Pride and Prejudice: Chapter 12 - Summary & Analysis

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      Summary: Next morning Elizabeth writes to her mother to ask for the carriage to come and fetch them home. The match-making Mrs. Bennet, however, is anxious that the visit should be further prolonged and sends a message that the carriage will not be available before Tuesday. Elizabeth is determined to leave and borrows Mr. Bingley’s carriage to take Jane and herself home the following day. Bingley is disappointed that Jane is to leave and tries to persuade her that it is not yet safe for her to travel. But she is firm. Darcy avoids Elizabeth on the last day, and Miss Bingley is noticeably more civil at their departure though she is actually happy to see Elizabeth leave. Mr. Bennet is glad to see them, but Mrs. Bennet disappointed, does not welcome them home very cordially.

      Critical Analysis: This chapter ends the first stage in the growth of the two love affairs. Jane and Bingley are well on their way to solidifying their union, if events (and Mrs. Bennet) will only permit; they have found each other highly congenial. Darcy perhaps realizing that his affair is moving too rapidly, is happy to have a temporary pause, lie is a person who approves of slowness, thought, concentration, deliberation in his handwriting and in his love affairs: circumstances have been too pat, too contrived perhaps, to satisfy him.

      He believes that he needs time to recover, ponder, analyse his relationship with Elizabeth; hence he welcomes the separation from her. Jane Austen herself held the view that ‘taste’, calm thought and deliberation were necessary for true love and a good marriage. Elizabeth is not as yet aware of his feelings, even though in other situations she has the ability of analysing people and their feelings.

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