Chapters 4 and 5 – After the Ball
The residents of Longbourn and Netherfield discuss the
happenings at the Ball.
Jane and Elizabeth mull over Bingley’s clear intentions towards Jane, who
admits that she found him attractive and charming.
She is flattered at his admiration for her. Jane says, “He is just what a young man ought to be, sensible, good humored, and lively.” Elizabeth responds, “He is also handsome, which a young man ought likewise to be if he possibly can.”
Bingley and his sisters together with Mr. Darcy, have different views on the
success of the Ball. They are agreed that Jane is the most beautiful of all the Bennett daughters, but Darcy considered the Ball to be a bore, and there was no lady there that he wished to dance with.
The Ball remains the main topic of conversation for days after, and when Sir
William Lucas visits with his oldest daughter, Charlotte, the Bennett’s are able to obtain other views of the Ball. Charlotte is Elizabeth’s closest friend, and she too is aware of Darcy’s rude behavior
towards her, and she commiserates with Elizabeth.
Through Austen’s descriptive writing, the reader
obtains an entertaining view of the gossiping in the various households.
The discussions between Elizabeth and Jane, not only provide the reader with
more information, but they also help develop the respective characters.
Austen is placing the characters in clearly defined categories. Bingley is handsome and debonair,
Darcy is cold and proud, Jane is beautiful and demure, Elizabeth is forthright and intelligent, the Bingley sisters are jealous and catty, and Mr. and Mrs. Bennett we have already covered.
Some of these traits will be developed or shown to be incorrect later in the novel.