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Written by Kathleen L
(4/14/2010 9:34 a.m.)
Mr. Bennet - My view of Mr B changes over the course of the novel, but JA provides clues to his character right from the start: he is amusing and witty and likes Lizzie best, so we like him too. But his cleverness often comes at the expense of his own family, especially his wife. And, in spite of knowing herfailings, he has given her free rein with the girls--it appears he did not establish discipline in the past and here, in these first chapters, he allows Jane to go to Netherfield without the carriage; doesn't quell Kitty and Lydia's obsession with their officers; and doesn't direct Mary to smarter behavior.
Charlotte: The reader ought not to discount her concerns and ideas, as Lizzie does in Chapter 6. "If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it [as from the public], she may lose the opportunity of fixing him . . . Bingley likes your sister undoubtedly; but he may never do more than like her, if she does not help him on."
"But she does help him on. . . If I can perceived her regard for him, he must be a simpleton, indeed, not to discover it too."
"Remember, Eliza, that he does not know Jane's disposition as you do."
Kitty and Lydia: It's just one sentence, but the two are different: in Chapter 7 Mr Bennet says: ". . . you must be two of the silliest girls in the country."
Catherine was disconcerted, and made no answer; but Lydia, with perfect indifference, continued to express her admiration . . .
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