Pride and Prejudice: Chapter 47 - Summary & Analysis

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      Summary. Elizabeth does not think that Wickham will marry the penniless Lydia and tells her uncle so, as they leave Lambton. Her uncle does not agree with her. Jane, in her letter, expresses the conviction that the marriage will take place. Elizabeth tells her uncle and aunt that Lydia knows nothing of Wickham’s infamous treatment of Darcy. They arrive home to find that there is not yet word of the fugitives, although Mr. Bennet has written saying he has arrived safely in London. Mrs. Bennet is confined to her room, stricken by Lydia’s behaviour. She receives them with tears and lamentations. Mr. Gardiner tells her that he is going to London the next day and will help Mr. Bennet to recover Lydia. Lydia has left a letter to Mrs. Foster saying that she and Wickham are going to Gretna Green; and Jane shows it to Elizabeth.

      Critical Analysis. Elizabeth here analyses her family and exposes their faults with clear sense and judgement. She blames herself most for having concealed Wickham’s true nature and having failed to warn Lydia before her trip to Brighton. It shows Elizabeth’s progress towards wisdom and maturity as also her concern for her sister.

      Mrs. Bennet is unable to cope with the crisis and suffers a nervous breakdown. Thus both parents are shown as unequal to facing the situation. Jane Austen clearly indicts Mr. and Mrs. Bennet for the sorry state of affairs which has resulted in Lydia’s elopement.

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