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|Bingley returns to Netherfield
Written by Ramya
(5/8/2013 9:08 p.m.)
I always find it funny that Bingley returns to Netherfield with Darcy, but not with his sisters. Did Mr. Hurst not shoot, or was B afraid his brother-in-law would frighten the ducks away with his snores? I can imagine Darcy and Bingley sneaking off to Netherfield while the Superior Sisters were in Scarborough. I get the feeling that Darcy was the one who persuaded Bingley to return.
Upon his return, Bingley is still under his friend's thumb, because he cannot even sit next to Miss Bennet during dinner without being fearful of his friend's disapproval. However, Bingley doesn't suspect that Darcy's views have changed, and that he would longer oppose a match between Bingley and Jane.
It is only after Darcy confesses everything to Bingley that we see him begin to take charge of his courtship of Jane. He legitimately gets angry with his friend, and probably at himself for listening to Darcy. At long last, there is no ambiguity, and B begins to show self-confidence and initiative. He engages himself to dine with the Bennets, to shoot with Mr. Bennet, stay for supper, etc.. He supports every blatant scheme of Mrs. Bennet's, and even uses a convenient opportunity Mrs. Bennet has provided for him to propose to Jane. :-)
He later confesses to Jane that he had loved her when he left Netherfield the past autumn, but that he had believed her to have been indifferent, and also that he had not known of her presence in London. I wonder whether he would have dared to visit Jane by himself even if he had known back then. Either Darcy or his sisters would surely have accompanied him to make sure things did not get too friendly.
Perhaps it was for the best things happened the way they did... I believe Bingley has learnt some valuable lessons from his experience, as has Jane. For one thing, Bingley will not allow himself to be blindly led by his friends, and Jane will not so easliy become the dupe of people who are false. To misquote from Northanger Abbey, "(Darcy's) unjust interference, so far from being really injurious to their felicity, was perhaps rather conducive to it, by improving their knowledge of (themselves), and adding strength to their attachment". :-D
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