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|Chapter 40: Elizabeth's concern for Jane
Written by kathleen (elder)
(4/28/2013 7:32 p.m.)
I think Chapter 40 is one of the best examples of the closeness of the two eldest Bennet sisters. Elizabeth shares most of the proposal/letter details, and she asks Jane's advice on whether they should expose Wickham to their acquaintances. There is absolutely nobody else to whom Elizabeth could have unburdened herself, and she is fortunate to have one sister in whom she can confide.
Later in the chapter Elizabeth observes Jane, and the passage seems to mix some of Elizabeth's concerns w/ an omniscient narrator's observations in:
[Elizabeth] was now, on being settled at home, at leisure to observe the real state of her sister's spirits. Jane was not happy. She still cherished a very tender affection for Bingley. Having never even fancied herself in love before, her regard had all the warmth of first attachment, and, from her age and disposition, greater steadiness than first attachments often boast; and so fervently did she value his remembrance, and prefer him to every other man, that all her good sense, and all her attention to the feelings of her friends, were requisite to check the indulgence of those regrets which must have been injurious to her own health and their tranquillity.
This is a beautiful description of Jane's character, and I admire her more on every reading.
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