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Summary of Pride and Prejudice

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Summary of Pride and Prejudice

Setting:

Rural England; early nineteenth century

Principal Characters

Mr. Bennet, father of five daughters

Mrs. Bennet, his opinionated wife

Elizabeth, their intelligent middle daughter, and Mr. Bennet's favorite child

Jane, Elizabeth's beautiful older sister

Lydia, the Bennet's impetuous youngest daughter

Mr. Binglcy, Jane's rich and amiable suitor

Mr. Darcy, Bingley's arrogant and wealthy friend

Reverend Collins, a conceited bore

Mr. Wickman,an army officer

Summary

The story was set primarily in the county of Hertfordshire, about 50 miles outside of London. The news that a wealthy young gentleman named Charles Bingley has rented the manor of Netherfield Park caused a great stir in the nearby village of Longbourn, especially in the Bennet household. Mrs. Bennet, whose obsession was to find husbands for her daughters, saw Mr. Bingley as a potential suitor. The Bennets had five unmarried daughtersЎЄfrom oldest to youngest, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia. Mrs. Bennet begged her husband to go make the acquaintance of their new neighbor, and, after some teasing; Mr. Bennet did pay Bingley a call. Mr. Bingley soon returned the visit but did not manage to meet any of the beautiful young women he had heard so much about. His interest piqued, he soon invited the entire Bennet family to dine.

The Bennets' first acquaintance with Mr. Bingley and his companions were at the Meryton Ball. Everyone at the dinner party was impressed with Bingley's fine appearance and gracious manners. However, his close friend, Mr. Darcy, though handsome and well-to-do, was not viewed so favorably. His pride ruled and ruined his conversation - particularly for Elizabeth. When Bingley suggested that Darcy ask Elizabeth to dance, Elizabeth indignantly overheard Mr. Darcy reply that she was "tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me." However Mr. Bingley took a liking to Jane and spent much of the evening dancing with her.

At social functions over subsequent weeks, it became evident that Jane and Bingley had a preference for one another, although Bingley's partiality was more obvious than Jane's because she was universally cheerful and amiable. Charlotte Lucas, a close friend of Elizabeth with more pragmatic views on marriage, recommended that Jane made her regard for Bingley more obvious. At the same time, Mr. Darcy began to admire Elizabeth, captivated by her fine eyes and lively wit.

One morning Jane received an invitation from the BingleyЎЇs sisters to spend the day. Mrs. Bennet viewed this as an opportunity for Jane and Mr. Bingley to get better acquainted. "It seems likely to rain," she said hopefully, "and then you must spend the night." Mrs. Bennet refused to provide her with a carriage, hoping that because it was supposed to rain Jane would be forced to spend the night. However, because Jane got cold in the rain, she fell ill and was forced to stay at Netherfield until she recovered. Upon hearing that Jane was ill, Elizabeth walked to Netherfield in order to go nurse her sister. Elizabeth hiked through muddy fields and arrived with a spattered dress, much to the disdain of the snobbish Charles BingleyЎЇs sister. Miss BingleyЎЇs spite only increased when she noticed that Darcy, whom she was pursuing, paid quite a bit of attention to Elizabeth. Miss Bingley was obviously trying to gain the admiration of Mr. Darcy, was extremely jealous of Elizabeth and tried to prevent Mr. Darcy from admiring her by making rude references to the poor manners of Elizabeth's mother and younger sisters and to her lower class relatives. During Elizabeth stayed at Netherfield, her increasingly gained the admiration of Mr. Darcy. She was blind to his partiality, however, and continued to think him a most proud and haughty man because of the judgment she had made of him when he had snubbed her at the ball. After Jane recovers, she returns home with Elizabeth.

And soon, the Bennets had a visitor of their own. The Reverend Collins had written his distant cousin at Longbourne to request the pleasure of a brief visit, and Mr. Bennet was inclined to honor the request. At first Mrs. Bennet was unhappy with the prospect of Collins' visit; since the Bennets had no male children, Collins stood next in line to inherit their estate, and she felt

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