Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Volume One, Chapters 9-12 Summary and Analysis

Chapter 9 reveals the difference between Elizabeth and her mother. Elizabeth always displays proper social upbringing, but her mother is oblivious to what is right and proper.

After Elizabeth sends for them by note, Mrs. Bennet and the two youngest girls come to visit Jane. The druggist arrives at about the same time, and announces that Jane is too ill to travel. Several heated conversations take place between Elizabeth and Darcy. Her honesty and opinions begin to infatuate him.

Chapters 10 and 11 convey how Misses Bingley and Hurst interact with the sisters Jane and Elizabeth during Jane’s recuperation. Both the Bingley sisters are sarcastic and back-biting when they are out of earshot.

Jane recovers, and she and Elizabeth return home. Mrs. Bennet is not pleased. She had hoped the illness would continue so that closer proximity would have endeared Jane more to Bingley. Their homecoming is welcomed only by Mr. Bennet, who obviously missed Elizabeth and Jane.

Discussion and Analysis
Darcy and Elizabeth display a continuing relationship permeated with misunderstandings. When he asks her to dance at another ball, she refuses. She believes he sees her to be frivolous and immature. Darcy admits his attraction to her, but is restrained by her lack of social position which he considers an insurmountable obstacle.

In Chapter 11, Darcy says that every person has a defect in character that makes him blind to the goodness of others. Elizabeth answers that his defect is to hate everybody. Darcy countermands with “and yours is a willful ploy to misunderstand them.” Both show they have a defect, because of either pride or prejudice, and they need to surmount it.

In Chapter 12, Darcy realizes his love for Elizabeth, and tries to subdue it in action and words. Elizabeth is unaware of this strong emotion. She can always analyze people’s feelings, but not when they affect her personally.