Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Upstairs, Jane and Elizabeth talk more openly about their admiration for Bingley's looks, humor, and manners. Jane is reluctant to say anything bad about Bingley's sisters, but Elizabeth is skeptical of them. She thinks they are educated and polished, but conceited.
Elizabeth is quick to judge and is unimpressed by the higher class. On the other hand, Jane refuses to judge anyone badly, which makes her seem angelic but also naÏve.
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The narrator explains Bingley's background: he has a respectable family; he inherited £100,000 and may be looking to buy an estate; and he's renting Netherfield in the meantime. His sisters, Mrs. Hurst and Caroline, are very happy to follow him around.
£100,000 is a lot of money, making Bingley very high class. At the same time, Bingley's lack of a home reflects his immaturity and lack of confidence in his decisions.
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Bingley and Darcy's friendship is explained as a meeting of opposites: Bingley's easy manner and Darcy's more stringent personality. Bingley deeply respects Darcy's judgment. But their demeanors are different. Anywhere they go, Bingley is sociable and well-liked, while Darcy is always so aloof that he offends people. After the ball, Bingley was delighted with the locals (especially Jane) but Darcy considered them plain and uninteresting.
Novels about marriages are frequently concerned with bringing two parties with different characteristics into harmony. Friends like Bingley and Darcy are also opposites: each has some admirable and some weak traits that the other helps to expose and resolve.
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