizing and daydreaming about characters in your romance novels, and don't expect the real men to act like fictional products of imagination.

Okay! Sermonette over. Now let's go watch a period drama... :D


  1. Great post, Julia! I must be strange, because I've never been captivated by the "Jane Austen regency era" craze, and have never been all that thrilled with any of the heroes of those novels (Mr. Darcy) included. But your point stands excellently - don't compare real life men to fictional characters! We're all guilty of it - I'm sure most of us have an idealized mental image of what our future husband will be like.

    I will always remember one of my favorite quotes from the movie Anne of Avonlea. Marilla is speaking to Anne about this very issue - passing aside real men for a romantic notion. Although fictional, her words are worth noting:

    "Anne, you have tricked something out of that imagination of yours that you call 'romance'. Have you forgotten how [Gilbert] gave up the Avonlea school for you so that you could stay here with me.......Don't toss [him] away for some ridiculous ideal that doesn't exist."

    To anyone reading this - don't pass by the man that God intends for you just because he isn't a Mr. Darcy. Just because he isn't rich, doesn't have a prestigious position in life, isn't as handsome as your favorite movie star, isn't as muscular as people on magazine covers, or can't quote poetry to you all day long. Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the born. That goes for guys too.

    Okay, done sermonizing! Thanks for the great post Julia.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Courtney! :D Wow, that Anne of Avonlea quote goes right along with my theme! It's also one of my favorites from the book. :)


  3. I TOTALLY agree with you! YAY - someone else who has a problem with Mr. Darcy. Thanks for putting into words. :) I LOVE this quote:

    "Real guys might have a crooked nose. Or a mole on their face. Or they might not be what one could call "handsome" at all. But you know what? If you marry a godly, sweet guy who treats you well and happens to have crooked teeth instead of the stuck-up, unchristian jerk with bulging muscles, you'll end up happier in the long run."

    So true. Amen, sister.

  4. I completely agree! I think even among conservative Christian home schoolers, there is this ideal man: Mr. Darcy. Among less conservative people, there's Justin Bieber, Taylor Lautner, etc. No matter what the setting, there is always some perfect, ideal guy that all the girls of that group want. It is definitely difficult when watching any romance movie (even ones that I think are classics, like Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice, You've Got Mail, etc.) not to make the guy your ideal, because if he is, no one will ever meet up to your standards. I know I've struggled with that in the past, but really I've found that the real guys are the better ones. They're easier to relate to us real girls. ;)

  5. Great post Julia! With the stage of life that I am in now, I am constantly reminding myself of just those things. Love you!

  6. Thank you for writting this post. I haven't read Pride and Predjudice yet so I haven't thought about marrying a "Mr. Darcy" but I'm sure that I have a picture in my head of what the "perfect man" would look like.

  7. I think you hit the nail on the head, Julia. I think even of those of us who say we're holding out for a "higher standard" need a little reminding every once in a while that "higher standard" doesn't mean Perfection with a capital P. :-) Thanks for being my reminder today!

  8. Great post Julia! :D Really! And once again, thank you for sharing what has been on your heart and mine. <3 Yes, this is why I think we as women/girls need to be very careful of how much we read/watch these kinds of's too easy to let them influence us and our emotions/hearts! ;)

    Rachelle, I agree with you on that "higher standard" stuff too..Jessica and I were just talking about that last night! ;)

    It's quite easy to forget that when we want our future mate to be our "ideal"...he going to have one too and we will certainly not meet up with it completely! If you don't want him to expect YOU to be perfect...don't expect HIM to be! ;) I am not looking for perfect (though I do love my period dramas quite a bit)...I'm looking for "God's Fit" for me. :) I'm sure he won't look like anything I've imagined, but if he is a "man after God's own heart"...I'll be content. :)

    Thank you for this reminder Julia! Thank you for standing strong in the Lord and writing what He has put on your heart...though it may go against the "norm". :) Love you girl! And thank you all, ladies, for the great discussion! :D

    Blessings and Hugs!

  9. Yeah!! Great perfect post, Julia!! I know how hard it is not to day-dream about the "perfect" guy we'd all like to marry someday. However, like you have said so eloquently, this is not reality (I'm actually kinda glad; I like to cook). My dear mother is very quick to remind me that the men we see in the movies and read about in books are fiction; real men are messy at times and have bad days also. To be honest, I'm quite happy that men aren't perfect; I'm not perfect and, therefore, shouldn't expect my future husband to be either.


  10. Thank you so much for the comments, everyone! :D I SO appreciate hearing from you, and am thrilled that you liked the post.

  11. Hi Julia!
    Great post. I've never thought Mr. Darcy as a ideal person to marry. How could you if there was such a literary hero as Mr. Knightly?! he he
    But it's quite true. In novels you can make someone sound completely fascinating, but in real life that's just not going to happen.



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