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|Reader’s knowledge vs. Lizzy’s: Mrs. Gardiner and Jane
Written by amytat
(4/21/2013 2:55 p.m.)
In Chapter 25 we get a few insights into Mrs. Gardiners thoughts. When Mrs. Bennet complains about Bingley and Collins Mrs. Gardiner, … in compassion to her nieces, turned the conversation.” Wickham is often a visitor and “Mrs. Gardiner, rendered suspicious by Elizabeth's warm commendation of [Wickham], narrowly observed them both. …their preference of each other was plain enough to make her a little uneasy; and she resolved to speak to Elizabeth …” . Whatever it is that makes her uneasy she enjoys talking with him about Derbyshire and when she hears the story of how Darcy treated him she, “she tried to remember something … which might agree with it, and was confident at last that she recollected ...” so she does seem to like him.
So, we have some knowledge of her thoughts that Elizabeth doesn’t but some of it is only for a brief period. In chapter 26 Mrs. Gardiner talks to Lizzy about her concerns regarding Wickham and we even get more detail on what concerns her, “…an affection which the want of fortune would make so very imprudent. I have nothing to say against him; he is a most interesting young man; and if he had the fortune he ought to have, I should think you could not do better.”
There’s a bief look into Jane’s thoughts in chapter 25 when she is invited to London, “Miss Bennet accepted her aunt's invitation with pleasure; and the Bingleys were no otherwise in her thoughts at the time than as she hoped that, by Caroline's not living in the same house with her brother, she might occasionally spend a morning with her, without any danger of seeing him.” This is an interesting contrast to Lizzy who can’t help hoping Jane will see Bingley, “It was possible, and sometimes she thought it probable, that his affection might be reanimated, and the influence of his friends successfully combated by the more natural influence of Jane's attractions.”
We also get a quick look, in chapter 26, at Jane in London, “Four weeks passed away, and Jane saw nothing of [Bingley]. She endeavored to persuade herself that she did not regret it; but she could no longer be blind to Miss Bingley's inattention…the alteration of her manner, would allow Jane to deceive herself no longer.” But Jane writes Lizzy a letter so this knowledge isn’t kept from Lizzy for very long.
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