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The outcome of a chain of events is indicated at the very beginning, though the meaning of that indication may not be evident.

One clear indication of the outcome of this story is the chance meeting of Eliza, Darcy, Jane, Bingley, Lydia, Wickham and Collins in Meryton shortly after Jane’s return from Netherfield on Collins’ first visit to Longbourn. Darcy and Bingley are on their way to Longbourn to inquire whether Jane has fully recovered from her illness. All but Darcy are meeting Wickham for the first time. Collins is a stranger to all but his cousins. Yet, at this moment, a future family comes together. By the end of the story, all seven will be related to each other through marriage.


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Jane falls ill when she visits Netherfield, indicating she lacks the strength to win Bingley without a further struggle. Her months of waiting and suffering generate the needed intensity from her side.

Charlotte forewarns Eliza that Jane is too unexpressive of her affection for Bingley. Darcy mistakes Jane’s calm exterior for indifference to Bingley and relies on it to persuade Bingley to drop his interest in her.

The fatigue, languor, and tiresomeness that mark the end of the Netherfield ball[1] reflect the events that are soon to follow. The low energy of everyone involved indicates that circumstances are not ripe for success at this time. What follows is the despair of Jane at Bingley’s departure for London, Eliza’s disappointment over the loss of Wickham to Mary King, and Collins’ humiliating proposal to Elizabeth. Compare this with the upbeat jubilant atmosphere—in spite of the humiliation and public exposure—after Lydia’s marriage and departure from Longbourn. It was followed by Mr. Bingley’s proposal, Darcy’s engagement and upliftment of the entire family.

There is a formal, stilted, uncomfortable atmosphere when Eliza and Mrs. Gardiner call on Georgiana at Pemberley. Caroline and her sister are present and overtly cool. Eliza is physically separated from Georgiana by too great a distance to establish a rapport. The same atmosphere prevails between Eliza and Darcy when he and Bingley return to Herefordshire and call at Longbourn. Both instances reflect the fact that the atmosphere is not yet conducive for full rapprochement. The atmosphere fully reverses only after Darcy saves Lydia and encourages Bingley to resume his courtship of Jane. On Darcy’s next visit, he and Eliza immediately find the opportunity for a personal discussion and exchange of vows.

Eliza received warnings about Wickham from four sources prior to the elopement: Caroline’s warning to Eliza and Bingley’s warning to Jane at the Netherfield ball, Darcy’s letter to Eliza at Rosings, and Mrs. Reynolds’ words about Darcy and Wickham during Eliza’s visit to Pemberley.


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