Who ends up happy in the end of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and who is not happy?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Bingley and Jane end the novel quite happily, and they purchase a home in a neighboring county so as to be close to Longbourn, but not too close.  Kitty seems happy in the end, as she spends the majority of her time with her two eldest sisters, and they have a positive impact on her personality and character.  Mary is much the same as she ever was, sour and dour, and she remains at Longbourn.  Lydia and Wickham, however, find that their low income and extravagant habits do not make for a financially stable situation, and she is forced to ask Elizabeth for help (which Elizabeth does send, out of her own private money).  But, "[Wickham's] affection for [Lydia] soon sunk into indifference; hers lasted [but] a little longer [...]."  They are not particularly happy in the end.  The Collinses, we might imagine, are content, but I wouldn't describe them as happy; they aren't in love and don't seem as though they ever will be, and the love between equals seems to be what renders characters happy in this novel.  Miss Bingley, of course, is "mortified" by Darcy's marriage to Elizabeth, but gets over it soon enough so that she does not lose the power and pleasure of the friendship; although we can imagine that she isn't very happy to have to swallow her pride and resentment.  The Gardiners and the Darcys get the last words of the novel and seem to share a happiness peculiar only to the four of them because they are so well-matched with their partners.

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