Pride and Prejudice - Was Mr. Bennet a Careless/poor parent? Showing of 42
There, Lady Catherine informs Elizabeth that she has heard a rumor that Darcy is planning to marry her. Such a notion, Lady Catherine insists, is ridiculous. Mr Bennett is one of my favourite characters, I find him amusing and many of his Somehow Jane and Elizabeth have managed to negotiate childhood and If Mr Collins had offered for Mary would he have cared, or would he actually have. Mr. Bennet is a major character in Pride and Prejudice. five daughters, Jane Bingley, Elizabeth Darcy, Mary Bennet, Catherine Bennet, and Lydia Wickham. His strongest relationship is with Elizabeth, as she is the most level-headed and.
Bennetborn Gardiner and married for twenty-three years at the start of the novelis the daughter of an attorney of Meryton in Hertfordshire. She has a brother and a sister, both married. Though equally vulgar, ignorant, thoughtless, tasteless and gossipy, the marriages of the two sisters have resulted in them revolving in different circles one married a member of the local gentry, the other is wed to one of her late father's law clerks doing so was probably what made him the successor to his boss' small town law firmwhile their naturally genteel brother has gone on to acquire an education and a higher social status in general trade in a respectable line of trade in London.
Bennet[ edit ] Mrs. She is the daughter of Mr. Edward Gardiner, who is some years younger them both his sisters, and is both better natured and better educated than them "Mr. Gardiner was a sensible, gentlemanlike man, greatly superior to his sister, as well by nature as education".
Like her favourite daughter, Lydia, Mrs. Bennet is shameless, frivolous, and very ' silly ' "[Mrs. Bennet's] mind was less difficult to develop. She was a woman of mean understandinglittle informationand uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous.
The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and ' news ' Bennet] captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good humour, which youth and beauty generally give, had married a woman, whose weak understanding, and illiberal mind, had, very early in the marriage, put an end to any real affection for her". She is, notably, a hypochondriacwho imagines herself susceptible to attacks of 'tremors and palpitations' "[her] poor nerves" ; these attacks of 'nerves' happen whenever she is defensive or displeased because things are not going her way.
She is also prone to flights of fancy, of pique, and of melodramabelieving herself to regularly ill-used, talking loudly of it, as well as having the bad habits of counting her chickens before they hatch prophesying about her daughter, Jane's great match, only for Mr. Bingley to return from London when he said he would, and never took into account that she had been wrong, instead implying that the deficiency was either with Jane for failing to 'catch' him or Bingley for not being 'caught' ; and talking out of both sides of her mouth.
She is very much a child still, emotionally stunted and immature, but in an adult's body; likewise with her most favoured daughter, Lydia, with whom she shares a rapport, indulging all of her 'silly', forward and selfish behaviour, and has for years filled Lydia's head with tales of lace, bonnets, high fashions, men in regimentals "[Lydia] is very young; she has never been taught to think on serious subjects; and for the last half-year, nay, for a twelvemonth, she has been given up to nothing but amusement and vanity.
She has been allowed to dispose of her time in the most idle and frivolous manner, and to adopt any opinions that came in her way. Since the shire were first quartered in Meryton, nothing but love, flirtation, and officers have been in her head. She has been doing every thing in her power, by thinking and talking on the subject, to give greater — what shall I call it? Following her marriage, her ascension to the ranks of the gentry has given her an inflated sense of entitled.
Bennet is also just like her youngest daughterin that, as a compulsive gossip and blabbermouth, she is completely incapable of keeping secrets and respecting confidences, even at the expense of her family when she made no effort to keep the news of Lydia's disgrace quiet, allowing it to get out around Meryton. In the first chapter, the narrator warns that Mrs. Bennet is "a woman of mean understanding, little information and uncertain temper".
Seduced by her "youth and beauty, and that appearance of good-humour which youth and beauty generally give", Mr. Bennet married her quickly, discovering too late that she was stupid, narrow-minded and shallow.
- Mr. Bennet
Her father had been an attorney in Meryton, and had left her four thousand pounds". She repeatedly makes a spectacle of herself, incapable of realizing that her behaviour is more likely to be off-putting to any rich, eligible young man who would take notice of her daughters. Her vulgar public manners, her crude, artless and transparent efforts at social climbing and matchmakingand her all-around 'silliness' are a source of constant embarrassment to both Jane and Elizabeth.
But, if one good thing has come from her lacking of good social gracesit is that they have helped to keep her eldest two daughters humble, as opposed to her younger three, who like their mother lack any self-awareness as to their own character flaws. Her main ambition in life is to marry her daughters off to wealthy men, who she can boast and brag about them to her friends and neighbours; Mrs. Phillips her sisterLady Lucas wife of Sir. William Lucas, of Lucas LodgeMrs.
Goulding of Haye-Parkespecially to Lady Lucas, with who she seems to be contest of one-upmanship with. Whether or not any such matches will give her daughters happiness is of little concern to her.
Her pastimes are shopping, 'socializing', and gossiping and boasting. Her favourite daughter is her youngest, Lydia, who takes very much after her younger self. Next she values her eldest, Jane, though only for Jane's great physical beautyand never considers Jane's feelings, virtueor reputation. Her least favourite daughter is Elizabeth closely followed by Mary who she does not understand or like at all; when Mr.
Collins was directing his 'enraptured heart' at Elizabeth, Mrs. Bennet thought them both together a perfect match as she doesn't like either of them "Mrs.
Bennet was perfectly satisfied; and quitted the house under the delightful persuasion that, allowing for the necessary preparations of settlements, new carriages, and wedding clothes, she should undoubtedly see [Jane] settled at Netherfield in the course of three or four months. Of having [Elizabeth] married to Mr. Collins, she thought with equal certainty, and with considerable, though not equal, pleasure. Elizabeth was the least dear to her of all her children; and though the man and the match were quite 'good enough' for her, the worth of each was eclipsed by Mr.
An ignorant and narrow-minded petite bourgeoise [ edit ] For 20 years, reading allowed Mr Bennet to bear the foolishness of his wife Hugh Thomson Between the Gardiner siblings, Mrs.
But this domain is under the regime of substitution for a male heir fee tail malea rule of succession which she never understood why her husband could do nothing to change despite it having been explained to her numerous times she assumes that he simply won't change it on purpose to stress her "poor nerves" since it clouded his future and that of his daughters, given that she and her husband were unable to have a boy.
They had hoped for years, even after the birth of Lydia, the son who would have allowed to put an end to the entailbut they only had girls, five daughters over the course of seven years.
And now that she is middle-aged, having lost nigh-all hope of giving birth to a son, Mrs Bennet is obsessed with the idea of losing her material security, and to be deprived of the social situation to which she is long accustomed to and, to her mind, entirely deserving of ; the possibility of becoming a widow and being expelled from the domain by the heir terrorizes her.
On the other hand, however, Mrs. Bennet is not so merciful, herself; when after Mr.
Collins' and Miss Charlotte Lucas' engagement is announced, Mrs. Bennet becomes very paranoid about their plans, any time she saw them talking together up until their wedding, she convinced that they were both just counting down the hours until the time that they can assume possession of Longbourn and 'throw her out to live in the hedgerows' "Mrs.
Bennet was really in a most pitiable state. The very mention of anything concerning the match threw her into an agony of ill humour, and wherever she went she was sure of hearing it talked of. The sight of Miss Lucas was odious to her. As her successor in that house, she regarded her with jealous abhorrence.
Whenever Charlotte came to see them she concluded her to be anticipating the hour of possession; and whenever she spoke in a low voice to Mr. Collins, was convinced that they were talking of the Longbourn estate, and resolving to turn herself and her daughters out of the house as soon as Mr. Bennet were dead"all before Mr. Bennet is 'cold in his grave' despite the fact that Mr. Bennet is healthy ; completely ignoring the fact that this is exactly what she herself and Lady Lucas would be doing if she was in Charlotte Lucas' situation.
She quickly start to view Charlotte as a conniving intruder as Lady Lucas takes every chance to rub in her triumph "it is very hard to think that Charlotte Lucas should ever be mistress of this house, that I should be forced to make way for her, and live to see her take my place in it! And even when she does start to make a semblance of peace with the 'inevitable', she would mutter, under her breath, "repeatedly to say in an ill-natured tone that she 'wished they might be happy'," when really, she wishes them both ill-will.
Thereby her fixed idea, "the business of her life" ever since Jane, the eldest, has reached 16 years old, is the urgent need to find a husband financially secure for her daughters  to their safeguard and her own. Thus, she shows immediate interest in the arrival of an eligible bachelor in the region. By marrying, she has changed her own social status, but she continues to behave like an ignorant, one-dimensionalpetite bourgeoise from Meryton.
Collins or Lady Catherine, and her own daughter Lydia, frozen and unable to evolve: Soon as she is upset, incapable of analysis, reflection or questioning, she gets defensive and has an anxiety attack "She fancied herself nervous". Her lack of intelligence and narrowness of mind "weak understanding and illiberal mind" quickly resulted in the neglect of her husband,  who for a long time feels nothing more for her than a mocking indifference tinged with contempt;  if he does still have feelings for her, they are of a disappointed variety of love, although it is a fact that he remained faithful to her "[Mr.
Bennet] captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good humour, which youth and beauty generally give, had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind, had very early in the marriage put an end to any real affection for her.
Bennet was not of a disposition to seek comfort for the disappointment which his own imprudence had brought onin any of those pleasures which too often console the unfortunate of their folly or vice. He was fond of the country and of books; and from these tastes had arisen his principal enjoyments". Her notion of stylish behavior is summarized in what she told Sir William: She behaves with embarrassing vulgarity and lack of tact, especially at Netherfield, where her pretentiousness, foolishness and "total lack of correction" are particularly evident.
She is completely devoid of empathysave for herself and Lydiaand, having the mentality of a peahenshe is only sensitive to the outward appearances Jane's superior physical beauty, handsome men in militia uniforms, Mrs. Bennet's refusal to get new clothes for her beloved Lydia in her wedding day shocked her more than the fifteen days lived in concubinage with Wickham "She was more alive to the disgrace which the want of new clothes must reflect on her daughter's nuptials, than to any sense of shame at her eloping and living with Wickham a fortnight before they took place".
Bennet and his daughters saw all the advantages of Wickham's removal from the shire as clearly as Mr.
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Bennet was not so well pleased with it. Lydia's being settled in the North, just when [Mrs. Bennet] had expected most pleasure and pride in [Lydia's] company — for [Mrs.
Bennet] had by no means given up her plan of their residing in Hertfordshire — was a severe disappointment; and besides, it was such a pity that Lydia should be taken from a regiment where she was acquainted with everybody, and had so many favourites.
Bennet], "it will be quite shocking to send her away! And there are several of the young men, too, that she likes very much"completely glossing over Lydia's ruination and rescue, as if events had actually been different then they actually had.
An egocentric hypochondriac[ edit ] When her husband announces an unknown host for dinner, Mrs. Bennet imagines that is Bingley, and that Jane has hidden that fact from her C. Jane Austen has particularly charged the character. As Virginia Woolf wrote, "no excuse is found for [her fools] and no mercy shown them [ Bennet is distinguished primarily by her propensity to logorrheaa defect that Thomas Gisborne considers specifically feminine.
Even the ever-patient Jane finds her mother's complaints hard to bear, when Mrs. Bennet manifests "a longer irritation than usual" about the absence of Mr. Bingley, confessing to Elizabeth how much the lack of self-control of her mother revives her suffering "Oh that my dear mother had more command over herself! Some critics, however, point out that it would be unfair to see only her faults.
Her obsession is justified by the family's situation: She, at least, unlike her husband, thinks about the future of her daughters in seeking to place them socially,  although it's just as likely that she anticipates being able to scrounge off them shamelessly in the event of being left a widow.
In an environment where there are numerous young ladies to be married all neighbors: She does not neglect her daughters, while he merely treats them all as "stupid and ignorant as all the girls", and is locked selfishly in his library.
And when she revolts against the injustice of the entailwhy he replied: She is well aware that he takes pleasure in contradicting her feels "no compassion for [her] poor nerves"never realizing that she's the one who sets herself for it every time and that's pointing out the flaws in her words. Not smart enough to understand his mindset and unsatisfied herself, she "fancied herself nervous", the narrator says. She really suffers from the mocking indifference, insensitivity and lack of empathy from her husband and feels misunderstood;  her appreciation for visits and gossip is a consolation, a solace for an unhappily married woman.
Bennet is stupid, the narrator is merciless and seems to take the same perverse pleasure as Mr. Bennet in mocking her and noting all her ridiculous interventions. When Jane asks her to feel a bit of gratitude to his brother, who had paid a lot for Lydia's wedding, she replied that 'had he not had children, that she and her daughters will inherit all his property', and he has never been 'really generous so far' "If he had not had a family of his own, I and my children must have had all his money, you know; and it is the first time we have ever had anything from him, except a few presents".
If that had been nearer, she would not have gone so soon" and if she was able to happily "for all her maternal feelings [get] rid of her most deserving daughters", the marriage of Jane will only satisfy her "delighted pride" during the year that the Bingley spent at Netherfield.
Bennet is not treated any better by Jane Austen than Lady Catherine, who shows the same lack of taste, and as many selfish pretensions and such ridiculous interferences; her rudeness of rich and aristocrat pride shames her nephew, just like the vulgarity of her mother irritates Elizabeth. Bennet looks for ways to let Jane and Bingley alone together Hugh Thomson Mrs Bennet has not really raised these girls, that she would like so much to see married, to make them good housekeepers.
It was Thomas Gisborne who theorized in An Enquiry Into the Duties of Men, [note 2] published inand in An Enquiry into the Duties of the Female Sex, published inthe idea of areas reserved for men and women. According to him, women are by nature destined to the domestic spheredefined as the particular area where "their excellence deploys".
Bennet openly mocks Charlotte Lucas when she is forced to go into the kitchen in order to supervise the tarts making, proudly saying that her "daughters are brought up differently"; also, she reacts with force when Mr Collins, on the day of his arrival, assumed that his cousins took part in the preparation of dinner. Bennet also adds that they lived quite well, since Mr. Bennet spends annually his entire comfortable income: Bennet's life made for her marriage, Mr.
Jane Bennet[ edit ] In a letter to Cassandra dated MayJane Austen describes a picture she saw at a gallery which was a good likeness of "Mrs.
Bingley" — Jane Bennet. Deirdre Le Faye in Jane Austen: Q- is the picture that Austen described. Like her immediately younger sister, Elizabeth, Jane is favoured by her father, due to her steady, genteel disposition. Twenty-two years old when the novel begins twenty-three at the endshe is considered the most beautiful young lady in the neighbourhood.
Jane's character is contrasted with Elizabeth's as sweeter, shyer, and equally sensible, but not as clever but she is aware of this fact ; her most notable trait is a desire to see only the good in others. As Anna Quindlen wrote, Jane is "sugar to Elizabeth's lemonade".
Jane along with her sister, Elizabeth seems to have taken after her father's side of the family, in actual fact, having been portrayed as a sweet, steady, genteel girl unlike her mother.
She is favoured by her mother next after her youngest sister, Lydia solely because of her external beauty. If Jane has taken anything after her mother, it is a certain inflexibility of thought; but while her mother's inflexibility of thought leans in a wholly selfish direction, Jane's is in a selfless one; Jane is very unwilling to think ill of others unless sufficient evidence presents itselfwhereas her mother will think ill of anyone on little evidence.
She falls in love with the affable and amiable Mr. Bingley "He is just what a young man ought to be", said [Jane], "sensible, good humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!
Their love is initially thwarted by Mr. Darcy and Caroline Bingley, who are concerned by Jane's low connections and have other plans for Bingley, respectively, involving Miss Darcy. Darcy, aided by Elizabeth, eventually sees the error in his ways and is instrumental in bringing Jane and Bingley back together.
As described in volume 3, chapter 19 the epilogue that, after their marriage, the happy couple only manage to tough it out at Netherfield for a year before life in Meryton being imposed upon by Mrs. Phillips and their ill-bred, silly, thoughtless behavior proved to be too much for their good tempers, leading them to give up the lease on the estate and establish themselves elsewhere "Mr.
Bingley and Jane remained at Netherfield only a twelve-month. So near a vicinity to her mother and Meryton relations was not desirable even to his easy temper, or her affectionate heart. The darling wish of his sisters was then gratified; he bought an estate in a neighbouring country to Derbyshireand Jane and Elizabeth, in addition to every source of happiness, were within thirty-miles of each other.
The second of the Bennet daughters, she is twenty years old and is intelligent, lively, playful, attractive, and witty—but with a tendency to judge on first impression the "prejudice" of the title and perhaps to be a little selective of the evidence on which she bases her judgments.
As the plot begins, her closest relationships are with her father as his favourite daughterher sister Jane, her Aunt Gardiner, and her best friend Charlotte Lucas. She is also the least favourite of her mother, Mrs. Bennet because of her resistance to her mother's plans a 'rank' which she is tied closely with her plain sister, Mary, who Mrs.
Bennet also looks down upon. As the story progresses, so does her relationship with Mr. The course of Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship is ultimately decided when Darcy overcomes his pride, and Elizabeth overcomes her prejudice, leading them both to surrender to their love for each other.
Mary Bennet[ edit ] Mary Bennet is the middle, and only plain and solemn Bennet sister. Like both her two younger sisters, Kitty and Lydia, she is seen as being 'silly' by Mr. Bennet, and as not even pretty like her sisters and for not being 'good-humoured' like Lydia by Mrs. Since the cousin is so far removed from the family, they cannot rely on him to care for the wife and daughters upon Mr. Bennet's passing like they would if the heir was a son. Bennet to be incredibly anxious about marrying off her daughters, and their lack of success at first, as they would be truly destitute if Mr.
Bennet died before any of the girls were to marry. Due to two of his daughters marrying extremely wealthy gentlemen, this is not a worry by the end of the book, as all female members of the Bennet family would be well cared for upon Mr.
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As an aside, the terms of the Longbourn entail do not allow the Bennet daughters to inherit the estate under any circumstance whatsoever even if they bore sons! Bennet possesses a legitimate male-line male relative. Jane Austen appears to possibly represent in the book that the only way the daughters could inherit Longbourn is if the entail were to be broken, and that could only be done if a the owner and his heir agreed to break it or b if there were no more male-line male relatives left.
This, however, was not the case in 19th century England. Entailments could be fairly easily and were routinely barred, and it did not require the agreement of any heir; a strict settlement is a single-generation entailment alternative that would require an heir to break, but it would have required Mr.
Bennet himself to make an agreement explicitly to leave his own lands to some distant cousin if he failed to produce a son at the time of its signing, which is absurdly unlikely.