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Pride and Prejudice | Chapter 27 (Volume 2, Chapter 4) | Summary

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Summary

Elizabeth agrees to travel to Hunsford to visit her friend Charlotte and Mr. Collins. On the way, she stops in London to join her sister at the Gardiners' home. They talk about the Wickham affair. Mrs. Gardiner thinks that Wickham has behaved badly in suddenly abandoning his courtship of Elizabeth, although Elizabeth believes he was simply being sensible. "Pray, my dear aunt, what is the difference in matrimonial affairs, between the mercenary and the prudent motive?" Elizabeth asks. "Where does discretion end, and avarice begin?"

The Gardiners invite Elizabeth to travel with them to northern England in the summer. Elizabeth, happy for a distraction, agrees to the trip. "What are men to rocks and mountains!" she cries playfully.

Analysis

In the discussion of Wickham and his sudden pursuit of Miss King, a familiar theme about marriage plays out. In considering motives for marriage, Elizabeth draws a line between good sense (discretion) and greed (avarice). However, her judgment of Wickham seems uncharacteristically generous; she forgives his fortune hunting yet feels betrayed by Charlotte's choice to marry for security.

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