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Free Study Guide-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen-Free Plot Summary
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Chapter 30

Summary

Sir William returns home after a week, but Elizabeth and Maria stay on with the Collins. Elizabeth has another opportunity to observe the overbearing ways of Lady Catherine. Whenever she hears about any of the parishioners being quarrelsome or complaining, she goes forth to settle their differences, silence their complaints, and scold them into harmony.

With the approach of Easter, Mr. Darcy arrives at Rosings with his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam. When they call at the parsonage, Darcy is surprised to find Elizabeth; out of politeness, he asks about her family, and Elizabeth tells him that Jane is in London. Darcy, looking baffled, says that he has not been fortunate enough to meet her there. The visitors soon return to Rosings.


Notes

Lady Catherine, always smug and superior, tries to rule the simple rural parishioners. Her chastisement of erring villagers springs from her deep-seated self-importance rather than any genuine concern for them. It is this self-important air that makes her an amusing character. In spite of her over-inflated opinion of herself, Lady Catherine has little influence on the characters in the book. In fact, nothing of what she wishes ever happens. Ironically, she is useful to the plot only in getting Darcy and Elizabeth together in her attempts to keep them apart.

Colonel Fitzwilliam is a contrast to Darcy. His easy-going, smooth social nature allows him to immediately like Elizabeth and become friends with her. In contrast, Darcy’s pride and his reserve make him awkward in Elizabeth’s presence.

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