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Volume 1, Chapter 8 Notes from Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice Volume 1, Chapter 8

Elizabeth has dinner with Bingley and his family (as well as Darcy) that evening, and she disapproves of the way that Bingley's sisters forget all about Jane as soon as they are away from her. Only Bingley seems genuinely worried about Jane, and Darcy doesn't even speak, which Elizabeth interprets to mean snobbish disinterest. When Elizabeth leaves the room, Bingley's sisters both bad-mouth her. Miss Bingley brings up again how terrible Elizabeth looked when she came over to check on Jane. She says that none of the Bennet girls will be able to marry well because they are country people and have no wealthy relations. Darcy's interest in Elizabeth is not diminished by the Bingley women's gossip, however.

Topic Tracking: Status 6

When Elizabeth comes into the parlor, she opts to read instead of playing cards and Miss Bingley makes fun of her for it. Then the two women get into a discussion about the accomplishments of ladies and what all they are expected to be able to do. Darcy, who was listening to the conversation, says that in addition to their list of knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, languages, grace, and style, a woman must also improve her mind by reading. Although Darcy is attempting to flirt with Elizabeth by referring to her preference to read, she sees his remark as further emphasizing his snobbery. She tells him that he'll never find a woman so perfect and soon leaves the room.

Topic Tracking: Misunderstanding 3

Miss Bingley, who had been nearly edged out of the conversation between Elizabeth and Darcy, says that Elizabeth must be the kind of girl who recommends herself by downplaying those of her own gender. Darcy looks pointedly at Miss Bingley and says that most of the ways in which women try to trap men are deceitful and unpleasant. Miss Bingley lets the conversation drop.

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