Pride and Prejudice: Chapter 2 - Summary & Analysis

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      Summary: Mr. Bennett calls on Bingley as soon as the latter arrives at Netherfield although Mrs. Bennett does not know about her husband’s visit till the next evening. Mrs. Bennett is in a state of despair unless her husband makes the formal call on Mr. Bingley, there is little hope (under the social code) that her daughters can meet him Elizabeth hopes that they will be introduced by Mrs. Long to Bingley at the assemblies. While the mother and daughters are thus discussing the prospective ball and the manner in which they will be introduced to Bingley, Mr. Bennet surprises them by revealing that he has already made the formal call to Netherfield Park. This sends all of them into a tizzy of anticipation and excitement.

      Critical Analysis: This chapter deals with seemingly insignificant and trivial events, but Jane Austen wants to show how tremendously important it is to a provincial society when a person of distinction like Mr. Bingley moves into the country. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are further revealed. He is intellectually superior to his wife and most of his daughters. He plays a joke, by keeping his women in a state of agonized suspense. Nevertheless, he has acted, and a small step has been made to bring the major characters together. Mrs. Bennet is alternately excited, accusatory and self-pitying and frustrated by Mr. Bennett’s apparent lack of interest, she vents her feelings on petty annoyances, such as Kitty’s coughing.

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