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Written by Barbara
(4/16/2010 4:14 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mary in the line of progression of Mr. Bennet's disinterestedness, penned by Karen G
I've always imagined this to be what happened to the Bennets--that Mr. Bennet withdrew more and more from interaction with his wife and family as it became clear what kind of woman he had married--and also as his hopes for having a son diminished with each daughter.
I also thought that because Jane was sweet and pretty, her mother took more to her and so Elizabeth became her father's intellectual companion once she was older. She is far more capable of matching wits with him and keeping up her end of the conversation than her mother is.
Lydia, as the baby, and as the daughter most like Mrs. Bennet, also claimed a greater share of her mother's attention. Mary--and Kitty as well--are very much the overlooked middle sisters. Mary's behaviour is attention-seeking in some ways, because she must feel so absolutely stuck in the middle and insignificant. Neither parent will make her feel valued or important, so she has to do this for herself.
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