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Free Study Guide-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen-Free Plot Summary
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Chapter 31

Summary

Colonel Fitzwilliam is about thirty years old and, though he is not very handsome, his manners make him popular. A week after the arrival of her nephews, Lady Catherine Ďcondescendsí to invite Mr. Collinsí guests to a party at Rosings on Sunday evening. Colonel Fitzwilliam is attracted to Elizabeth and converses with her animatedly. The mutually engrossed couple draws the attention of Darcy and Lady Catherine. The latter has no qualms about rudely interrupting their conversation, calling out questions to them. Fitzwilliam asks Elizabeth to play the piano, and she agrees; Lady Catherine, however, rudely continues to talk while Elizabeth is performing. Disgusted by his auntís churlish manner, Darcy stands by the piano to pay attention to Elizabeth. During the evening, Elizabeth cannot see any signs of love between Darcy and Miss de Borough.


Notes

Darcy seems a little jealous of the fact that his cousin and Elizabeth are engrossed in conversation. He is also horrified at his auntís rude behavior. Lady Catherine continuously interrupts Colonel Fitzwilliam and Elizabethís conversation. She insults Elizabeth by suggesting that she should practice the piano more often and by saying she is free to use the servantsí room, where she "will not be in the way". Lady Catherineís crude behavior embarrasses Darcy, just as Mrs. Bennetís oafish behavior often embarrasses Elizabeth. Lady Catherineís loud talking while Elizabeth is playing the piano totally exasperates Darcy. When he stands by the piano in order to hear better, Elizabeth accuses him of trying to unsettle her. In this scene, as in many others, Elizabeth misunderstands Darcy.

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