Pride and Prejudice Study Guide

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice follows the lives of the five Bennet sisters and their parents, especially focusing on the second eldest daughter Elizabeth. Though weary of her mother's desperation to place each of her daughters in good marriages, Elizabeth finds herself drawn to Mr. Darcy, a proud and wealthy gentleman who is attracted to Elizabeth because of her intelligence and wit. Amidst the drama of their friends' and families' lives, both must overcome preconceived notions and expectations in this story that explores class, love, and social change.

Chapters Eleven and Twelve, Brief Summary

After dinner Jane is feeling well enough to join the others in the drawing room. Elizabeth is glad to see that Bingley showers Jane with attention. Miss Bingley continues in her attempts to please Darcy. When Darcy does not converse with Miss Bingley, and chooses instead to read a book, Miss Bingley pretends to have a love for reading and picks up a book herself, the second volume of the book Darcy is reading. When she can engage no one in conversation, Miss Bingley begins to walk around the room, attempting to catch Darcy's attention. Her attempts fail, but when she invites Elizabeth to walk around the room with her, Darcy closes his book and stop reading to talk to the women. The three talk about Darcy's character.In chapter twelve, Jane has finally recovered from her illness. Elizabeth writes home to her mother to request the carriage but Mrs. Bennet refuses because she wants them to stay at Netherfield for a full week. Jane and Elizabeth, however, feel that they have overstayed their welcome and resolve to go home the next morning. Since Mrs. Bennet will not cooperate, the girls ask the Bingley's to lend them their carriage. Elizabeth and Jane are glad to be returning home. All in the party are happy to see the girls go, except Bingley, who wants Jane to stay longer. Darcy is glad to have Elizabeth leave, as he is afraid to have her around because his feelings for her continue to grow. Miss Bingley is glad to see Elizabeth go home because she is jealous of the attention shown to her by Darcy. Mrs. Bennet is not glad to see the girls return home, as she feels they have ruined her matrimonial plan for Jane and Bingley.

Chapters Eleven and Twelve, Detailed Summary

Jane is well enough to sit in the drawing room. Elizabeth tends to her there, and is joined by the Bingley sisters. Elizabeth notices that, so long as the men are absent, the sisters are nice and carry on a conversation with Jane. However, when Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley enter the room, Elizabeth notices that Jane is soon forgotten. The ladies try to get Mr. Darcy to play cards but he declines and instead reads a book. Caroline Bingley tries to engage Mr. Darcy in a conversation about books, still he ignores her. She then asks her brother, Mr. Bingley, if he really does intend to give a ball at Netherfield, he replies that he does. Miss Bingley walks around the room, trying to get Mr. Darcy's attention but does not succeed. She then asks Elizabeth to walk around the room with her. Elizabeth is surprised but accepts. Mr. Darcy closes his book. A conversation begins between Mr. Darcy and the two women in which Darcy claims their motive in walking around the room is one of two: to share a secret between the two, or to gain his attention by showing off their figures when walking. Elizabeth tells Mr. Darcy that she thinks his "propensity is to hate everyone." Mr. Darcy claims that Elizabeth's propensity is "to willfully misunderstand" everyone.

In chapter twelve, Jane is well enough to leave Netherfield and go home. Elizabeth sends a note home to her mother, asking for the carriage. Mrs. Bennet declines, wanting Jane to spend a full week at Netherfield. Mrs. Bennet says the carriage will not be available until the following Tuesday and that Elizabeth should stay as well but Elizabeth is anxious to get home and fears a further invitation will not be extended by the Bingleys. However, Miss Bingley insists they stay another day yet regrets it immediately, as her dislike and jealousy of Elizabeth outweighs her affection for Jane. Jane and Elizabeth feel they have overstayed their welcome and resolve to go home the next morning. Since Mrs. Bennet will not cooperate, Elizabeth insists that Jane ask to borrow Mr. Bingley's carriage. The girls then ask the Bingley's to lend them their carriage.

Elizabeth and Jane are glad to be returning home. All in the party are happy to see the girls go, except Bingley, who wants Jane to stay longer. Mr. Darcy is glad they are leaving, as he has developed strong feelings for Elizabeth that he does not wish to have. Miss Bingley is glad to see Elizabeth go home because she is jealous of the attention shown to her by Darcy. Jane and Elizabeth leave after church. Mrs. Bennet is not pleased to see the girls when the return as she feels they have ruined her matrimonial plan for Jane and Bingley. Mr. Bennet, on the other hand, was glad to see them both as he missed their conversation.

Chapters Eleven and Twelve, Analysis

Chapters Eleven and twelve further show Mrs. Bennet's character, she is firmly established as a foolish, simple-minded woman who will stop to any scheme to get her daughter married. But though Mrs. Bennet had hoped that Bingley might fall in love with Jane by forcing her to stay at Netherfield, she never considered that Mr. Darcy might develop feelings for Elizabeth. Mrs. Bennet's pride and dislike of Mr. Darcy are so overwhelming; she does not even consider him as a mate for Elizabeth, in spite of vast wealth.Also in these two chapters, which close Jane and Elizabeth's stay at Netherfield, the character of the Bingley sisters is also firmly draw. While Jane, in her usual manner, refuses to believe ill of them, Elizabeth is now convinced even more of their snobbery. Caroline Bingley and Mrs. Hurst continually insult Elizabeth and the Bennet family, commenting on the bad manners of the mother, the bad behavior of the younger daughters, and the low social connections held by them all.

In spite of Elizabeth's coldness and sarcasm toward Darcy, and Miss Bingley's constant ridicule about the inferiority of Elizabeth's connections, Darcy is increasingly attracted to Elizabeth. Mr. Darcy is particularly fond of Elizabeth's dark eyes." However, Elizabeth's dark, beautiful eyes are also a symbol of her failure to see the true character of people. Tough she has correctly gauged the character of the Bingley sisters, and their insincerity, she has incorrectly judged the character of Mr. Darcy, and will continue to do so in the future. Elizabeth's pride is found in her supposed ability to correctly judge the character of others, yet throughout the novel she will fail in her attempts again and again.

Elizabeth's first judgment of Mr. Darcy blinds her to his attraction to her. When Darcy asks Elizabeth if she would like to dance, she assumes that he does so only to ridicule her. She assumes that he is glad to see her leave Netherfield because he does not like her. She does not know how he has defended her to the Bingley sisters at length. And she does not know what to make of his respectful treatment except to think that it is borne of sarcasm. As the Bennet girls' stay at Netherfield comes to an end, Miss Bennet, Darcy and Elizabeth have a conversation about Darcy's character. Elizabeth concludes that Darcy's defect is "a propensity to hate everybody," while Darcy replies that Elizabeth's propensity is to always "willfully...misunderstand them.'"

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