Pride and Prejudice: Chapter 30 - Summary & Analysis

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      Summary: Sir William returns home after a week, but Elizabeth and Maria stay on with the Collins. Elizabeth has opportunity to observe the interfering ways of Lady Catherine, who rules the parish with a rod of iron. Mr. Collins keeps her informed concerning the parishioners and she frequently visits cottagers to criticize and scold them. Easter is approaching and Mr. Darcy is expected at Rosings; Mr. Collins sees his carriage arriving and hastens to inform the parsonage. The following morning he hurries to pay his respects. Mr. Darcy has brought his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam and, when Collins returns home, the two gentlemen are with him. Darcy asks Elizabeth about her family. She tells him that Jane is in London and he looks confused, saying that he has not been fortunate enough to meet her there. Shortly afterwards the gentlemen return, to Rosings.

      Critical Analysis: This is an important plot event since it brings Elizabeth in contrast with Darcy again. Some sort of peace between them may be hoped. This is, incidentally, one of the few times that Jane Austen resorts to coincidence in the novel; the coincidence of Darcy’s arrival at the very time that Elizabeth is visiting is not outrageous. However, Lady Catherine is as usual interfering and manages the lives of most of her parishioners.

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