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 Seven, Forty Eight, and Forty Nine, Brief Summary

On the way back to Longbourn, Mr. Gardiner tries to make Elizabeth feel better by telling her that certainly Wickham must have had a genuine intention of marrying Lydia. Elizabeth is not convinced at all about Wickham's sincerity to marry Lydia. The Gardiners and Elizabeth arrive at Longbourn the next day. Jane is very glad to see them. Mrs. Bennet is hysterical and will not leave her room. Jane relates that there is so far no news of the couple's whereabouts. Mrs. Bennet blames the Foresters for Lydia's elopement.

In chapter forty eight Mr. Gardiner goes to London in search of the couple. Mrs. Gardiner remains at Longbourn to help Jane and Elizabeth. Another letter arrives from Mr. Gardiner; he plans to inquire at every hotel in and ask Mr. Forster if anyone in the militia knows where Wickham could be staying.

The Bennets receive a letter from Mr. Collins. The letter offer condolences but also criticizes the Bennets' parenting skills and alludes to the fact that he is now glad Elizabeth turned down his proposal since the Bennet family is scandalized. Mr. Bennet decides to come home and leave the searching to Mr. Gardiner.

In chapter forty nine, Elizabeth speaks to her father about Lydia; he feels that he is to blame for the elopement and that he should have taken Elizabeth's advice and not allowed Lydia to go to Brighton.

Mr. Bennet receives a letter from Mr. Gardiner. Wickham has been found and agrees to marry Lydia on the condition that she receives her share of Mr. Bennet's estates, along with 100 pounds a year.

When the news of Lydia's marriage is announced to the house; Mrs. Bennet immediately forgets the trouble that Lydia has caused and begins to plan the wedding clothes that she will buy Lydia. Mr. Bennet announces that not only will Lydia not receive money for new clothes, but that she will not be welcomed home to Longbourn.

Chapters Forty Seven, Forty Eight, and Forty Nine, Detailed Summary

On the way back to Longbourn, Mr. Gardiner tries to make Elizabeth feel better by telling her that certainly Wickham must have had a genuine intention of marrying Lydia. However, Elizabeth knows more about Wickham's true character and is not convinced at all about Wickham's sincerity to marry Lydia. Elizabeth is upset with herself for having not revealed to her family what she knew about Wickham and feels if she had, Lydia might have been protected.

The Gardiners and Elizabeth arrive at Longbourn the next day. Jane is very glad to see them, as the household is in pieces and Mrs. Bennet is hysterical and will not leave her room. Jane relates that there is so far no news of the couple's whereabouts. Mrs. Bennet blames the Foresters for Lydia's elopement, though it was Mr. and Mrs. Bennet who let Lydia travel to Brighton in the first place.

Mrs. Bennet is afraid that when Mr. Bennet finds the couple he will fight Wickham and be killed. Mr. Gardiner tries to reassure her that such a thing will not happen and promises to the best he can to find Lydia and Wickham. When Elizabeth and Jane are alone they discuss what has happened. Jane shows Elizabeth the note Lydia left for Mrs. Forster. Lydia's letter shows the depths of her thoughtlessness but proves that she thought Wickham was taking her off to be married as she says in the letter that she will soon be able to sign her letters as Mrs. Wickham.

The next morning Mr. Gardiner goes to London in search of the couple. Mrs. Gardiner remains at Longbourn to help Jane and Elizabeth. The town of Meryton changes it's vie of Wickham from "an angel of light" to "the wickedest young man in the world." A few days later a letter arrives from Mr. Gardiner; he plans to inquire at every hotel in London as to whether or not Lydia and Wickham have been seen. Mr. Gardiner also says that he plans to ask Mr. Forster if anyone in the militia knows where Wickham could be staying with Lydia.

The Bennets receive a letter from Mr. Collins. The letter offer condolences but also criticizes the Bennets' parenting skills and alludes to the fact that he is now glad Elizabeth turned down his proposal since the Bennet family is scandalized. Another letter arrives from Mr. Gardiner. Mr. Forster has had no luck finding friends or relations that Lydia and Wickham might be staying with. Colonel Forester mentions that Wickham has amassed over 1,000 dollars in gaming debts, and owes money to the merchants of town as well.

Mr. Bennet decides to come home and leave the Mr. Gardiner. Mrs. Gardiner returns home to London with her children. Elizabeth's unhappiness is heightened by her belief that Darcy will now want nothing to do with her because of the scandal. Elizabeth speaks to her father about Lydia; he feels that he is to blame for the elopement and that he should have taken Elizabeth's advice and not allowed Lydia to go to Brighton.

Mr. Bennet receives a letter from Mr. Gardiner. Wickham has been found and agrees to marry Lydia on the condition that she receives her share of Mr. Bennet's estates, along with 100 pounds a year. Mr. Bennet tells Elizabeth that Mr. Gardiner must have paid Wickham an enormous sum of money to make him marry Lydia; Mr. Bennet wonders how much money Mr. Gardiner has paid out, and how he will ever repay it as he estimates that it must have been close to ten thousand pounds.

When the news of Lydia's marriage is announced to the house, Mrs. Bennet becomes ecstatic and finally leaves her room. Mrs. Bennet immediately forgets the trouble that Lydia has caused and begins to plan the wedding clothes that she will buy Lydia. Elizabeth and Jane remind Mrs. Bennet of the trouble Lydia has caused. Mr. Bennet announces that not only will Lydia not receive money for new clothes, but that she will not be welcomed home to Longbourn.

Chapters Forty Seven, Forty Eight, and Forty Nine, Analysis

Mr. Gardiner tries to convince Elizabeth that Wickham plans to marry Lydia but Elizabeth knows better since she already knows his true character and what he is capable of when it comes to young women. This chapter is especially important in that Elizabeth finally learns what she stands to lose because of her quick judgments of people and her prejudices and unwillingness to see people differently from her first impression.

Mrs. Bennet's reaction is consistent with her character and reinforces her portrayal as an incompetent parent. In the time of the family's crisis, she refuses to leave her room and falls into hysterics. She blames the Foresters for the situation as she believes they did not take good care of Lydia when she was with them. However, it was Mrs. Bennet herself who encouraged Lydia's trip to Brighton. There is no admission of guilt from Mrs. Bennet and she continually blames other people for the scandal. Mrs. Bennet goes so far as to say that it is Mr. Gardiner's responsibility to help find Lydia since he is Mrs. Bennet's brother. Mrs. Bennet leaves Jane to handle the management of the household. Once again, her behavior mirrors that of her sixteen year old daughter.

In chapter forty eight, Mr. Bennet admits to Elizabeth that it is his fault for having let Lydia go to Brighton in the first place. Mr. Bennet acknowledges that he has been an absent parent and that he should have listened to Elizabeth about the possibility of Lydia acted poorly. But even though Mr. Bennet acknowledges his role in the scandal, he also acknowledges that he will return to his previous role as soon as the crisis is over and shortly after, will no longer feel to blame.

Mr. Bennet tries to make up for his negligence by trying to locate Lydia and Wickham, yet he fails in this task, leaving Mr. Gardiner to finish the task. Thus, Mr. Gardiner again takes over the role of father for the Bennet girls.

In chapter forty nine, Mr. Bennet assumes that Mr. Gardiner has paid an enormous sum to Wickham in order to get him to marry Lydia. There is some hint of a benefactor, as Mr. Bennet guesses that the sum couldn't have been less than ten thousand pounds, an enormous amount for Mr. Gardiner to pay.

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