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Free Study Guide-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen-Free Plot Summary
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Chapter 42

Summary

It is summer at Longbourn; Lydia has gone to Brighton, and Mrs. Bennet and Kitty constantly complain of boredom. Mr. Bennett, as always, stays aloof and uninvolved. Elizabeth, remembering the contents of Darcy’s letter, is more bothered by her parents behavior than ever. She realizes they are totally mismatched and decides she will not marry until she finds someone with whom she can have a proper and supportive relationship.

Unlike the bored Kitty and her mother, Elizabeth is eagerly awaiting her trip with the Gardiners. As she dreams about the northern tour, she receives a letter explaining that the trip has to be shortened to only Derbyshire. She is momentarily disappointed, for she has been looking forward to seeing the lake.


The Gardiners take Elizabeth to Lambton, where Mrs. Gardiner once resided. Pemberley, Darcy’s residence, is situated about five miles away. Elizabeth is persuaded by her aunt and uncle to visit Pemberley, since the family is away.

Notes

This chapter further presents the marital situation of the Bennets, which is a mismatched relationship between a man of some intelligence and a simple and obnoxious woman; leading totally separate lives, there is little affection or communication between them. Mrs. Bennet rules the household, and her husband stands by as a spectator. Elizabeth now notices everything that is wrong with and between her mother and father. She promises herself never to marry until she finds the right husband.

At first Elizabeth is disappointed that the Gardiners will not be taking her to the north, beyond Derbyshire. She soon, however, accepts the idea and eagerly begins the journey. Her visit to Lambton with the Gardiners is vital because it takes her to Pemberley, where she will see Darcy in a more favorable light

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