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Pride and Prejudice | Chapter 9 (Volume 1, Chapter 9) | Summary

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Summary

As Jane's health has not improved, Mrs. Bennet decides to check on her. She, Kitty, and Lydia make the trip to Netherfield. During the visit, Elizabeth is embarrassed by her family's behavior. Mrs. Bennet chatters incessantly, and Lydia boldly asks Bingley when he intends to host a ball. Mr. Bingley is polite about this query and answers that once Jane is well, he will.

Analysis

Here, the interaction of the Bingleys and the Bennets provides an opportunity for closer observation of the two families. Elizabeth converses with Darcy as an intellectual equal, but Mrs. Bennet overdoes things with strong opinions and her naked attempts to promote Jane over Charlotte Lucas. Lydia is rude. Elizabeth is embarrassed by her family's behavior, but Caroline Bingley does herself no favors either, revealing her snobbishness at every turn. These developments allow Darcy to see Elizabeth more clearly. As Caroline Bingley continues to harp on her own status and express disdain for others, whether based on appearance or fortune, Elizabeth's intelligence and grace come into focus.

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