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Summary Chapter 20

Mrs. Bennet enters to congratulate Mr. Collins on his marriage to Elizabeth. He accepts her congratulations and tells her how the interview went. Mrs. Bennet knows Elizabeth well enough to know her daughter meant it when she refused Mr. Collins’ offer. She intends to speak with her. Mr. Collins objects, saying that if Elizabeth continues to reject him because she is headstrong and foolish, she can’t possibly make him happy as a wife. Mrs. Bennet assures him that Elizabeth is only foolish with courtship.

She goes to her husband and asks for his assistance in convincing Elizabeth to marry Mr. Collins. She tells him that Mr. Collins is in danger of deciding not to marry Elizabeth. Mr. Bennet calls his daughter down. He tells her that her mother refuses to talk to her if she doesn’t marry Mr. Collins, and Mr. Bennet will refuse to talk to her if she does.

Mrs. Bennet realizes her husband is not siding with her. She tries to threaten and coax Elizabeth into changing her mind. Elizabeth remains resolute. Mrs. Bennet tries to enlist Jane’s help, but Jane declines.

Charlotte Lucas comes for a visit. Lydia and Kitty tell her the news. Mrs. Bennet then asks for Charlotte’s help in convincing Elizabeth. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Jane enter the room. Mrs. Bennet accuses Elizabeth of not caring about anyone but herself. She’ll get no husband to take care of her when her father dies, and Mrs. Bennet refuses to support her. She is not going to talk to her ungrateful daughter.

Mr. Collins enters and tells Mrs. Bennet that he has withdrawn his request to marry Elizabeth. He is sorry if he is reprehensible to them. He only wanted a wife and to share his inheritance.

Jane Austen