Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Volume Two, Chapters 1-3 Summary and Analysis

New Characters
Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner: Mrs. Bennet’s sophisticated brother and sister-in-law. Mrs. Gardiner is an intelligent and elegant young woman

Summary
When the section opens, Mr. Wickham is a frequent guest at the Bennet home, which casts an ever darker shadow over Darcy’s reputation.

Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, Mrs. Bennet’s brother and sister-in-law, arrive at Longbourn for the Christmas holidays. They are so unlike Mrs. Bennet, with their cultured manners and refinement, that it is hard to realize they could be related. Mrs. Gardiner is much like Elizabeth, and the two carry on lively discussions. Most of these center around Jane’s plight, and she invites Jane back to their home in London. She hopes such a change of scenery will elevate her spirits. Mr. Gardiner is a merchant, so it is almost certain that their circle of friends would not bring her in touch with Bingley. Elizabeth agrees, and says such an aristocrat like Darcy would never let his friends visit a middle-class neighborhood.

The Gardiners like Wickham, but Mrs. Gardiner has some reservations. She warns Elizabeth of an involvement with a person without money or position. Elizabeth realizes she doesn’t really love Wickham. When the Gardiners return to London, she writes to Mrs. Gardiner and tells her that Wickham is now pursuing a plain, 20 year old who has just received a large endowment from a deceased relative.

Jane, while in London, writes to Caroline Bingley requesting a meeting. Miss Bingley’s reply is very cold and insincere. She states that Bingley knows Jane is in London. Jane begins to feel that Caroline is probably behind her separation from Bingley.

Discussion and Analysis
The schism between Jane and Bingley seems to widen and Jane is beginning to become aware that there is hypocrisy and deceit in others’ motives.

One reason Elizabeth changes her views...

(The entire section is 467 words.)