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Setting

By trollmandingo123 May 03, 2013 3371 Words
Location and plot pace relationship
The plot, which had slowed since Darcy’s proposal, now picks up speed as it rushes toward its conclusion. Chpt 46-49

When bennet girls leave home, their parent’s ineptitude become apparent

Netherfield Park
Jane invitation, horse, sick, Elizabeth hikes over, original opinions of unlady like behavior Ideal traits of a woman discussion
The interactions between Darcy and Elizabeth primarily take the forms of banter and argument, and Elizabeth’s words provide Darcy access to a deeper aspect of her character, one that appeals to him and allows him to begin to move past his initial prejudice. While their disagreement over the possibility of a “perfect” woman reinforces his apparent egotism and self-absorption, it also gives Elizabeth a chance to shine in debate. Whereas she does not live up to Darcy’s physical and social requirements for a perfect woman, she exceeds those concerning the “liveliness” of the perfect woman’s mind.

Pretensions, social rank

Mrs. Bennet & daughters go to visit jane liz interarction
Lydia’s request for a ball
Liz refusal to dance increases darcy’s admiration and starts ms. Bingley’s jealousy

Proximity: Elizabeth poses a separate threat to each of them. Miss Bingley fears her as a rival for Darcy’s affection, and Darcy fears that he will succumb to his growing attraction to her despite the impracticality of marriage to one of such inferior rank and family. The anxiety created by class-consciousness thereby becomes a self-perpetuating, warping institution. Darcy, concerned that he may affect his own reputation by linking it to the poor reputation of another, tries to avoid talking to Elizabeth entirely on the final day she spends at Netherfield. He must tie himself up in a sort of logical knot; class-consciousness transforms Elizabeth, who is perfect for him, as something to be feared. Miss Bingley demonstrates how, once a class system develops, it maintains its coherence. Miss Bingley feels threatened by Elizabeth and knows she cannot compete with Elizabeth on the basis of her virtues or talents. Her means of defense is to bring class-anxiety to bear; by the luck of her birth, Miss Bingley has been stamped as superior. She now uses the entire social institution of class to maintain her superiority, even though all logic and experience show that superiority to be a lie.

After Wickham and Lydia depart for their new home in the North, news arrives that Bingley is returning to Netherfield Park for a few weeks. Mr. Bennet refuses to visit him, much to the family’s discomfort. Three days after his arrival at Netherfield, however, Bingley comes to the Bennets’s home, accompanied by Darcy. Mrs. Bennet is overly attentive to Bingley and quite rude to Darcy, completely unaware that he was the one who saved Lydia. Before departing, the gentlemen promise to dine at Longbourn soon.

Longbourn
Home, entailed-> urgency in finding husband
Though Jane is the eldest child in a fairly well-off family, her status as a woman precludes her from enjoying the success her father has experienced. When her father dies, the estate will turn over to Mr. Collins, the oldest male relative. The mention of entailment stresses not just the value society places on making a good marriage but also the way that the structures of society make a good marriage a prerequisite for a “good” life (the connotation of “good” being wealthy). Austen thus offers commentary on the plight of women. Through both law and prescribed gender roles, Austen’s society leaves women few options for the advancement or betterment of their situations.

Chpt 47 goes home after Lydia elope

Mr. Gardiner writes to Mr. Bennet again to inform him that Wickham has accepted a commission in the North of England. Lydia asks to be allowed to visit her family before she goes north with her new husband. After much disagreement, the Bennets allow the newlyweds to stay at their home. The ten-day visit is difficult: Lydia is oblivious to all of the trouble that she has caused, and Wickham behaves as if he has done nothing wrong. One morning while sitting with Jane and Elizabeth, Lydia describes her wedding and mentions that Darcy was in the church. Elizabeth is amazed and sends a letter to Mrs. Gardiner asking for details. London

a letter arrives for Jane from Miss Bingley, informing her that Bingley and his party are returning to the city indefinitely and implying that Bingley plans to marry Darcy’s sister, Georgiana. Elizabeth comforts Jane, telling her that this turn of events is all Miss Bingley’s doing, not her brother’s, and that Bingley will return to Netherfield. The letter further states that Bingley will remain in London all winter, putting an end to the Bennets’s hopes that he might return to Netherfield. Elizabeth is very upset by this news and complains to Jane that people lack “merit or sense,” referring to Bingley for apparently abandoning Jane, and to Charlotte Lucas for agreeing to marry Mr. Collins. Meanwhile, Mrs. Bennet’s hopes of seeing her daughters wed fade rapidly.

Darcy and Bingley come to dinner; Bingley places himself next to Jane and pays her much attention while Darcy finds a seat at the opposite end of the table from Elizabeth, rendering conversation between the two impossible. Elizabeth accepts that having been refused by her once, Darcy will not ask her to marry him again The engagement settled, Bingley comes to visit often. Jane learns that he had no idea that she was in London over the winter, and she realizes that his sisters were attempting to keep him away from her. Meanwhile, the neighborhood agrees that the Bennets are extremely fortunate in their daughter’s marriage.

Cyclic nature of returning to Netherfield and visiting Longbough Proposing again
While Elizabeth’s hope of Darcy’s still loving her slowly grows in these chapters, the reader receives hints all along that Darcy’s feelings for her have not altered. He has paid for Lydia’s wedding, and the insightful Mrs. Gardiner, who provides levelheaded analyses of situations at various points in the novel, can think of only one reason for him to do so. Elizabeth’s instincts tell her the same thing: “Her heart did whisper, that he had done it for her.” Nevertheless, she insists on squashing that whisper, as her embarrassment about Lydia and her sense of Darcy’s pride compel her to the assumption that Darcy would never connect himself with her family, especially now that the odious Wickham is her brother-in-law.

Lady Catherine leaving her own residence to visit Longbough to prohibit Liz from engaging shows how much a disruption of social norm it is to marry down (lower class) Lady Catherine is the last of the many obstacles facing the romance between Darcy and Elizabeth, and Elizabeth’s confrontation with her marks the heroine’s finest moment. This encounter crystallizes the tensions that their difference in social status has created. All of the qualities that Elizabeth has embodied thus far—intelligence, wit, lack of pretense, and resistance to snobbery—are evident in her dialogue. Lady Catherine, with the weight of birth and money on her side, responds to Elizabeth’s brazenness with a snobbishness that reflects her unassailable preoccupation with social concerns and demonstrates her lack of appreciation for the richness of Elizabeth’s character. Elizabeth, of course, has not yet received a new proposal of marriage from Darcy and has no way of knowing if one is forthcoming, but her pride in herself and her love of Darcy allow her to stand up to the domineering Lady Catherine. With the expression of her beliefs, Elizabeth demonstrates the enduring strength of her will and self-respect.

After the weddings, Bingley purchases an estate near Pemberley, and the Bennet sisters visit one another frequently. Kitty is kept away from Lydia and her bad influence, and she matures greatly by spending time at her elder sisters’ homes. Lydia and Wickham remain incorrigible, asking Darcy for money and visiting the Bingleys so frequently that even the good-humored Bingley grows tired of them. Elizabeth becomes great friends with Georgiana. She even comes to interact on decent terms with Miss Bingley. Lady Catherine eventually accepts the marriage and visits her nephew and his wife at Pemberley. Darcy and Elizabeth continue to consider the Gardiners close friends, grateful for the fact that they brought Elizabeth to Pemberley the first time and helped to bring the two together.

Gardiners

Meryton
The ball at Meryton is important to the structure of the novel since it brings the two couples—Darcy and Elizabeth, Bingley and Jane—together for the first time. The relative effortlessness with which Bingley and Jane interact is indicative of their easygoing natures; the obstacles that the novel places in the way of their happiness are in no way caused by Jane or Bingley themselves.

Indeed, their feelings for one another seem to change little after the initial attraction—there is no development of their love, only the delay of its consummation. Darcy’s bad behavior, on the other hand, immediately betrays the pride and sense of social superiority that will most hinder him from finding his way to Elizabeth. His snub of her creates a mutual dislike, in contrast to the mutual attraction between Jane and Bingley Further, while Darcy’s opinion of Elizabeth changes within a few chapters, her (and the reader’s) sense of him as self-important and arrogant remains unaltered until midway through the novel.

Mrs. Phillips
millitia
Lydia’s friend Mr.Denny,
Wickham
Meryton as a removed social, “going to town” place where… Darcy and Wickham’s tension first noticed
Phillips dinner party- wickham’s story

England –social values, marriage

Lucas house
Darcy first attracted to Elizabeth
Rejected dance(role reversal from original mertyon ball)
William’s social rank, moved away (5-8)
*Charlottes discussion w/Liz and Jane that she doesn’t show love for bingley, foreshadow darcy Opposite beliefs of Charlotte, about husband-> marries Mr. Collins Indeed, one can interpret Charlotte’s fate as a component of Austen’s critique of a male-dominated society that leaves unmarried women without a future. Whereas Elizabeth is an idealist who will not marry solely for money, to either a fool (Collins) or a man she dislikes (Darcy, at first), Charlotte, six years older than her friend and lacking a fortune, is a pragmatist: she must capitalize on any opportunity that presents itself in order to avoid the societal scorn that accompanies old maid status. As Austen says of Charlotte: she “accepted [Mr. Collins] solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment.”

While the novel ultimately delivers Jane and Elizabeth to happiness, at this point in the story it seems as though the Bennet girls are losing out in their respective pursuits of husbands. When Charlotte says, “I am not a romantic you know . . . I ask only a comfortable home,” it seems as though romanticism compels Elizabeth to ask for too much, to seek more than her society is willing to grant her.

Hunsford, the location of Mr. Collins’s parish
Miss de Bourgh invites them to dine at Rosings, a mansion
The visit to Rosings introduces Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who serves as another vehicle for Austen’s criticism of snobbery. Lady Catherine’s favorite pastime is ordering everyone else about (“Elizabeth found that nothing was beneath this great Lady’s attention, which could furnish her with an occasion of dictating to others”). The only individual who dares to stand up to the haughty Lady Catherine is Elizabeth (unsurprisingly, as elsewhere she sees through the pretensions of pompous and arrogant people like Mr. Collins and Miss Bingley). When Lady Catherine criticizes the Bennet sisters’ upbringing, Elizabeth defends her family, “suspect[ing] herself to be the first creature who had ever dared to trifle with so much dignified impertinence.” The same dignified impertinence with which Elizabeth combats Lady Catherine’s preconceptions reappears later in her refusal to let Lady Catherine prevent her from marrying Darcy. Elizabeth encounters Darcy and his cousin frequently in her walks through the countryside. Alone at the parsonage, Elizabeth is still mulling over what Fitzwilliam has told her when Darcy enters and abruptly declares his love for her. His proposal of marriage dwells at length upon her social inferiority, and Elizabeth’s initially polite rejection turns into an angry accusation. She demands to know if he sabotaged Jane’s romance with Bingley; he admits that he did. She then repeats Wickham’s accusations and declares that she thinks Darcy to be proud and selfish and that marriage to him is utterly unthinkable. Darcy’s proposal is the turning point of Pride and Prejudice. Until he asks her to marry him, Elizabeth’s main preoccupation with Darcy centers around dislike; after the proposal, the novel chronicles the slow, steady growth of her love. At the moment, however, Elizabeth’s attitude toward Darcy corresponds to the judgments she has already made about him. She refuses him because she thinks that he is too arrogant, part of her first impression of him at the Meryton ball, and because of the role she believes he played in disinheriting Wickham and his admitted role in disrupting the romance between Jane and Bingley.

Just as Elizabeth yields to her prejudices (she has not yet heard Darcy’s side of the story), Darcy allows his pride to guide him. In his proposal to Elizabeth, he spends more time emphasizing Elizabeth’s lower rank than actually asking her to marry him (“he was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride”). This turning point thus occurs with the two central characters occupying seemingly irreconcilable emotional locations, leaving the reader, in the words of critic Douglas Bush, “almost exactly in the middle of the book, wondering if and how the chasm . . . can be bridged.”

Truth revealsed chpt 35-
Go home

Pemberley
Darcy’s ancestral home, library, first discussion in chpt 8 Proud family line
Protects Georgiana against wickham

In July, Elizabeth accompanies the Gardiners on a tour of the Derbyshire countryside, and their travels take them close to Darcy’s manor, Pemberley. Hearing that Darcy is not in the neighborhood, she agrees to take a tour of the estate. Chpt 43s

After the reception of the letter, the novel contrives to separate Darcy and Elizabeth, giving each of them space in which to adjust their feelings and behavior. In the meantime, Austen lays the groundwork for Lydia’s whirlwind romance with Wickham and establishes a contrast between Elizabeth’s maturity concerning Darcy and Lydia’s girlish imprudence. Whereas Elizabeth assumes a passive stance in matters of love, consenting to go to Pemberley only because she thinks Darcy will not be there, Lydia actively pursues her beloved officers and stakes her claim to Wickham now that he has lost interest in Miss King: “I will answer for it that he never cared three straws for her.”

As Elizabeth tours the beautiful estate of Pemberley with the Gardiners, she imagines what it would be like to be mistress there, as Darcy’s wife. The housekeeper, Mrs. Reynolds, shows them portraits of Darcy and Wickham and relates that Darcy, in his youth, was “the sweetest, most generous-hearted boy in the world.” She adds that he is the kindest of masters: “I have never had a cross word from him in my life.” Elizabeth is surprised to hear such an agreeable description of a man she considers unbearably arrogant.

While Elizabeth and the Gardiners continue to explore the grounds, Darcy himself suddenly appears. He joins them in their walk, proving remarkably polite. Elizabeth is immediately embarrassed at having come to Pemberley after the events of recent months, and she assures Darcy that she came only because she thought that he was away. Darcy tells her that he has just arrived to prepare his home for a group of guests that includes the Bingleys and his own sister, Georgiana. He asks Elizabeth if she would like to meet Georgiana, and Elizabeth replies that she would. After Darcy leaves them, the Gardiners comment on his good looks and good manners, so strikingly divergent from the account of Darcy’s character that Elizabeth has given them.

The next day, Darcy and Georgiana, who is pretty but very shy, visit Elizabeth at her inn. Bingley joins them, and after a brief visit, they invite Elizabeth and the Gardiners, who perceive that Darcy is in love with their niece, to dine at Pemberley. The following morning, Elizabeth and Mrs. Gardiner visit Pemberley to call on Miss Darcy. Bingley’s sisters are both present; when Darcy enters the room, Miss Bingley makes a spiteful comment to Elizabeth, noting that the departure of the militia from Meryton “must be a great loss to your family.” Elizabeth dodges the subject of Wickham. This deflection proves fortunate given the presence of Georgiana, as references to the man with whom she almost eloped would embarrass her.

Elizabeth’s visit to Pemberley constitutes a critical step in her progress toward marrying Darcy. The house itself is representative, even a symbol, of its owner—the narrator describes it as a “large, handsome, stone building, standing well on rising ground . . . in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal, nor falsely adorned.” Darcy is similarly large and handsome, elevated socially just as his house is elevated physically. The description of the way the stream’s “natural importance was swelled into greater” reminds the reader of Darcy’s pride; that the stream is “neither formal, nor falsely adorned,” however, reminds the reader of Darcy’s honesty and lack of pretense. Most importantly, the property delights Elizabeth, foreshadowing her eventual realization that the master of Pemberley similarly delights her.

Mrs. Reynolds’s glowing descriptions of Darcy continue the process of breaking down Elizabeth’s initial prejudice against him. As Mrs. Reynolds reveals a hidden side of Darcy, Elizabeth realizes how hastily she has judged him. This ability to admit the error of her ways demonstrates Elizabeth’s emotional maturity; unlike Miss Bingley, who resorts to denigrating Elizabeth when she realizes that Darcy favors her, Elizabeth does not allow arrogance to prevent her from confronting her own shortcomings.

The arrival of Darcy himself further encourages Elizabeth’s change of heart. Humbled by her rejection of his marriage proposal, Darcy has altered his conduct toward her and become a perfect gentleman. This courteous behavior both illustrates his love for her and compels the growth of her estimation of him. His ability to overcome his pride in much the same way that Elizabeth overcomes her prejudice gives Elizabeth and the reader hope that her rejection of him has not caused him to give up and that he may propose again under different terms. LIZ has never been to Pemberley, never walked in Darcy’s shoes, knew his background but already prejudiced and judged him Introduces Darcy’s sister, other side of his life (look out for sister) The reader meets Georgiana Darcy for the first time in these chapters. Previously, she has been described as a possible wife for Mr. Bingley because of her beauty and accomplishments. In person, however, she is painfully shy; as a result, the reader ceases to see her as a threat to Jane. She cuts a very different figure—and one with whom the reader can sympathize—from the overeager Miss Bingley, whose aggressive pursuit of Darcy highlights her obnoxiousness. Indeed, Miss Bingley reappears with more spite than before. The mean-spiritedness behind her derisive insinuation about the Bennet girls’ unladylike obsession with the soldiers contrasts with Elizabeth’s thoughtful protection of the vulnerable Georgiana.

Brighton
The regiment is to be sent to Brighton for the summer, and the two girls are hoping to convince their parents to summer there also. In the course of the conversation, Lydia mentions, with some satisfaction, that Wickham is no longer interested in Miss King, who has gone to Liverpool to stay with her uncle.

Lydia is invited to spend the summer in Brighton by the wife of a Colonel Forster. Mr. Bennet allows her to go, assuming that the colonel will keep her out of trouble. Elizabeth sees Wickham once more before his regiment departs, and they discuss Darcy in a guarded manner. Elizabeth avoids any mention of what she has discovered. The soldiers leave Meryton for Brighton; Kitty is distraught to see them go and even more distraught that her sister is allowed to follow them.

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