Pride and Prejudice Chapters 29-35 Summary

In Chapter 35, Elizabeth, the Collines, and the Lucases attend dinner at Rosings with Lady Catherine and her daughter, Anne. Lady Catherine proves to be a domineering sort of woman, more or less seeming to interview Elizabeth about her upbringing rather than making ant sort of polite conversation. She tells Elizabeth that because she was raised without a governess and because her mother was not a "slave" to her education, her upbringing was essentially inadequate. Elizabeth is annoyed by Lady Catherine's judgment of her and doesn't mind expressing her feelings.

Mr. Lucas departs for home after visiting for a week. Elizabeth, meanwhile, is astonished to run into Mr. Darcy and his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam at Rosings. Darcy and Fitzwilliam, it seems, have come to visit with heir aunt. Subsequently, Elizabeth and the Collinses are invited, once again to dine at Rosings. After dinner, Elizabeth receives quite a bit of attention from Fitzwilliam and teases Darcy about his behavior in Meryton.

The next day, Mr. Darcy unexpectedly visits Mr. Collins' home, catching Elizabeth off guard. He seems to have no real purpose in his visit, remarking that Bingley is unlikely to return to Netherfield. He departs as suddenly and mysteriously as he came. Ironically, Charlotte comments that Mr. Darcy must be in love with her to be behaving so oddly.

Over the next few days, Elizabeth spends considerable time walking the grounds with Colonel Fitzwilliam. On some occasions, they mention Darcy. At one point, Fitzwilliam mentions that Darcy has confided to him that he recently saved a friend from an imprudent marriage. Elizabeth knows, immediately that this is Jane and Bingley that Darcy was referring to. Her hatred of him grows as she realizes that he stood in the way of her sister's happiness.

Later, while Elizabeth is alone at the Collins home, Mr. Darcy bursts into the room and suddenly declares his love for Elizabeth. This is certainly the last thing she is expected to hear from him. His marriage proposal, though certainly more flattering than the proposal she received from Mr. Collins, also dwells on subjects other than love. He tells Elizabeth he fell in love with her against his better judgment; he objects to her inferior social status and her family. Though Elizabeth at first rejects him politely, she soon becomes angry, feeling insulting by his accusations about her family. She, in turn, accuses Darcy of separating her sister and Bingley. Darcy admits that she is correct in this matter. Elizabeth then goes on to accuse him of also ruining Wickham's happiness, repeating the story that Wickham has told about Darcy. With this last accusation, Darcy departs.

In the next chapter Elizabeth begins to feel a bit foolish about everything that transpired between her and Darcy when she runs into him during a walk, and he gives her a letter that explains everything. She reads it once he walks away. The letter starts with Jane. Darcy says in his letter that he influenced Bingley to go to London in order to spare his friend a connection with the Bennet family, who lacked social status and had a questionable reputation. As Charlotte had warned, Darcy felt assured that Bingley liked Jane more than Jane liked Bingley. In part, he wanted to spare Bingley from the heartache of falling in love with a woman who was indifferent and simply out to get his money.

Additionally, Darcy also clarifies what happened with Wickham. He explains that he did indeed give Wickham the inheritance he had been promised. However, instead of using the money to join the clergy, Wickham squandered the money on gambling, only to demand more money. To add insult to injury, Wickham then tried to elope with Darcy's sister, Georgiana, who was only fifteen at the time. All of this was in an attempt to gain her sizeable fortune. Darcy only just managed to intervene in time. He tells all of this to Elizabeth in confidence, as he doesn't want to harm the reputation of his sister.

After Elizabeth reads all of this, she suddenly finds herself feeling quite differently about Darcy. She also realizes she had judged Wickham foolishly. She struggles to sort out all of her feelings.

Soon after Darcy's proposal, Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam leave Rosings. It isn't long after that the Elizabeth-along with Charlotte's sister-depart for home as well.

This section in the novel marks the beginning of a transformation in both Elizabeth and Darcy, who begin to see each other in a different light. Darcy fully expects that when he proposes to Elizabeth, she certainly cannot refuse him. He believes that his wealth and status make him desirable. However, her refusal shows him just how wrong he was. He is somewhat humbled when Elizabeth refuses him, and he realizes he was wrong in separating Jane and Bingley. Elizabeth accuses him of being overly proud and, to an extent, he must certainly realize this is true.

Similarly, Elizabeth is also humbled when she realizes she has seriously misjudged Darcy. As mentioned in previous sections, Elizabeth had prided herself on her ability to objectively judge other people. However, it comes to light very clearly here that Elizabeth has severely misjudged Wickham, who is utterly without scruples. Similarly, while Elizabeth had judged Darcy to overly proud and even unkind, she realizes this is not the case at all. He bares his emotions to her in his proposal, showing a great deal of vulnerability, and she completely shoots him down. In regards to his actions against Wickham, she now completely understands his logic.

Overall, it is easy to see that both character exemplify both pride and prejudice. Elizabeth shows prejudice in her judgments and is too proud, at first, to think she is wrong. Meanwhile, Mr. Darcy exhibits prejudice against Elizabeth's family and is overly proud in his certainly of her acceptance of his proposal.

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