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Pride and Prejudice | Chapter 55 (Volume 3, Chapter 13) | Summary

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Summary

Bingley makes several more visits to Longbourn. During one of them, he proposes to Jane. She joyfully accepts. The family is thrilled. Bingley tells Jane that he did not know she was in London when he was. Darcy and his sister Caroline had kept that information from him. He also admits to Jane that he left Netherfield because he thought that Jane was not interested in him.

The Bennets are excited at the prospect of Jane's marriage, and Bingley's frequent presence at the house seems to make everyone happy.

Analysis

The happy results of Bingley's courtship of Jane suggest that Darcy is not set against the Bennet sisters anymore. Darcy now seems content to see his friend pursue his love, regardless of the class difference or family reputation. This development represents a change in Darcy, who seemed, until recently, to put a great deal of stock in maintaining class distinctions.

Although Austen's work is marked by witty dialogue, she usually refrains from capturing highly romantic dialogue. Bingley's proposal to Jane occurs offstage. Upon hearing about the proposal, Elizabeth pronounces it "the happiest, wisest, most reasonable end!" These sentiments reflect the idea that true love and successful marriages are the products of wisdom and reason.

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