Chapters 10 and 11 – Darcy bewitched
Jane nears full health at Netherfield, and Elizabeth is
looking forward to returning home. She has to undergo the daily drawing room meetings with the household, but she is not intimidated by this, and views her dialogue with Darcy as a challenge. As Jane now
joins them in the drawing room, Bingley and Jane spend most of their time together leaving Elizabeth alone with the Bingley sisters and Darcy.
Finally Jane and Elizabeth return home, and on their arrival they hear that
William Collins is to visit.
Bingley appears to be easily manipulated, and in
particular by his sisters. Elizabeth is concerned that Darcy may have too much influence over Bingley, but still hopes that he will propose to Jane, for this would be good match for her. Due to Bingley’s
nature, Jane would be able to have a fair degree of freedom, and Elizabeth would still be able to visit her sister on a regular basis.
This is obviously a flaw in Bingley’s character being that he is so easily swayed.
The reader now has some idea as to how 19th century society operates.
Darcy and the Bingley’s are regarded as being the highest echelon of
They do not need to work for their money, they are landed gentry, and their estates provide them with their income. This is in contrast to the Bennett’s, who do not own land, and obtain their money through work, e.g. the Bennett girls’ Uncle Philips is an attorney working in London. These professionals are regarded as socially inferior.
It is humorous how situations change, and Austen makes a point of this, because the Bingley sisters
inherited their wealth from people who obtained their fortune through work.