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Free Study Guide-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen-Free Plot Summary
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Chapter 59

Summary

On the same night, Elizabeth confides to Jane about her engagement. Jane is initially shocked because she was under the impression that Elizabeth still disliked Darcy. Elizabeth assures her sister that her feelings have changed, her prejudices have vanished, and she is very much in love with him. Jane is genuinely happy for her sister.

The next evening Darcy asks Mr. Bennet’s consent to marry Elizabeth. Mr. Bennet grants him the permission grudgingly, for he believes Darcy to be an insolent, proud man. To improve her father’s opinion, Elizabeth reveals Darcy’s kind intervention in getting Lydia married. On hearing the news of Darcy’s basic goodness, Mr. Bennet becomes happy for his favorite child. Mrs. Bennet, on hearing the news, is overjoyed. She quickly forgets that she has hated Darcy in the past; she now shows an admirable awe for her future son-in-law. Mr. Bennet says that he likes all his three sons-in-law; ironically, he says he probably likes Wickham the most.


Notes

Elizabeth’s engagement to Darcy is a surprise to many people. Jane is shocked because she is still of the belief that Elizabeth cannot stand Darcy. Mr. Bennet, unsure of Darcy’s character, questions whether he is the right choice for his favorite daughter; for once, he seems to genuinely care about one of his children’s welfare when he says, "Let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect your partner in life." Ironically, his words reflect the sad truth of his own marital situation. He does not want his sensible daughter to be trapped in an unsuited marriage. Mrs. Bennet immediately changes her opinion about "the most disagreeable man;" she is overjoyed that another of her daughters is about to be married.

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