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 Fifty, Fifty One, and Fifty Two

Mr. Bennet writes to Mr. Gardiner, asking how much is owed for the marriage between Wickham and Lydia. Mr. Gardiner states that the matter, never be mentioned to him again. Mr. Gardiner says that Wickham is to resign for the Militia and go into the regulars. Lydia and Wickham are to be sent to the North Country. Lydia pleads with her father to let her come home to visit Longbourn, Mr. Bennet continues to refuse. Elizabeth and Jane appeal to their father, and say that it will look better if Lydia and Wickham are received at Longbourn. Mr. Bennet finally agrees to let Lydia come home.

In chapter fifty one, Lydia and Wickham arrive at Longbourn. The couple shows no remorse for what they have done. Lydia shamelessly flaunts her new marital status. While telling Elizabeth about the wedding, Lydia tells her that Mr. Darcy was in attendance, something she was not supposed to tell. Elizabeth writes to Mrs. Gardiner asking why Mr. Darcy was at the wedding.

In chapter fifty two, Mrs. Gardiner's letter arrives, explaining Mr. Darcy's involvement in the wedding. Mrs. Gardiner explains that it was Mr. Darcy who found the location of Wickham and Lydia. It was Darcy then that offered Wickham money to marry Lydia. Mrs. Gardiner ends the letter by saying that she feels sure Darcy was motivated by love for Elizabeth.

Chapters Fifty, Fifty One, and Fifty Two, Detailed Summary

Mr. Bennet writes to Mr. Gardiner, asking how much is owed for the marriage between Wickham and Lydia. Mr. Bennet wishes to pay his brother-in-law back, as much as he is financially able. Mr. Bennet receives a letter back from Mr. Gardiner in which he states that the matter never be mentioned to him again. Mr. Gardiner goes on to say that Wickham is to resign for the Militia and go into the regulars. Mr. Wickham is said to still have friends who will help him attain a position. Lydia and Wickham are to be sent to the North Country as a kind of banishment because of the scandal they caused. Mr. Gardiner states that Mr. Bennet does not owe him any money, but that he should pay off Wickham's debts in Meryton, and Mr. Gardiner will do the same in London.

All week long Mrs. Bennet talks about the wedding plans and which house might be suitable for Lydia and Wickham. Mr. Bennet restates that he will not receive the couple at Longbourn. Mrs. Bennet is seems more upset about the lack of wedding clothes than the trouble her daughter has caused the family.

Elizabeth realizes that Darcy is the man who would most suit her, and that she is in love with him, but that there is no chance he will propose to her again. Lydia pleads with her father to let her come home to visit Longbourn, Mr. Bennet continues to refuse. Elizabeth and Jane appeal to their father, and say that it will look better if Lydia and Wickham are received at Longbourn. Mr. Bennet finally agrees to let Lydia come home.

In chapter fifty one, Lydia and Wickham arrive at Longbourn. The couple shows no remorse for what they have done. Lydia shamelessly flaunts her new marital status and even tells Jane that she must walk behind her as Lydia will take her place now. Elizabeth and Jane are distressed by the couple's behavior.

Elizabeth realizes that Lydia is far more in love with Wickham than she is of her. Lydia tells Elizabeth about the wedding, including who was in attendance. Lydia shows no gratitude for what the Gardiners have done for her. It seems she is completely unaware of all the trouble she has caused her family. To Lydia, it seems more important that she is married than how she was married. Elizabeth tells her that she does not particularly like [Lydia's] way of getting husbands. While telling Elizabeth about the wedding, Lydia tells her that Mr. Darcy was in attendance, something she was not supposed to tell.

In chapter fifty two, Elizabeth writes to Mrs. Gardiner asking why Mr. Darcy was at the wedding.

In chapter fifty two, Mrs. Gardiner's letter arrives, explaining Mr. Darcy's involvement in the wedding. Mrs. Gardiner explains that it was Mr. Darcy who found the location of Wickham and Lydia by bribing Mrs. Younge. When Darcy found the couple, he tried to convince Lydia to leave, but she refused. Darcy then tried to get Wickham to marry Lydia, but Wickham had no intention of doing so. Darcy then offered Wickham money to marry Lydia. Darcy waited until Mr. Bennet left for Longbourn and then informed Mr. Gardiner, explaining that he wanted to make restitution for not exposing Wickham's character sooner.

Mrs. Gardiner ends the letter by saying that she feels sure Darcy was motivated by love for Elizabeth. Elizabeth is interrupted by Wickham and they make polite conversation.

Chapters Fifty, Fifty One, and Fifty Two, Analysis

Mrs. Bennet's delight in Lydia's marriage shows her complete lack of sense regarding propriety and moral behavior. To Mrs. Bennet, much like Lydia, it is more important to be married than to consider how she was married. Mrs. Bennet shows a lack of regard to her daughter's honor and virtue and seems to immediately forget the way in which her daughter acted and the trouble her behavior caused the family. When Mr. Bennet tells Mrs. Bennet that Lydia will not get any money for wedding clothes, Mrs. Bennet is terribly upset.

When Lydia visits Longbourn, her mother congratulates her on the marriage she has made and welcomes Wickham into the family. There is no rebuke from either Mr. or Mrs. Bennet.

In chapter fifty one, Lydia comments that Darcy was at the wedding and the reader surmises that it was Darcy's intervention, not Mr. Gardiner's, that made the marriage possible. Darcy is now vindicated fully in Elizabeth's eyes and there is no doubt that she loves him. However, Elizabeth is still not convinced that Darcy will ever propose to her again.

Darcy's involvement with the wedding, however, proves his love for Elizabeth. For as Mrs. Gardiner surmises, he would not have done such a thing unless he loved Elizabeth.

This chapter concludes the climax of the novel. All characters have shown their true colors, all have either turned bad and received what they disserved, or been shown as good. All that is left for the reader is a resolution to the two romances: Jane and Bingley and Elizabeth and Darcy. The reader is left with little doubt that there will be marriages for both, but first there must be some resolution and the prior feelings must be addressed.

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