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|Ch. 9: There is quite as much of that going on
Written by Kathryn Ann
(4/15/2010 4:16 p.m.)
What is going on in this scene?!? The only thing that is perfectly clear to me is that Mrs. Bennet is an utter embarrassment throughout it, and that Bingley, as we would expect, does his best to cover over the rough spots. But he has help!
Mrs. Bennet, having come to check on Jane, attends Miss Bingley into the breakfast-parlour and seems to monopolize the conversation at first. Then Bingley and Elizabeth get into what I would call a teasing sort of exchange about his impulsiveness, etc., but Mrs. Bennet scolds her least-favorite daughter: "Lizzy," cried her mother, "remember where you are, and do not run on in the wild manner that you are suffered to do at home."
Bingley seems to ignore the mother as he “continues immediately” in the same vain as before. Then, wonder of wonders, Darcy jumps into the fray, and addresses Elizabeth directly! Really? Is he just bored to death by not having spoken in awhile, or is it perhaps that he does not want Elizabeth to feel the humiliation that her mother is no doubt causing her to feel? I think there is some motive to his joining in, and it is on Elizabeth’s behalf.
Then Mrs. Bennet, she of mean understanding and little information, offended by his manner of mentioning a country neighbourhood cries "I assure you there is quite as much of that going on in the country as in town."
What just happened? What does Mrs. Bennet’s “that” refer to? I absolutely believe that Darcy turning silently away was his way of being a gentleman and not pointing out Mrs. Bennet’s absurdity.
Then, Elizabeth, blushing for her mother, defends Darcy! As Elizabeth is desperately trying to find a neutral topic, Darcy again comments on something Elizabeth says (the poetry exchange) and smiles at her reply! And of course, the chapter ends with Darcy not willing to join in the censure of Elizabeth, after what was a mortifying display by her mother.
I am all ears to what everyone else thinks was going on there?
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