Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Bad Boy Who Started It All

I'm a sucker for the bad boy as much as the next girl (okay, maybe a lot more than the next girl), but I'm not about to dish on my personal history with such creatures. Instead, I'd like to talk about the bad boy I blame for my relentless attraction to the tall, dark, and dangerous.

Name: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy

Source: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

What makes him a bad boy: He's a total snob, he's abominably rude to Lizzie Bennet, he breaks up the relationship between Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley, he is very high-handed, and seems to think he's better than everyone else just because he's wealthy, handsome, and educated. He also has that talk, dark, and brooding thing going on, and is not one to say more than absolutely necessary.

What makes him irresistable: Falling in love with Lizzie changed him, made him look more critically at himself and his faults, made him a better man. He helped her sister (and her family) avoid the scandal of an unfulfilled elopement, he patched up things between Jane and Mr. Bingley, and he is nothing but welcoming kindness when Lizzie and her middle class aunt and uncle visit Darcy's massive country estate. It's the transformation he makes, into a more complete and well-rounded person, and the knowledge that it is his love of Lizzie that prompts this change that makes Mr. Darcy such an enthralling character.

I guess that's the perpetual lure of the bad boy. The idea that the power of a woman's love (or the love for a woman) can bring out the best parts of him--some of which are hidden deep, deep down. It's the hope that beneath his rough, gruff exterior is a soft-hearted man just waiting for the right girl to come along, turning him into the kind of guy who looks like a puppy dog whenever he sees her.

Your turn. Who's your first (or favorite) bad boy?


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Simone Elkeles said...

I was always partial to Vinny Barbarino from Welcome Back Kotter, The Fonz from Happy Days, and Danny Zuco from Grease...all bad boys with a heart!

Marley Gibson said...

Ahhhh...nothing like a little dose of Colin Firth first thing in the morning. = )

I may have to watch P&P over the holidays.

Which bad boy? Hmmm...you can't go wrong with James Dean in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE.

Jennifer Rummel said...

I <3 Mr. Darcy, but I'm also digging Spike these days too. (A little late, I know)

TinaFerraro said...

What Simone said! Vinny, The Fonz and Danny!

But know I'll always have a soft spot for MisTAH Dahcy!

Me said...

Simone (and Tina) -- I'll definitely second (or third) your Danny Zuco!

Marley -- Yeah, I'll take a dose of Colin Firth any time of the day. =)

YA Booknerd -- Omigosh, how could I forget Spike? I'm a late Buffy convert too (watched all seven seasons this year) and am soooo in love with Spike. Sigh.

stephhale said...

I'm not a big fan of the bad boy, but everytime I see Colin Farrell, I melt. Although I'm not quite sure how bad he is anymore.

Marilyn Brant said...

Ohhhhh, I saw the picture and just had to comment! Darcy is easily my favorite bad boy. And, while I'm a fan of every film version of P&P (and who wouldn't love Colin?), my imagined version of good ole Fitzwilliam always wins :).

I also really like the lead guy, played by D.B. Sweeney, in The Cutting Edge...

Anonymous said...

i would have to say my favorite bad boy is Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind. There was always something that lured me towards him even though he was consistantly rude and the things he did were scandulous. Actually, thats why i like him, because hes not the normal good boy every one expected. He was also heart meltingly handsome.