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Free Study Guide-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen-Free Plot Summary
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Chapters 44 and 45

Summary

Darcy and his sister Georgiana call on Elizabeth and the Gardiners the next day. Georgiana is a graceful, well-formed, and attractive girl of sixteen. Because she is unassuming and diffident, some people erroneously judge her to be proud. Instead, she turns out to be lovely and charming.

It is obvious to the Gardiners that Darcy is in love with Elizabeth, but they have doubts about the love being reciprocated by Elizabeth.

Bingley arrives, and Elizabeth is gratified by his inquiries about her family and his disappointment at not having seen Jane for so long. She closely watches the interaction between Georgiana and Bingley and cannot discern any signs of a romantic attachment between them. She feels happy and hopeful for Jane. After the guests leave, Elizabeth lies awake and thinks of Bingley and Darcy.


Elizabeth and Mrs. Gardiner pay a return call to Pemberley the next morning. Georgiana receives them warmly, but the Bingley sisters are glacial in their welcome. When Caroline Bingley watches Darcy closely, especially when he speaks to Elizabeth, it is plain to her that he is in love with the Bennet girl. She is green-eyed with envy and tries to hide her jealousy by remarking to Elizabeth about the loss the Bennets must feel at the transfer of the militia. This is an obvious allusion to Elizabeth’s initial infatuation for Wickham and her sister’s scatter brained red-coat chasing. Darcy blushes at the uncouth remark, and Georgiana is upset by the rudeness of the slur. Elizabeth, however, manages to remain calm. When Elizabeth has left, Caroline makes a negative comment about her appearance; Darcy retorts that he considers Elizabeth to be one of the most handsome women he knows.

Notes

These chapters show that Darcy is still in love with Elizabeth; and she also begins to fall in love with him. Elizabeth’s realization of love, however, is an outcome of a careful process of "determining her feelings". Her love is not senseless like Lydia’s or instant like Jane’s. Elizabeth will soon be thankful to Darcy, "not merely for having once loved her, but for still loving her well enough to forgive all the petulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him, and all the unjust accusations accompanying her rejection".

Darcy’s sister, Georgiana, is introduced for the first time. She is a coy, sweet, and gentle girl who Darcy loves dearly. She is a sharp contrast to the snobbish and unpleasant Bingley sisters. During Elizabeth’s visit to Pemberley, Caroline shows her jealousy and makes rude remarks about Wickham and the Bennets. Georgiana and Darcy are upset at the comment, especially since Lydia had eloped with Wickham. Elizabeth, however, stays calm and unperturbed in spite of the insult. Darcy is obviously impressed by her demeanor.

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