Wednesday, July 20, 2011

RTW: The Bad Guys Have It

First off, I'd like to acknowledge the fact that I'm blogging again after almost a two week break. It felt like forever. Now, on to the fun stuff!

Welcome to our 88th Road Trip Wednesday!

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments,you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link -- or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

This Week's Topic:
Who are your favorite literary villains/antagonists, and why?

This is actually a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. For the most part, I tend to dislike all villains and wish them fiery deaths of volcanic proportions. But that's just me. However, there happens to be one villain in particular that manages to make me feel all tingly inside. And not just because he's so very good looking.

Who is this dashing fellow, you may ask? Well, it's none other than Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Why is he a villain? Let's recap. At first Elizabeth is all "He's too snobby." So he is a villain.

Next, he becomes not-a-villain, for which I'm lacking a word, when Elizabeth begins to like him because he understands her in a way that no one else can, and their witty dialogue is somuchfun.

That un-villain status changes when Elizabeth thinks Mr. Darcy is a vile man after coming to the conclusion that Mr. Darcy was behind separating Jane and Mr. Bingley. That idea was compounded by Colonel Fitzwilliam's slip about Darcy saving Bingley from an "imprudent marriage." Also, she'd been listening to Mr. Whickham's testimony of Darcy's inherently despicable nature, so it's no wonder she didn't think very highly of him.

Image at the beginning of Chapter 34. Darcy pr...Image via Wikipedia
Me? Marry you? Am I being punked?
Of course, all of this back and forth between villain and not-villain is great sport for Elizabeth. She loves it. So it isn't that much of a surprise that she again changes her mind about him when she accidentally meets him while on a tour of his home, after her outburst and refusal to marry him based on his behavior. His change in demeanor takes her off-guard. So, she feels tenderly toward him. Not villain again!

More stuff happens, he does her family a good service, but somehow along the way, they don't know it was him, so of course Mr. Darcy is still a villain to most of the Bennets. It's a wonder the poor fellow didn't just give up.

After another bout as a villain, though undoubtedly less of one than he was at the beginning, Mr. Darcy ends the novel as a hero.

For this magnificent bi-polar villainy, I thank Jane Austen. Well done, madam.

And Mr. Darcy lives on in our hearts as the ultimate bad boy turned gentleman.
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  1. I love the approach you took on this. He's not a totally evil villain but since we identify with Elizabeth we too can think of him as a villain or unvillain. It's subtler than, say, the bad guy in a Disney movie.

  2. Oh yes, the "is he or isn't he?" villain is so much fun when done by a skilled writer!

  3. Interesting take on a villain. The changed/changing villain is perhaps the most appealing for me too.


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