Pride and Prejudice Notes on Elopement and its Aftermath

These are notes I did for my Pride and Prejudice controlled assessment but I thought they'd be useful for the summer exams as well. I wrote these just when I had started the GCSE course so they're not my best. But they can't be too bad as I did get 29/30 for my essay :) 

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  • Created by: Aparna
  • Created on: 01-12-12 13:48
Preview of Pride and Prejudice Notes on Elopement and its Aftermath

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Lydia and Wickham's elopement and its aftermath
Before the elopement
The build-up before the elopement contains the gradual improvement in the relationship of Elizabeth
and Darcy. When Elizabeth rejected Darcy, she was blinded by prejudice but soon after, when she
was given the letter which explained his actions; she went through a paradigm shift. Arriving at
Pemberley, she was even more surprised at the amazing accounts of him by the housekeeper who
described him as being "the sweetest-tempered". She experienced his polite and unassuming
behaviour herself: "Never had he spoken with such gentleness." He even invites Mr. Gardiner to
come fishing whenever he wants although he is aware of Mr Gardiner's profession. The couple grow
closer as Darcy invites her to meet his sister and she even begins to start thinking of "bringing on the
renewal of his address."
Jane's first letter
Jane's first letter contains details about the disgraceful affair of Lydia and Wickham and that they
have eloped together to Scotland to get married in Gretna Green.
"Dearest Lizzy, something has occurred of a most unexpected and serious nature."
This shows that everyone was completely taken by surprise. The Bennet family and even
Colonel Forster had no awareness of their relationship. This means that it was probably a
very hurried decision based on a little bit of attraction from both sides. It wasn't due to love
and understanding, it was Lydia's naïve nature and Wickham's `player' attitude that led to
this event.
"To Kitty, however, it does not seem so wholly unexpected."
Kitty has always been shown as easily led by people like Lydia. She isn't as flirtatious as Lydia
herself but usually tries to follow her footsteps.
"I am willing to hope the best, and that his character has been misunderstood."
Jane, as always, tries to look at the brighter side of things and believes that there is still a
chance of redemption for Wickham.
"This step (and let us rejoice over it) marks nothing bad at heart. His choice is disinterested
at least for he must know my father can give her nothing."
Jane thinks that Wickham will marry Lydia and this, to her, doesn't show anything bad
because the relationship won't be based on economic reasons since the Bennet family don't
have much to offer.
"How thankful am I, that we never let them know what has been said against him; we
must forget it ourselves."
Jane is willing to accept Wickham and give him a fresh start, forgetting all the misdeeds he
had done to Mr. Darcy, she has hopes that he has changed.
The main thing here that is different from the first letter is the hopeful attitude of everyone, not just
Jane, that Lydia and Wickham will get married. This brings much hope to think better of Wickham
because there nothing else to do other than that.

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Jane's second letter
The second letter tells the deterioration of the situation since the last one. Denny, one of the officers
informs Colonel Forster that Wickham has no intention of marrying. The couple are presumably
staying in London. A marriage between the eloped couple now seems unlikely which would create a
burden of disgracefulness on the family. The family is anxious and Mr and Mrs Bennet have given up
hope, thinking the worst of the situation.…read more

Page 3

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He seemed to scarcely hear her, walking up and down the room in earnest
meditation."
Elizabeth misunderstood this gesture and thought it was a sign that her power was
sinking, that he must not love her anymore but it could be argued that he was
actually thinking of ways the situation could be helped.
Darcy may feel guilty for not exposing Wickham's traits earlier on to the society
which may have prevented this affair.…read more

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After failing as a father to Lydia, it seemed as if he would right his faults because he would
be moved by such a tremendous event. However, this doesn't happen as he easily gives up
and lazily hands over the tedious task to his brother. He is impatient and can't be bothered to
keep looking for his daughter.
"Who would be likely to know in what part of the town he has now concealed himself.…read more

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Mr Bennet had caught on to this earlier on as soon as the second letter
arrived and the happy news of the soon-to-be-married couple adds further suspicion.
Colonel Forster and his wife may contribute to the payment because they may be feeling
guilty for not looking after Lydia well enough. "He came on to Longbourne, and broke his
apprehensions to us in a manner most creditable to his heart.…read more

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Lydia's wedding
The reactions on Lydia's marriage:
Mrs Bennet: "How I long to see her! And to see dear Wickham too! But the clothes, the
wedding clothes!"
Mrs Bennet is completely insensitive to the fact that the Lydia had caused everyone so many
problems due to her disgraceful behaviour. She also completely ignores Wickham's terrible
traits and is actually excited for their marriage.…read more

Page 7

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Lydia talks about her wedding to Elizabeth which reinforces her stupidity:
"I was so afraid you know that something would happen to put it off, and then I
should have gone quite distracted."
"My aunt, all the time I was dressing, preaching and talking away just as if she
was reading a sermon. However, I did not hear above one word in ten."
"My uncle and aunt were horrid unpleasant all the time I was with them.…read more

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