Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice Chapter 55 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Bingley visits again, this time alone. Mrs. Bennet, expecting a proposal, awkwardly clears everyone but Jane from the room. Nothing happens. The next morning, Bingley returns to shoot with Mr. Bennet. When Bingley comes inside, Mrs. Bennet again empties the room. Elizabeth returns from writing a letter and sees Bingley and Jane together by the fireside: he has just proposed marriage.
The first non-proposal builds suspense. The second provides the payoff. In keeping with Jane's modesty, Austen does not describe the proposal scene.
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Overjoyed, Jane goes upstairs to tell her mother. Bingley and Elizabeth greet each other as brother and sister. Elizabeth knows that Bingley and Jane's mutual understanding will make them very happy.
Bingley and Jane's marriage, unlike Lydia's, will have a solid foundation of respect and mutual admiration.
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Bingley tells Jane that he didn't know she was in London, but—to Elizabeth's relief—he leaves Darcy out of it. Jane realizes that Caroline and Mrs. Hurst had worked against her, but hopes they can repair some version of friendship.
Bingley is honest and discrete—qualities that Elizabeth shares. Jane has matured to accept the malice in the world and uses her compassion to deal with it.
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