Volume One, Chapters 2-3 Summary and Analysis
Jane Bennet: the eldest daughter. She is kind and beautiful, but too good-hearted
Catherine (Kitty) Bennet: next to the youngest daughter. She’s “boy crazy” and frivolous
Mary Bennet: the inarticulate third daughter, accomplished in provincial arts
Charlotte Lucas: Elizabeth’s best friend. She is sensible and intelligent but very plain-looking
Sir William and Lady Lucas: the neighbors of the Bennets and Charlotte’s parents
Charles Bingley: the handsome, single gentleman who moves next door. He becomes infatuated with Jane
Fitzwilliam Darcy: the proud, handsome aristocratic friend of Bingley
Mr. Bennet, without telling his family, has already called upon Mr. Bingley. He shocks the family when he relays this information and teases them. The girls all become inquisitive, and Mrs. Bennet is rapturous. She determines to ask Bingley to dinner in the near future. Mr. Bennet refuses to discuss with his family what Bingley looks or acts like, but a neighbor, Lady Lucas, drops by and gives a very favorable report.
A few days later, Mr. Bingley returns Mr. Bennet’s visit, and spends some time with him in his library. All the girls spy on him from an upper window, but are not introduced.
He finally meets the Bennet sisters at a ball at Meryton. He is attracted by Jane’s beauty and good nature, and dances two dances with her. Jane is equally interested in him. Another person in Bingley’s party, the even wealthier Mr. Darcy, attracts everyone’s attention. However, his arrogance and coldness make him seem too proud. Mr. Bingley, on the other hand, pleases everyone with his warmth, charm, and fine manners.
The Bennets return from the ball, and Mrs. Bennet is all aflutter. She tries to explain what transpired to a very indifferent husband.
Discussion and Analysis
Chapter 2 deals with events that are significant in provincial society. The arrival of an eligible man is always important for social and economic reasons.
The third chapter introduces the first of a series of balls in the book. We...
(The entire section is 555 words.)