Short summary - Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

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Short summary - Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

«Remember, if our sorrows flow from Pride and Prejudice, then we also owe our deliverance from them to Pride and Prejudice, for good and evil in the world are so wonderfully balanced.»

These words, in fact, fully reveal the intent of the novel by Jane Austen.

The provincial family, as they say, of the «middle arm»: the father of the family, Mr. Bennet, is quite noble in blood, phlegmatic, prone to stoic-doomed perception of both life and himself, and himself; with particular irony, he refers to his own wife: Mrs. Bennet and indeed can not boast of any origin, or intelligence, or upbringing. She is frankly stupid, blatantly tactless, extremely limited and, accordingly, a very high opinion of her own person. The Bennett couple has five daughters: the elders, Jane and Elizabeth, will become the central heroines of the novel.

The action takes place in a typical English province. Sensational news arrives in the small town of Meriton, in the county of Hertfordshire: one of the richest estates in Netherfield Park will no longer be empty: it was rented by a wealthy young man, a «capital little thing» and aristocrat Mr. Bingley. To all of his advantages set forth above was added one more, the most significant, truly priceless: Mr. Bingley was single. And the minds of the neighboring mothers were darkened and embarrassed by this news for a long time; the mind (or rather, instinct!) of Mrs. Bennet in particular. It’s a joke to say five daughters! However, Mr. Bingley does not come alone, he is accompanied by his sisters, as well as an inseparable friend of Mr. Darcy. Bingley is innocent, trusting, naive, open to communication, devoid of any snobbery and ready to love everyone and everyone. Darcy is the exact opposite of him:

The relationship that develops between Bingley - Jane and Darcy - Elizabeth is quite consistent with their characters. In the former, they are permeated with clarity and spontaneity, both simple-minded and trusting (which at first will become the ground on which mutual feeling will arise, then the reason for their separation, then bring them together again). With Elizabeth and Darcy, everything will be completely different: attraction-repulsion, mutual sympathy and equally obvious mutual hostility; in a word, the very «pride and prejudice» (both!) that will bring them a lot of suffering and mental anguish through which they will be excruciating, while never «not departing from the face» (that is, from oneself), make their way to each other . Their first meeting will immediately indicate mutual interest, or rather, mutual curiosity. Both are equally outstanding: how Elizabeth is very different from the local young ladies - by the sharpness of her mind, the independence of judgments and assessments, and Darcy's upbringing, manners, restrained arrogance stands out among the crowd of officers stationed in Meriton regiment, the very ones who with their uniforms and epaulets demented the younger Miss Bennet, Lydia and Kitty. However, at first it was Darcy’s arrogance, his emphasized snobbery, when with all his behavior, in which cold courtesy for a sensitive ear can sound almost insulting for some reason, it is these properties that cause Elizabeth and hostility, and even indignation. For if the inherent pride of them immediately (internally) brings them together, then Darcy’s prejudices, his class arrogance can only push Elizabeth away. Their dialogues - with rare and occasional meetings at balls and in living rooms - are always a verbal duel. The duel of equal opponents is invariably courteous,

The sisters of Mr. Bingley, quickly seeing the mutual feeling that arose between their brother and Jane Bennet, are doing everything to estrange them from each other. When the danger begins to seem completely inevitable to them, they simply "take" him to London. Subsequently, we learn that Darcy played a very significant role in this unexpected escape.

As it should be in the "classic" novel, the main storyline is surrounded by numerous branches. So, at some point in the house of Mr. Bennett appears his cousin Mr. Collins, who, according to the English laws of Majorate, after the death of Mr. Bennett, who does not have male heirs, must take possession of their Longbourne estate, as a result of which Mrs. Bennet with her daughters may be without a roof over their heads. A letter received from Collins, and then his own appearance, testifies to how limited, stupid and self-confident this gentleman is precisely because of these merits, as well as another, very important: the ability to flatter and please, who managed to receive a parish in the estate of the noble Ladies Lady de Boer. Later it turns out that she is Darcy’s native aunt - only in her arrogance, unlike her nephew, there will be neither a glimpse of a living human feeling, nor the slightest ability for an emotional impulse. Mr. Collins does not come to Longbourne by chance: deciding, as his dignity demands (and Lady de Beur, too), to enter into a legal marriage, he chose the family of cousin Bennett, confident that he will not be refused: after all, his marriage to one of Miss Bennet will automatically make the lucky darling the lawful mistress of Longborn. His choice falls, of course, on Elizabeth. Her refusal throws him into the deepest amazement: after all, not to mention his personal merits, he was going to bless the whole family with this marriage. However, Mr. Collins was comforted very soon: Elizabeth's closest friend, Charlotte Lucas, turns out to be more practical in all respects and, judging all the advantages of this marriage, gives Mr. Collins his consent. Meanwhile, another person appears in Meriton, a young officer of the Wickham regiment stationed in the city. Appearing at one of the balls, he makes a rather strong impression on Elizabeth: charming, helpful, at the same time intelligent, who knows how to please even such an extraordinary young lady as Miss Bennet. Elizabeth gets a special trust in him after he realizes that he is familiar with Darcy - the arrogant, unbearable Darcy! - and not just familiar, but, according to the stories of Wickham himself, is a victim of his dishonesty. The halo of a martyr, injured through the fault of a person who causes her such hostility, makes Wickham even more attractive in her eyes. charming, helpful, but not stupid, able to please even such an outstanding young lady as Miss Bennet. Elizabeth gets a special trust in him after he realizes that he is familiar with Darcy - the arrogant, unbearable Darcy! - and not just familiar, but, according to the stories of Wickham himself, is a victim of his dishonesty. The halo of a martyr, injured through the fault of a person who causes her such hostility, makes Wickham even more attractive in her eyes. charming, helpful, but not stupid, able to please even such an outstanding young lady as Miss Bennet. Elizabeth gets a special trust in him after he realizes that he is familiar with Darcy - the arrogant, unbearable Darcy! - and not just familiar, but, according to the stories of Wickham himself, is a victim of his dishonesty. The halo of a martyr, injured through the fault of a person who causes her such hostility, makes Wickham even more attractive in her eyes.


Some time after the sudden departure of Mr. Bingley with his sisters and Darcy, the eldest Miss Bennett themselves go to London - to stay in the house of their uncle Mr. Gardiner and his wife, a lady to whom both nieces have sincere emotional affection. And from London, Elizabeth, already without a sister, goes to her friend Charlotte, the one who became the wife of Mr. Collins. In the house of Lady de Boer, Elizabeth again encounters Darcy. Their conversations at the table, in public, again resemble a verbal duel - and again Elizabeth is a worthy rival. And if you take into account that the action still takes place at the turn of the 18th-19th centuries, then such insolence from the lips of a young person - on the one hand the lady, on the other - the daisy-girls may seem like real freethinking: «You wanted to embarrass me, Mr. Darcy ... but I'm not at all afraid of you ... Stubbornness does not allow me to show cowardice when others want it. When I try to frighten me, I become even more impudent. » But one fine day, when Elizabeth sits alone in the living room, Darcy suddenly appears on the threshold; «My whole struggle was futile! Nothing comes out. I can’t cope with my feelings. Know that I am infinitely fascinated by you and that I love you! »But Elizabeth rejects his love with the same determination with which she once rejected the claims of Mr. Collins. To Darcy’s request to explain both her refusal and her hostility, which was so undisguised by her, Elizabeth speaks of Jane’s happiness destroyed because of him, of Wickham insulted by him. Again - a duel, again - a scythe on a stone. For, even making an offer, Darcy cannot (and does not want to!) Hide that, making it, he always remembers that, by marrying Elizabeth, he thereby inevitably "marries those who are so below him on the public ladder." And it is precisely these words (although Elizabeth understands him no less than how limited her mother is, how ignorant her younger sisters are, and much more than he suffers from this) they hurt her unbearably painfully. In the scene of their explanation, equal temperaments, equal to "pride and prejudice." The next day, Darcy gives Elizabeth a voluminous letter - a letter in which he explains to her his behavior towards Bingley (with the desire to save a friend from the same misalliance that he is ready for now!), - he explains, not looking for excuses, not hiding his an active role in this matter; but the second is the details of the «Wickham case,» which present both of its members (Darcy and Wickham) in a completely different light. In Darcy's story, it is Wickham who turns out to be both a deceiver and a low, licentious, dishonorable person. Darcy’s letter stuns Elizabeth — not only with the truth revealed in him, but also with her realization of her own blindness, shame for the involuntary insult she inflicted on Darcy: «How shameful I did! .. I was so proud of my insight and so relying on her own common sense! »With these thoughts, Elizabeth returns home to Longborn. And from there, with her aunt Gardiner and her husband, she goes on a short trip around Derbyshire. Among the attractions on their way is Pemberley; a beautiful old manor owned by ... Darcy. And although Elizabeth is known for certain that these days the house should be empty, at that very moment when the housekeeper Darcy proudly shows them the interior, Darcy reappears on the doorstep. Over the course of several days that they constantly meet, either in Pemberley, or in the house where Elizabeth and her companions stayed, he invariably amazes everyone with his courtesy, friendliness, and ease of use. Is this the very proud Darcy? However, Elizabeth’s attitude towards him also changed, and where previously she was ready to see some flaws, she is now quite inclined to find many advantages. But then an event takes place: from a letter received from Jane, Elizabeth learns that their younger sister, the impolite and frivolous Lydia, fled with a young officer - none other than Wickham. Such - in tears, in confusion, in despair - Darcy finds her in the house, alone. Not remembering myself with grief Elizabeth talks about the misfortune that befell their family (dishonor is worse than death!), And only then, when, dryly bowing, he suddenly abruptly leaves, she realizes what happened. Not with Lydia - with her herself. After all, now she will never be able to become Darcy's wife - she, whose own sister forever disgraced herself, thereby imposing an indelible mark on the whole family. Especially on their unmarried sisters. She hurriedly returns home, where she finds everyone in despair and confusion. Uncle Gardiner hurries out in search of fugitives to London, where he unexpectedly quickly finds them. Then, even more unexpectedly, he persuades Wickham to marry Lydia. And only later, from a random conversation, Elizabeth learns that it was Darcy who found Wickham, it was he who forced him (with the help of a considerable amount of money) to marry a girl seduced by him. After this discovery, the action is rapidly approaching a happy ending. Bingley with her sisters and Darcy comes back to Netherfield Park. Bingley makes an offer to Jane. There is another explanation between Darcy and Elizabeth, this time the last. Having become Darcy’s wife, our heroine also becomes the full-fledged mistress of Pemberley - the very one where they first understood each other. And the young sister of Darcy Georgiana, with whom Elizabeth "established the closeness that Darcy was counting on <...> from her experience, understood that a woman can afford to treat her husband like a younger sister can not treat her brother." our heroine also becomes the full-fledged mistress of Pemberley - the very one where they first understood each other. And the young sister of Darcy Georgiana, with whom Elizabeth "established the closeness that Darcy was counting on <...> from her experience, understood that a woman can afford to treat her husband like a younger sister can not treat her brother." our heroine also becomes the full-fledged mistress of Pemberley - the very one where they first understood each other. And the young sister of Darcy Georgiana, with whom Elizabeth "established the closeness that Darcy was counting on <...> from her experience, understood that a woman can afford to treat her husband like a younger sister can not treat her brother."