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Chapter 54

Professor Bradley Greenburg of Northeastern Illinois University provides in-depth summary and analysis of Chapter 54 of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice | Chapter 54 (Volume 3, Chapter 12) | Summary

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Summary

Bingley and Darcy come to dine at the Bennets' home. Bingley sits next to Jane, and they seem to enjoy each other and converse warmly. Elizabeth is seated across from Darcy. They are not communicating well with each other. Elizabeth convinces herself that she must accept the fact that he will not propose again. She feels disappointed and disheartened. However, she is happy to observe that Jane and Bingley seem to be progressing in their relationship.

Analysis

The awkwardness between Darcy and Elizabeth contrasts sharply with the lively and witty conversation they normally share. Austen has conveyed their relationship primarily through their verbal exchanges, as well as through, to a lesser extent, their correspondence. The effect here is to build our suspense. Without their words, the suspense about their future grows.

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