Pride and Prejudice: Chapter 61 - Summary & Analysis

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      Summary: Jane and Elizabeth are safely married. Mr. Bingley and Jane remain at Netherfield for only a year. Finding the close proximity to Mrs. Bennet undesirable, Bingley buys an estate in Derbyshire and Jane and Elizabeth are within thirty miles of each other. Kitty pays frequent visits to Pemberley and she begins to grow up more quickly. Mary on the other hand remains at home. Wickham and Lydia have financial problems and their affection wanes. Elizabeth manages to help them out unofficially by saving on her private expenses. Miss Bingley is mortified at Darcy’s marriage but, not wishing to forfeit the pleasure of visiting Pemberley, she drops all her resentment. She is attentive to Georgiana and very civil to Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Georgiana are devoted to each other and Elizabeth’s influence is beneficial to her sister-in-law. Lady Catherine sends Darcy an abusive letter and for some time all communication between them is at end. Later Elizabeth persuades her husband to overlook his aunt’s behaviour and a reconciliation is secured.

      Critical Analysis: The denouement of the novel—all the characters in the novel are here rounded off. The marriage of Lydia and Wickham based on economics and passion is already seen to be failing. The generous and caring nature of Elizabeth is further seen, when she helps them out of their financial troubles and also effects a reconciliation between Lady Catherine and Darcy. An important feature is that the social frame work rather than the personal is emphasized by Jane Austen. Darcy and Elizabeth are seen in relation to the people around them and one indication of their good marriage is the happiness resulting from it not only for themselves but for those around them.

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