Pride and Prejudice: Chapter 44 - Summary & Analysis

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      Summary. Miss Darcy and her brother call on Elizabeth at the inn the next day. Georgiana Darcy, although only sixteen, has a well-formed figure and a womanly and graceful appearance. Her manners are unassuming and gentle. Shortly after the visitors have arrived, Bingley makes his appearance. He greets Elizabeth and the Gardiners with unaffected cordiality and asks after the Bennet family in general. He hints at his disappointment at not having seen Jane for so long.

      Elizabeth cannot detect any signs of a romantic attachment between Bingley and Georgiana which could justify Caroline’s hopes. During the visit Darcy’s manners remain as much improved as they were the previous day. Never, at any time has Elizabeth seen him so anxious to please and so free from unbending reserve. As the visitors depart they express the wish to see the Gardiners and Elizabeth at dinner at Pemberley in two days’ time. The invitation is accepted. Elizabeth lies awake for two hours that night endeavouring to analyse her feelings for Darcy, which have certainly undergone a change.

      Critical Analysis. The long series of misunderstandings between Darcy and Elizabeth seems to be over. Elizabeth is well on her way to accepting Darcy’s good character unquestioningly. Contrary to her expectations, Elizabeth finds Georgiana Darcy sweet and shy. This is a contrast to what Wickham has described her discrediting Wickham further in her eyes. She is also happy to find that Bingley still has high regard for Jane and shows no sign of any great attachment towards Georgiana, as Caroline Bingley had hinted. This makes her hopeful of the future but as we see later, her hopes are dashed by the letter announcing Lydia’s elopement.

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