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Chapters 36, 37, and 38

Chapter 36

Lizzy reads the letter with earnest, and is surprised by the varying emotions it inspires in her. The first portion, the segment on Jane, leaves her angry. She believes that Darcy did not truly find Jane uninterested in Bingley, and is furthered incensed when he brings up her family again. She continues to see Darcy as arrogant and proud; the first half of the letter completely unsuccessful in changing her mind on the matter. On the subject of Wickham, however, she is dumbfounded. At first, she cannot believe the story true, but after replaying Wickham's explanation in her mind, comparing it to Darcy's version, and after much contemplation, decides that it is very possible that Darcy is innocent. She realizes that no one in the militia or the town knew anything of Wickham before he entered the military, and that much of her opinion of him has been influenced by the good opinion of the townspeople. She then recalls Colonel Fitzwilliam's insinuation that they had had trouble with Miss Darcy, and believes that her involvement with Wickham could have been the source of this trouble. She also thinks back to her first encounter with Wickham, when he so openly talked badly of Darcy, and Lizzy wonders why she did not realize how inappropriate such openness with a stranger was. Further, she realizes that Wickham shared his story only with her until Darcy left Netherfield; once he was gone, Wickham spread the tale to everyone. Lizzy realizes that Darcy is not as a horrible a man as she had so long thought, and she feels greatly ashamed for having misjudged both Darcy and Wickham. After admitting that her own vanity has misled her, she reconsiders the first half of Darcy's letter. She realizes that it has merit - Charlotte had also said that Jane appeared unaffectionate, and his observations of the Bennet family had been embarrassingly on target.

Chapter 37

The next day, the men leave Rosings Cottage. Lizzy and the Collinses dine with Lady Catherine that night, and all Lizzy has to hold back a smile as she thinks of the reaction Lady Catherine would have is she knew her nephew had proposed. Mostly, though, Lizzy is lost in her thoughts of Darcy and his letter, which she has now nearly memorized. Each time she thinks of her angry refusal of his proposal, she is embarrassed. She thinks of her family, of how imprudent her youngest sisters act, and how only she and Jane do anything to try to stop it. She is further saddened by realizing that Bingley had truly loved Jane, but that she had been cut off from the man because of her own misbehaved family. A week later, Lizzy and Maria are finally set to leave Hunsford. Lady Catherine and her daughter rudely wish them a good journey.

Chapter 38

As she prepares to leave, Lizzy feels bad For Charlotte, knowing that she is leaving her friend with only Mr. Collins and the de Bourghs for company. She realizes, however, that Charlotte has chosen this life. At last, the carriage arrives, and, after their good-byes and well wishes, Lizzy and Maria depart. Maria excitedly thinks of all the times they were invited to Rosings, and cannot wait to share her stories of the visits. Four hours later, they reach the Gardiners' home. Lizzy is happy to see Jane, and to continue on their journey back to Longbourn. She is unsure, however, how to tell Jane of Darcy's proposal, both because she does not want to reveal anything about Bingley that will hurt her sister, and because she is still unsure of her own feelings for Darcy.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1, 2, and 3
Chapters 4, 5, and 6
Chapters 7 and 8
Chapters 9 ,10, and 11
Chapters 12, 13, and 14
Chapters 15 and 16
Chapters 17, 18, and 19
Chapters 20, 21, and 22
Chapters 23, 24, and 25
Chapters 26, 27, and 28
Chapters 29, 30, and 31
Chapters 32, 33, and 34
Chapter 35
Chapters 36, 37, and 38
Chapters 39 and 40
Chapters 41 and 42
Chapters 43 and 44
Chapters 45 and 46
Chapters 47 and 48
Chapters 49 and 50
Chapters 51 and 52
Chapters 53, 54, and 55
Chapters 56 and 57
Chapters 58 and 59
Chapters 60 and 61


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