Pride and Prejudice: Chapter 54 - Summary & Analysis

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      Summary: Elizabeth feels vexed at Darcy’s silence and gravity on the occasion of his visit. Mr Bennet invites the two gentlemen to dinner at Longbourn and a large party is assembled. Bingley chooses to sit next to Jane as he used to formerly. Darcy sits far from Elizabeth at table and on one side of her mother. Elizabeth notices how seldom they speak to each other and how formal and cold is their manner when they do speak. Darcy does not seek Elizabeth out after supper and Elizabeth is disappointed. Mrs. Bennet is in high spirits over the success of the evening.

      Critical Analysis: Mrs. Bennet is loud and ungracious as ever. The Lydia episode has left no mark on her and she is already feeling triumphant regarding Bingley’s continuing attention to Jane. Elizabeth is embarrassed by her mother’s ungraciousness towards Darcy particularly when she knows how much Darcy has done to save the family from disgrace.

      The plot regarding Jane-Bingley affair is moving towards a happy resolution though the Elizabeth-Darcy affair is as complex as ever. Elizabeth is ready to fear the worst, again allowing herself to be misled by appearances instead of understanding his shyness.

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