Published on March 2, 2014
Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen Volume 1 (Chapters 1-23) Summary (First Half)
Chapters 1-4 Summary Mrs. Bennet heard from her friend, Mrs. Long that a wealthy man named Mr. Bingley, had bought the Netherfield Park, and was believed to be looking for a wife. She told her husband to visit Mr. Bingley once he arrived at the Netherfield and hoping that Mr. Bingley would fall in love with one of their five daughters, but Mr. Bennet refused. However, without Mrs. Bennet’s knowledge, he had always intended to visit Mr. Bingley, and so he did. He and the girls were talking about Mr. Bingley when Mrs. Bennet entered the room. When Mrs. Bennet finally knew about his visit to Mr. Bingley, she was glad about it and couldn’t wait for Mr. Bingley to visit them.
When Mr. Bingley arrived on their house, he was expecting to see their five daughters but unfortunately, he only had a chance to talk to Mr. Bennet for ten minutes in the library. Mrs. Bennet invited him to have a dinner in their house but was unable to accept the invitation because he’s needed to be in town soon to leave for London. Before the ball, the girls were saddened by news that Mr. Bingley would bring twelve ladies and seven gentlemen to the ball, but soon comforted because he only brought his two sisters, the husband of the eldest and a young man named Mr. Darcy, who attracted attention in the room; he is a tall person and handsome. People were talking about him having ten thousand a year five minutes after he entered the room. But after a while, people were disgusted at him because of his mannerisms.
At the ball, Mr. Bingley danced with Jane Bennet, the eldest of the Bennet sisters, twice while Mr. Darcy only danced with Mr. Bingley’s sisters. Mr. Bingley approached Mr. Darcy and invited him to dance with Elizabeth, who is just standing near them. Mr. Darcy looked at her and said to Mr. Bingley that she is not beautiful enough to attract him, which Elizabeth overheard. After the ball, Mrs. Bennet was delighted that Mr. Bingley had danced with her daughter, Jane, twice which puts her in hope that Mr. Bingley liked her daughter.
Chapter 5 Summary The Lucas family, Bennets’ intimate friend who live in Meryton, near Longbourn where the Bennets live, visited them. They conversed about the ball and Mrs. Bennet complimented Charlotte Lucas by starting the evening well and that she was Mr. Bingley’s first choice. However, they concluded that Mr. Bingley admires Jane better because he danced with her twice. Afterwards, Charlotte changed the discussion to Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. She said that she wished Mr. Darcy had danced with Elizabeth, but Elizabeth told them she would not dance with him because of his pride.
Chapter 6 Summary The Bingley sisters paid a visit to the Bennets and were only interested on talking to Jane and Elizabeth. The Bingley sisters paid their attention to Jane, while Elizabeth still doubts their attitude. She believes that Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley attitude towards Jane was only influenced by their brother’s admiration to Jane. She observed that Jane is very much in love with Mr. Bingley and trying to conceal it. She mentioned it to her friend, Charlotte. Charlotte said that if Jane is trying to hide it from him, she would lose the opportunity of Mr. Bingley liking her. However, Elizabeth told Charlotte that Jane must know Mr. Bingley very well first to know her real feelings towards him.
On the other hand, while Elizabeth is busy observing Mr. Bingley’s attention to her sister, little did she know that Mr. Darcy is having an interest on her and he wants to know more of her. At another party, Mr. Darcy started to listen to Elizabeth’s conversation with Charlotte and was too much occupied he didn’t notice Sir William Lucas is near him. Sir William Lucas started a discussion with him. When Elizabeth was walking towards them, Sir Lucas called out to her and tried to convince Elizabeth to dance with Mr. Darcy; she declined. Thereafter, Mr. Darcy was accompanied by Miss Bingley and told her that his eyes is fixed on Elizabeth Bennet.
Chapter 7 and 8 Summary Mr. Bennet’s property is entailed which means that only a male could inherit it after his death; a very unfortunate thing for them because Mr. Bennet doesn’t have a son. Meanwhile, the two youngest of the family, Catherine and Lydia, are having fun visiting Mrs. Bennet’s sister in Meryton, which is a mile away from Longbourn, because a militia regiment was to remain in Meryton for the whole winter. On their visits to Mrs. Phillips, they began to know the officers’ names. After Mr. and Mrs. Bennet listened to this, Mr. Bennet said Catherine and Lydia are silly which started a little argument between him and Mrs. Bennet, but was cut off because a man came with a letter for Miss Bennet, that they opened and read immediately. The letter was happened to be from Miss Bingley, inviting Jane to come to Netherfield. Jane asked Mrs. Bennet to borrow the carriage but she did not let her. Instead, she told Jane to better go on horseback since it is likely to rain, and so she could stay there all night. Jane went on horseback and Mrs. Bennet’s prayer had been answered. A letter came to their house the next day, informing them that Jane is very ill and could not be back home until she is well.
Elizabeth decided to go to the Netherfield through feet; she couldn’t have the carriage and she does not know how to ride a horse and left her with no choice. Mrs. Bennet didn’t agree on this but Elizabeth was decided already. Since it will be a long walk to Netherfield from Longbourn, Catherine and Lydia decided to walk with her as far as Meryton. When Elizabeth arrived at Netherfield, they were surprised. She asked for her sister and Miss Bingley brought her where Jane is staying and left them there. When the breakfast was over, they were accompanied by the Bingley sisters and Elizabeth started to like them herself through seeing the affection they had shown to her sister. Afterwards, Elizabeth decided to leave but Jane did not let her; Miss Bingley was forced to let her stay in Netherfield. Elizabeth accepted the invitation with pleasure and they sent a servant to Longbourn to inform their family of her stay and to bring back clothes.
When the dinner was ended, Miss Bingley started to judge her and Mrs. Hurst joined in. They discussed how she walked to Netherfield, the untidy hair and her petticoat six inches deep in mud. Mr. Bingley commented that it only shows how she cares for Jane. Miss Bingley attempted to persuade Mr. Darcy that Elizabeth is not a fine woman and his perspective of her must have changed, but Mr. Darcy defended Elizabeth. The Bingley sisters also discussed the lack of fortune of the Bennets and although Jane is a sweet girl, she could not marry Mr. Bingley. Elizabeth returned to the room and was invited to join them to play cards; she declined and informed them that she would just read a book. The subject was turned to Mr. Darcy’s library in Pemberley and eventually, Elizabeth put down her book and sat between Mr. Bingley and Mrs. Hurst near the card table to observe the game. Then the discussion was turned to Mr. Darcy’s sister and afterwards, to their definition of an “accomplished woman”. When Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy said their opinion about what an accomplished woman should possess, Elizabeth declared she never saw such a woman that they described. Elizabeth left the room again to check upon her sister. She came back and told Mr. Bingley her sister is worse. Mr. Bingley insisted that Mrs. Bennet would be sent immediately.
Chapter 9 Summary Mrs. Bennet arrived at the Netherfield after breakfast with her two youngest daughters, Catherine and Lydia. Mrs. Bennet was not worried on Jane’s condition because it is not severe that will put her in danger. She was, in fact, satisfied on her daughter’s condition and does not wish for her soon recovery that would probably remove her at Netherfield. Jane requested to her mother to be carried home but she did not agree and convinced Mr. Bingley that it would be dangerous for her to be moved. Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy had a discussion about the differences between a country and a town that led in a disagreement between Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Darcy because Mr. Darcy said there are fewer things to do in a country than in town which Mrs. Bennet objected to. Mr. Darcy turned away from them to drop the argument; Mrs. Bennet thought the she had gained a complete victory over him. However, Elizabeth was embarrassed for her mother.
Before Mrs. Bennet, Catherine and Lydia said good bye to them, Mrs. Bennet thanked Mr. Bingley again and apologized for Elizabeth’s stay, too. Also, Lydia reminded Mr. Bingley of his promise of holding a ball at Netherfield. Mr. Bingley assured them that he would hold the ball after Jane has recovered from her illness. Mrs. Bennet and her two youngest daughters left the Netherfield, afterwards.
Chapter 10 Summary Miss Bingley seated beside Mr. Darcy in the table as he writes a letter to his sister, Miss Darcy; Elizabeth is in the same room as them. Miss Bingley did nothing but observe the way Mr. Darcy writes his letter. Miss Bingley, then, compared how careless Mr. Bingley writes than Mr. Darcy, until it came to the point that Mr. Darcy compared himself to Mr. Bingley that caused tension. Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth discussed how someone could be influenced or brainwashed by a friend which they argued about. Elizabeth cooled down the situation by telling Mr. Darcy that he should finish his letter. When he finished his letter, he requested to Miss Bingley and Elizabeth for music. Miss Bingley moved towards the piano; waited for Elizabeth to lead the way, but Miss Bingley waited for nothing and just seated herself.
Miss Bingley noticed that Mr. Darcy’s attention is completely going towards Elizabeth, and she’s jealous about it; she wants to get rid of Elizabeth as soon as possible. After the entertainment performed by Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst, Mr. Darcy and Miss Bingley went for a walk, and so did Mrs. Hurst and Elizabeth. They met on their walk and Miss Bingley said something to Mrs. Hurst that offended her; Mrs. Hurst left the three of them there. As Mr. Darcy felt the tension in their surroundings, he said to Miss Bingley that they should just walk to the avenue because the walk wasn’t wide enough for them. However, Elizabeth volunteered to leave and went to her still ill sister.
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