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Pride and Prejudice | Chapter 28 (Volume 2, Chapter 5) | Summary

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Summary

At Hunsford, Charlotte warmly welcomes Elizabeth. Charlotte's parents are present as well. Mr. Collins seems to be determined to point out every detail of the house and gardens to Elizabeth, as if to remind her of what she missed out on by refusing his proposal. She notices that Charlotte appears to keep herself engaged, and perhaps this is how she copes with her husband. Mr. Collins is excited to talk about Lady Catherine de Bourgh's residence at nearby Rosings Park and thrilled that they have all been invited to visit her to dine the next day. Lady Catherine's daughter, Anne, makes an appearance. She is a pale, sickly young woman; Elizabeth feels mean pleasure at the idea of Darcy being stuck with her.

Analysis

As the visit to Hunsford proceeds, readers can see the life that Charlotte has embraced by marrying Mr. Collins. Elizabeth's first impression is to wonder how Charlotte can stand living with Collins, but eventually she sees that Charlotte is more or less content: "By Charlotte's evident enjoyment of [her new home], Elizabeth supposed [Collins] must be often forgotten." Charlotte seems to have made her peace with a union that Elizabeth would have found intolerable. Although Charlotte and Collins are mismatched in their sensitivities, Austen shows that a marriage made for practical purposes can give some satisfaction to both spouses.

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