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Pride and Prejudice | Chapter 42 (Volume 2, Chapter 19) | Summary

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Summary

The chapter opens with a discussion of the Bennets' marriage. Mr. Bennet was initially attracted to Mrs. Bennet's youth and beauty, but their incompatibility soon led him to withdraw from what Elizabeth sees as his responsibility to his family.

With Lydia gone, the Bennet family begins to settle back into routines. Elizabeth is looking forward to her summer trip north with the Gardiners. The itinerary changes, however, and the Gardiners choose to tour the area of Derbyshire, where Mrs. Gardiner was raised. Derbyshire is also the location of Pemberley, Darcy's estate. Mrs. Gardiner wants to take a tour of the estate, but Elizabeth is apprehensive. However, receiving confirmation that Mr. Darcy is out of town, Elizabeth agrees.

Analysis

The theme of love versus marriage is further developed here. The Bennets' mismatch may ultimately have serious consequences, affecting the futures of their children.

Readers might wonder at the change of plans that Mrs. Gardiner makes. Keep in mind, however, that she knows nothing of Darcy's proposal to Elizabeth. Moreover, touring estates was a popular pastime then, as it is now.

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