Study Guide

Pride and Prejudice Deceit

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Deceit Quotes

Chapter 7
Jane Bennet

"Can I have the carriage?" said Jane.

"No, my dear, you had better go on horseback, because it seems likely to rain; and then you must stay all night." (7.22-23)

All's fair in love and war, including incredibly transparent tricks. Luckily, Mr. Bingley is way too good-natured to see through it, even if his sisters do.

Chapter 8
Miss Caroline Bingley

"Elizabeth Bennet," said Miss Bingley, when the door was closed on her, "is one of those young ladies who seek to recommend themselves to the other sex by undervaluing their own; and with many men, I dare say, it succeeds. But, in my opinion, it is a paltry device, a very mean art."

"Undoubtedly," replied Darcy, to whom this remark was chiefly addressed, "there is a meanness in all the arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for captivation. Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable." (8.56-57)

Miss Bingley thinks being sooooo smooth when she hits on Mr. Darcy, but he sees right through her. We're not sure if she gets it, though, since she keeps on trying.

Chapter 17
Jane Bennet

"They have both," said she, "been deceived, I dare say, in some way or other, of which we can form no idea. Interested people have perhaps misrepresented each to the other. It is, in short, impossible for us to conjecture the causes or circumstances which may have alienated them, without actual blame on either side." (17.1-2)

Jane can't believe Wickham's story about Darcy, so she comes up with an explanation: they've been deceived. Unfortunately, they're the ones who are being deceived by that class A liar, Wickham.

Chapter 24

Hope was over, entirely over; and when Jane could attend to the rest of the letter, she found little, except the professed affection of the writer, that could give her any comfort. Miss Darcy's praise occupied the chief of it. Her many attractions were again dwelt on, and Caroline boasted joyfully of their increasing intimacy, and ventured to predict the accomplishment of the wishes which had been unfolded in her former letter. She wrote also with great pleasure of her brother's being an inmate of Mr. Darcy's house, and mentioned with raptures some plans of the latter with regard to new furniture. (24.1-2)

New furniture is just a cover for Caroline Bingley's real purpose in writing—to tell Jane that she'd better quit thinking she's ever going to marry her brother.

Chapter 32

But why Mr. Darcy came so often to the Parsonage, it was more difficult to understand. It could not be for society, as he frequently sat there ten minutes together without opening his lips; and when he did speak, it seemed the effect of necessity rather than of choice—a sacrifice to propriety, not a pleasure to himself. He seldom appeared really animated. (32.29)

Mr. Darcy is actually taking Lizzy's advice here and practicing talking to people he doesn't know well. (It doesn't seem to be going very well.) But she's so convinced that he's an arrogant jerk, she doesn't even see what he's doing.

Chapter 36
Elizabeth Bennet

"How despicably I have acted!" she cried; "I, who have prided myself on my discernment! I, who have valued myself on my abilities! who have often disdained the generous candour of my sister, and gratified my vanity in useless or blameable mistrust! How humiliating is this discovery! Yet, how just a humiliation! Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind! But vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Till this moment I never knew myself." (36.18-19)

Super important moment: Lizzy says that now she finally gets herself. She's just as prejudiced and prideful as anyone else, and she let her own personal feelings deceive her. Hey, better late than never.

As to his real character, had information been in her power, she had never felt a wish of inquiring. His countenance, voice, and manner had established him at once in the possession of every virtue. (36.4)

We'd like to blame Wickham for setting out to deceive the entire town, which he did. But Lizzy also blames herself: she set herself up to be deceived by focusing on his pretty face.

Chapter 40
Elizabeth Bennet

"There certainly was some great mismanagement in the education of those two young men. One has got all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it." (40.14-15)

This is Darcy and Wickham that she's talking about. Wickham is basically evil, and Darcy is, well, all you have to do is google "Darcy perfect man" to see what people think about him. But when we first meet them, we're just as taken in as Lizzy.

Chapter 42

But she had never felt so strongly as now the disadvantages which must attend the children of so unsuitable marriage, nor ever been so fully aware of the evils arising from so ill-judged a direction of talents; talents, which, rightly used, might at least have preserved the respectability of his daughters, even if incapable of enlarging the mind of his wife. (42.3)

Here Elizabeth realizes for the first time that her father isn't exactly Dad of the Year. It's just one of many, many revelations about her friends and family that Elizabeth has to have before she's worthy of marrying Mr. Perfect.

Chapter 47
Lydia Bennet

You will laugh when you know where I am gone, and I cannot help laughing myself at your surprise to-morrow morning, as soon as I am missed. I am going to Gretna Green, and if you cannot guess with who, I shall think you a simpleton, for there is but one man in the world I love, and he is an angel. I should never be happy without him, so think it no harm to be off. You need not send them word at Longbourn of my going, if you do not like it, for it will make the surprise the greater when I write to them and sign my name Lydia Wickham. What a good joke it will be! I can hardly write for laughing. […] Your affectionate friend,
LYDIA BENNET.'' (47.60)

Well, it's nice to know that Lydia really thought Wickham was going to marry her. It seems that Wickham has just been tricking a very naïve and trusting girl, because we find out for certain that Wickham had no intention of marrying Lydia when we read Mrs. Gardiner's letter to Lizzy about the whole scandal and Darcy's involvement. It's almost (almost) enough to make us feel sorry for Lydia.

Chapter 56
Lady Catherine de Bourgh

[Elizabeth:] "Indeed, you are mistaken, Madam. I have not been at all able to account for the honour of seeing you here."

"Miss Bennet," replied her ladyship, in an angry tone, "you ought to know, that I am not to be trifled with. But however insincere you may choose to be, you shall not find me so. My character has ever been celebrated for its sincerity and frankness, and in a cause of such moment as this, I shall certainly not depart from it." (56.25-26)

We sort of have to love Lady Catherine the bulldozer. She's not up to any tricks here, and is totally blunt about her anger that Elizabeth might be engaged to Darcy. Most characters would dance around the topics with a bunch of passive-aggressive insinuations. Apparently, rank does come with some privileges.

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