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 Forty Four, Forty Five, and Forty Six, Brief Summary

Elizabeth meets Darcy's sister, Georgiana. She was nervous about the formidable introduction but soon realizes that Georgiana is also nervous. Mr. Bingley comes to the inn to visit as well; all of Elizabeth's anger had been long done away. The Gardiners become convinced that Darcy is in love with Elizabeth. Elizabeth's affection for Darcy grows by the day, though she still does not seem aware that her feelings are those of love. Elizabeth observes Bingley and Georgiana with each another, and is happy to find that there is no affection between the two. Bingley has asks about Jane.

In chapter forty five, Elizabeth visits Pemberley. Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst receive her with civility but are still not very kind to her. Out of jealousy, Caroline Bingley asks Elizabeth about the regiment of officers leaving Brighton, and this being particularly hard on her family, due to the absence of one officer in particular. Elizabeth answers with composure. She also notices that both Mr. Darcy and Georgiana are embarrassed about the allusion to Mr. Wickham. As soon as Elizabeth leaves the room, Miss Bingley, still filled with jealousy, tries to insult Elizabeth's beauty. She is unsuccessful, however, when Darcy calls Elizabeth the most handsome woman he has ever met.

In chapter Forty six, Elizabeth receives two letters from Jane. Lydia has eloped with Wickham. At first the family was worried about the bad match between the two, since neither of them had any money. Then the family began to worry that no marriage had taken place at all. Jane asks Elizabeth and the Gardiners to return to Longbourn as soon as possible, and requests that Mr. Gardiner help Mr. Bennet with the search for Lydia and Wickham in London. Mr. Darcy appears as Elizabeth finishes the letter. He leaves quickly but promises to remain secret about the elopement. Elizabeth realizes she loves him, but thinks that Darcy will now have nothing to do with her because of the scandal.

Chapters Forty Four, Forty Five, and Forty Six, Detailed Summary

Mr. Darcy brings his sister Georgiana to visit Elizabeth at the inn at Lambton. She is surprised to see them as she thought they would come the following day. Elizabeth was nervous about the formidable introduction but soon realizes that Georgiana is also nervous. Elizabeth finds Georgiana to be shy, which is contrary to what she has heard. Miss Georgiana's appearance is described as womanly and graceful and less handsome than her brother. Georgiana is of good humour and manners were unassuming and gentle man. Mr. Bingley comes to the inn to visit as well; all of Elizabeth's anger had been long done away. The Gardiners become convinced that Darcy is in love with Elizabeth.

Elizabeth observes Bingley and Georgiana with each another, and is happy to find that there is no affection between the two. When Bingley has a moment to speak to Elizabeth alone, he asks about Jane. Bingley seems sad at not having seen Jane in above eight months. Elizabeth is surprised to know the exact date he last saw Jane, on the 26th of November. Darcy then invites Elizabeth and the Gardiners to dinner at Pemberley, and they accept.

Elizabeth's affection for Darcy seems to be growing by the day, though she still does not seem aware that her feelings are those of love. Elizabeth now wants to impress Darcy, and becomes nervous when he brings his sister to meet her. Mr. Darcy is on her mind continually. Elizabeth is now filled with gratitude for Darcy, not merely for having once loved her, but for loving her stillenough to forgive all the petulance.

The Gardiners rethink their negative impression of Darcy, one which had been formed by the gossip in Hertfordshire. They are satisfied that Darcy is a good man; they also discover that Wickham is not well liked in the area. Elizabeth stays realizes that she is grateful to Darcy for having loved her, and for continuing to love her in spite of her rude rejection of him. Elizabeth continues to be impressed by Darcy's change of character. She thinks very highly of him, but is still unsure of her love for him.

In chapter forty five, Elizabeth visits Pemberley and Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst receive her with civility but are still not very kind to her. Elizabeth both hopes, and fears, that Mr. Darcy will join them in the room. When Mr. Darcy does join them, his actions are scrutinized by Miss Bingley and Miss Hurst. Miss Bingley notices that Mr. Darcy going out of his way to make conversation between his sister and Elizabeth easy. Out of jealousy she asks Elizabeth about the regiment of officers leaving Brighton, and this being particularly hard on her family, due to the absence of one officer in particular. Elizabeth answers with composure. She also notices that both Mr. Darcy and Georgiana are embarrassed about the allusion to Mr. Wickham. As soon as Elizabeth leaves the room, Miss Bingley, still filled with jealousy, tries to insult Elizabeth's beauty. She is unsuccessful, however, when Darcy calls Elizabeth the most handsome woman he has ever met.

In chapter Forty six, Elizabeth receives two letters from Jane. In them, she explains with regret that Lydia has eloped with Wickham. At first the family was worried about the bad match between the two, since neither of them had any money. Then the family began to worry that no marriage had taken place at all. Jane asks Elizabeth and the Gardiners to return to Longbourn as soon as possible, and requests that Mr. Gardiner help Mr. Bennet with the search for Lydia and Wickham in London. Mr. Darcy appears as Elizabeth finishes the letter. She tells him that she must go immediately in search of Mr. Gardiner but he recommends that a servant be sent. Elizabeth collapses into a chair and explains what has happened to Darcy, who is very distressed as he immediately wishes he has related Wickham's true character to people when he had the chance. Elizabeth tells him that to tell would have ruined his sister's reputation and that she doesn't blame him for what has happened. Darcy leaves quickly but promises to remain secret about the elopement. Elizabeth realizes she loves him, but thinks that Darcy will now have nothing to do with her because of the scandal.

Chapter Forty Four, Forty Five, and Forty Six, Analysis

Elizabeth's affection for Darcy seems to be growing by the day, though she still does not seem aware that her feelings are those of love. Elizabeth now wants to impress Darcy, and becomes nervous when he brings his sister to meet her. Mr. Darcy is on her mind continually. Elizabeth is now filled with gratitude for Darcy, not merely for having once loved her, but for loving her stillenough to forgive all the petulance.This chapter is an important on in that of the internal problems that existed between Darcy and Elizabeth have seemingly disappeared, each has dropped their previous respective prejudices against the other, and are solely judging the character on the other based on action instead of supposition and gossip. It seems that the only impediments that remain are those of outside parties, people such as Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Caroline Bingley; people of a higher social class than Elizabeth who feel that she will not make a suitable wife for Darcy.

Because Darcy is so attentive to Elizabeth, the reader is aware that there must surely be another proposal in the near future. Elizabeth felt a real interest in his welfare. In addition, there is renewed hope for Jane and Bingley. Elizabeth finds that Bingley and Miss Darcy have no affection to one another, and that Caroline Bingley's assertion of an attachment between the two was nothing more than wishful thinking. Bingley's conversations with Elizabeth hint that he is still in love with Jane and would like very much to see her again.

In chapter forty five, the barriers of class are once again present. Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley are extremely class-conscious and look down upon Elizabeth and the Gardiners for their lower social status but Elizabeth knows that Miss Bingley's dislike of her had originated in jealousy. Austen shows, through these two characters, and characters like Lady Catherine, that good breeding and manners do not always go hand-hand with social status. While Elizabeth and Jane seem to be the exception of the ill-bred manners of their family, so to do Darcy and Bingley seem to be the exception in their party. Elizabeth is still able to stand her ground with Caroline Bingley, answering with equal indifference when she receives a cold inquiry from Miss Bingley about the health of her family. Throughout the novel, Elizabeth has shown little concern for the superficial aspects of social class, and tries to base her judgments on a person's character and actions.

Mr. Darcy, who used to be a class continuous as Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley, now is anxious for Elizabeth to meet his sister and get acquainted, and forwarded, as much as possible, every attempt at conversation on either side. Miss Bingley continues to be jealous of the growing relationship Darcy shares with Elizabeth and tries one last jibe at Elizabeth reminding Darcy how he once laughed at Elizabeth repute beauty and how he had replied that he would sooner call her mother a wit. However, Darcy silences Miss Bingley once and for all when he calls Elizabeth One of the handsomest women of [his] acquaintance.

In chapter forty six, Lydia's elopement is cause for great scandal to the entire family. Elizabeth's shock and her family's concern are understandable, as this type of behavior, in early nineteenth century England, was considered to be quite scandalous and could cause great harm to every sister in the family, not just the one who had eloped.

The elopement hardly seems a surprise to the reader though, as Lydia's behavior throughout the novel have shown her to be a very simple-minded girl who often thinks of no one but herself. That Wickham's character was exposed as insincere was also a foreboding sign of trouble. Though Lydia's elopement is a terrible event for the Bennet family, it does give Darcy a chance to be the good man; it gives him a chance to once and for all redeem himself and his character in Elizabeth's eyes.

Upon hearing the news of Lydia's elopement, Elizabeth is mortified beyond belief and is convinced that Darcy will now want nothing to do with her. However, Darcy considers the entire mess his fault because, if he had not kept silent and had instead exposed Wickham's true character to the town, none of this would have happened. , Ironically, Elizabeth has realized that she does indeed love Mr. Darcy, at the precise moment when she is convinced that he could never marry her. However, Mr. Darcy's reaction to the news gives the reader reason to believe that all hope is not lost. Mr. Darcy's main concern is to comfort Elizabeth and express his desire to do something doing something to help the situation.

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