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Pride and Prejudice | Chapter 50 (Volume 3, Chapter 8) | Summary

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Summary

Mrs. Bennet is disappointed to learn that the new couple will not be living close to Longbourn. Mr. Bennet declares that Lydia will get no money for clothes and will not be allowed set foot in Longbourn, though eventually he changes his mind.

Over time, Elizabeth's feelings for Darcy have changed. But Lydia's scandalous marriage—to Darcy's enemy, no less—has convinced Elizabeth that her chance to marry Darcy is long gone. Because she rejected his first proposal, she thinks he would gloat if he knew about her change of heart. ("What a triumph for him. ... Could he know that the proposals which she had proudly spurned only four months ago, would now have been gladly and gratefully received!") She broods over the bad timing of Lydia's misadventure.

Analysis

Mr. Bennet again shows his capricious nature in setting down a prohibition that he later backs away from.

Elizabeth jumps to another conclusion about Darcy—that he would gloat over her plight. This plight—Lydia's marriage ruining her own chance at marriage—is an example of situational irony, one that Elizabeth seems keenly aware of: "But no such happy marriage could now teach the admiring multitude what connubial felicity really was. A union of a different tendency, and precluding the possibility of the other, was soon to be formed in their family."

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