Volume Three, Chapters 11−15 Summary and Analysis
Bingley and Darcy arrive at Netherfield. Elizabeth is afraid her mother’s behavior will repel them. Mrs. Bennet’s rudeness to Darcy embarrasses Elizabeth, who owes him more than can be repaid. Darcy is very reserved.
Jane and Bingley come together again at a dinner at Longbourn. Jane tries to convince Elizabeth that they are only on friendly terms. Elizabeth is troubled by Darcy’s reserve. Darcy returns to London, and Bingley proposes to Jane. This is an unexpected event, and Elizabeth speculates about Darcy’s involvement in this recent change of affairs. Jane, however, is enthralled.
Lady Catherine de Bourgh comes to Longbourn to try to break up what she suspects is a relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy. She is extremely rude, and insists that Miss de Bourgh has been promised to Darcy since infancy. She belittles the Bennets’ worth, and chastises Elizabeth for her sharp tongue. Elizabeth is not afraid of her, and practically tells her to mind her own business. Darcy will make the choice, Elizabeth says. Lady Catherine leaves very angry. She is on her way to confront Darcy, and Elizabeth fears that he may be persuaded to the de Bourgh view of things.
The impact of Lady Catherine’s visit is that Darcy will again propose to Elizabeth. He sees that his aunt is condescending and crude. He is ashamed of her behavior. He realizes that Elizabeth has changed her views toward him, and he will return to propose again.
Discussion and Analysis
These final chapters are written to resolve the plot and bring all the stories together. We are left now to reflect on the Jane and Bingley marriage, the reversal of Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship, and the reasons for each.
The future marriage of Bingley with Jane will be the first real socially accepted marriage in the novel. It will underscore the incorrectness of the first two marriages, which were made for all the wrong reasons.
We also see the differences between the Elizabeth−Darcy and the Jane−Bingley engagements. Jane and Bingley have been constant in their feelings. Elizabeth and Darcy have both...
(The entire section is 532 words.)