Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Volume Three, Chapters 16−19 Summary and Analysis

Summary
Lady de Bourgh is furious, and she goes to see her nephew. She tries to convince him that his feelings toward Elizabeth are unacceptable. She gives him a full account of how Elizabeth treated her, which Lady de Bourgh felt was insufficiently deferential.

Darcy returns to the Bennets after this visit, and they take a long walk together (more than three miles). In their discussion, Darcy begs her for the truth of how she feels. He states his feelings are the same as they were when he first proposed. Elizabeth admits that her feelings have undergone such a radical change that she now loves him. They become sure of each other at last, and they comment on their troubled relationship. Darcy admits that Elizabeth has freed him from his self−centered vanity by her refusal. He only became enamored of her more. He admires her strong opinions and self−assurance. He admits to having given a brotherly chat to Bingley to boost the attachment to Jane. He proposes to her for the second time, and she readily accepts.

Everyone at Longbourn is shocked. Elizabeth had previously shown nothing but contempt for Darcy. Once they believe that the engagement is true, the family behaves as expected. Mrs. Bennet forgets her earlier qualms, and concentrates on Darcy’s wealth. Jane is sincere, and truly happy. Mr. Bennet warns her not to make the same mistake he did. He wants her to marry for love.

When the marriages are finalized, Bingley buys an estate near Pemberley (30 miles away), and they are frequently visited by the Bennets and the Gardiners. Kitty seems to benefit most from this upward mobility. In time, even Lady Catherine condescends to visit her nephew and his new wife.

Wickham and Lydia often entreat their now−rich relatives for handouts, but it is usually to no avail. Georgiana and Elizabeth form as close a bond as if they were sisters, much to the delight of Darcy.

In the end, the daughter, Mary, seems content to remain at home and not have to plan for an eventual marriage. We can assume of course that Kitty will soon meet someone acceptable. All the loose ends have been resolved.

Discussion and Analysis
These final chapters resolve the plot with infinite care and precision to detail. The reader can marvel at the resolution of all the complications.

Darcy has obviously influenced Bingley in choosing a bride. This again displays the reversal Darcy has undergone. He earlier stated that a person should not be led by his...

(The entire section is 629 words.)