Pride and Prejudice | Study Guide

Jane Austen

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Chapter 21

Professor Bradley Greenburg of Northeastern Illinois University provides in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 21 of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice | Chapter 21 (Volume 1, Chapter 21) | Summary

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Summary

Jane receives a letter from Caroline Bingley explaining that she and her brother will be leaving Netherfield to spend the winter in London. She adds that she thinks her brother may marry Darcy's sister, Georgiana. Naturally, Jane is upset by this news. Elizabeth attempts to comfort her, but she suspects a concerted effort is being made to keep Jane and Bingley apart.

Analysis

Jane and Elizabeth react differently to the news of Bingley's departure. True to form, Jane trusts that Caroline is a good friend and has written to her in the spirit of friendship. Elizabeth, who is more suspicious about motives, thinks that perhaps Darcy and Caroline might have other ideas in mind. She doesn't believe that Bingley doesn't love Jane. In Elizabeth's mind, Caroline may be plotting to keep the Bennet women in their place. Elizabeth has already detected Caroline's jealousy toward her, so she is suspicious of this entire matter.

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