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Eng Lit 2 B Pride and Prejudice > Key Scenes > Flashcards

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Piano scene at Rosing’s

Elizabeth’s easy intelligent conversation with Colonel Fitzwilliam about books and music is significant as it alerts Mr Darcy to her social suitability (and possibly her attractiveness to other men).
The conversation prompts Lady Catherine to interrupt and to make assertions about her own love of music which serve only to reveal her ignorance, conceit and rudeness.
Mr Darcy walks away from his aunt and stands near the piano when Elizabeth begins to play– as if he is changing his allegiance.
Elizabeth challenges Darcy ‘with an arch smile’ (Vol. 2, Ch. 8, p. 144). The subsequent three-way discussion between herself, Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam appears to be about social skills (music, dancing, conversation) but is more important as it allows them an opportunity to explore and develop their relationship.


Elizabeth tries to persuade Mr. Bennet

This is the first time that we have seen Elizabeth challenge her father. She makes it clear that she is worried about the effect of a stay in Brighton on Lydia. Her father’s laziness is revealed and later events will show that Elizabeth is right.
When she speaks ofthe way Lydia’s uncontrolled behaviour reflects on the whole family – ‘the very great disadvantage to us all’ – (pp. 190–1) it shows that she has learned from her reading of Darcy’s letter (Vol. 2, Ch. 13) and has accepted his criticisms. Family is a main theme in the novel and these chapters highlight the parental faults that make the Bennet family flawed.
The choice of language reveals a subtle change in her relationship with her father. Mr Bennet listens ‘attentively’ (p. 190) and reassures her ‘affectionately’ (p. 191). He will not act, however, so she leaves the room feeling ‘disappointed and sorry’ (p. 192).
These chapters are also important as they develop the reader’s understanding of Lydia’s character. As well as her being discussed by her father and sister, we are offered a glimpse into her own imagination where she sees herself ‘tenderly flirting with at least six officers at once’ (p. 192).