chapter 20 to rest off
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Lady Catherine's visit strengthens the readers' suspicions that an engagement between Darcy and Elizabeth is imminent. Ironically, Lady Catherine's attempt to prevent Elizabeth and Darcy's marriage only serves to give hope to Elizabeth of Darcy's continued affection. While Elizabeth is uneasy that Lady Catherine's influence may prevent Darcy's proposal, it is likely that it will only do the opposite by likewise giving him hope of Elizabeth's affection. Lady Catherine thus unwittingly plays the part of facilitating their marriage through her very attempt to prevent it.