I have often wondered if in another situation Caroline and Elizabeth would have been friends, or if their different views of the world would make that impossible regardless of the circumstances.
Caroline has a thing for Darcy, but I don’t really think she cares about him. I don’t think she cares about anyone, really. I doubt she sits around day dreaming that he’ll take her hand or kiss her or any of the things young women do when they have a crush. I doubt she’s imagined what their children will look like or what they’ll name those children.
No, I think Caroline’s interest in Darcy is based on his position in society and his gorgeous home. The fact that he is intelligent and attractive – and she is no dummy herself – has to be a big bonus, but still not the real reason she’s in the game.
She dislikes Elizabeth vehemently after she realizes Darcy likes her so much. She didn’t care for the Bennets before, but it wasn’t personal. Then she begins to view Elizabeth as a poacher, a trespasser on her turf, and she goes on the defensive.
I can understand that. I have an attractive husband (it’s kind of ridiculous, really) and he gets more than his share of women looking his way. Luckily, he’s the oblivious type so he has no idea why women talk to him the way they do or make those pouty faces or blink like there’s something in their eyes, but that’s him. Darcy was well aware of the attention he was getting and would have to have been blind not to see that Caroline had set her cap at him.
Was she embarrassed that he never proposed or asked to court her or behaved like a lover? I have read stories that have Darcy and Caroline having a prior sexual relationship, but that is not something I can really wrap my mind around. I don’t think she’d do it. She values herself too highly to lower her desirability in the marriage mart. So how does she feel as time marches on and he continues to be silent on the subject of a future together?
Does she feel herself getting older? Does she grow desperate? Is she angry at him, or only at rivals? Have there been other rivals before Elizabeth?
Chasing after a man can make a woman crazy. Especially when the man doesn’t get caught in the end. (Maybe then, too.)
So is she delusional? Does she imagine that the talks between them are more than what they are? Is she so happy in her little imaginary world that she has no clue about how others view her?
She seems to me like a person completely wrapped up in herself and her goals. Ambitious.
Now, I have always admired ambition. In general, I think it is a good trait. But when the goal of one’s ambition involves other people, specifically marrying them and trading off their good name, it gets murky.
Is she a classic narcissist only looking out for herself, or is she a product of her raising?
Were most women of high society like that? Does she have a heart and is she capable of loving? If she is a true narcissist, then she likely isn’t.
We know not whether she has any actual affection for her brother, and her relationship with Louisa seems rather shallow.
But maybe it isn’t. Maybe they are the best of friends and deeply care about each other. Or maybe each is simply convenient to the other and a responsibility that can’t be gotten away from.
Caroline is so two-dimensional in the book: she has one purpose – to become Mrs. Darcy and enjoy all that entails. But there must be at least a little something more to her. What is it?
If she were alive today, would that ambition have taken her into politics or business or law? Would she have been a force to be reckoned with or a role model for other women? Was she suffering the horrible fate of an intelligent woman in a society that neither wanted nor needed what she had to offer?
Is it power that she craves?
I’ll admit that I wonder about her a little bit, but not too much. She isn’t very likeable and therefore not someone I want to think about, but there has to be something else there.
What kind of man does she finally marry once Darcy is no longer an option?
How does she take to married life? Does she have children? How many? If she gets a son, is she one and done? Or is she more of the ‘five and alive’ variety? I confess I think that unlikely, but stranger things have happened.
What do you think? Would Caroline make a good wife? What kind of mother would she be?