This month we're talking favorite fictional heroes. I have lots of heroes I love, but I keep coming back to Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice and Mr. Thornton from North & South. Yes, both are British, and yes, the accent makes me swoon, but that's not why I love these heroes.
If you've seen these movies, you might be thinking, "Passion? These two are both stiff upper lip, not easy to know, pretty serious dudes." If you can think of men like Mr. Darcy and Mr. Thornton as dudes...
Bear with me here. If you've ever heard the phrase "still waters run deep", it perfectly describes these two. And really, their heroines, but who wants to talk about women when you can wax poetic about men? Moving on... These men don't wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Mr. Darcy is about as different from his best friend Mr. Bingley as night and day. Bingley falls in love easily and shows it. Mr. Darcy takes more persuading to really put his heart into it. In fact, it isn't until after he proposes to Elizabeth the first time that he really begins to realize this depth of feeling for her. When Elizabeth rebukes Mr. Darcy for behaving in an un-gentlemanlike manner, it cuts deep.
Likewise for Mr. Thornton. Yes, he's in love -- he thinks -- with Margaret when he proposes to her after the incident at the mill, but he really isn't. It's not until he loses everything that he finally faces what his heart knew all along but his head refused to believe - that he won't be happy without Margaret. You might be wondering why he went to Helstone rather than pursuing Margaret in London, but really, it's simple. Like Mr. Darcy, Mr. Thornton has a lot of pride. He's a failure, or so he thinks. The woman he loves is his landlord now. What can he possibly offer her?
Darcy is well aware of what he can offer Elizabeth in terms of money and property, but it isn't until he can offer her his heart without reservation that he proposes the second time.
Yes, both men are not ones to wow women with flowery speeches, but the passion is there. You can see it in their eyes. And when they do speak, it's obvious, moreso in Darcy during his first proposal than his second, and in Thornton in his proposal. Both raise their faces, both pace, both stare at their heroines. And both are devastated, not to mention humiliated, when their heroines flatly refuse their proposals.
You want an impassioned speech? Here's one, the proposal, and subsequent refusal, in North & South:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_FcSm1wUu0 (I would've embedded it but Blogger wouldn't let me)
I could link to Darcy's first proposal as well, but that one is better known, whether from the book or the BBC movie (the Keira Knightley one makes a mockery of the book IMO), so I decided not to. If you want to look it up, I'm quite sure YouTube has the proposal scene.
What am I getting at? Both men have passion. It may be lurking below the surface, but it's there. And that makes both of them drool-worthy.
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