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|Humor Meant for Us
Written by BarbaraB
(4/22/2010 1:17 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, No, and neither is he faultless, penned by Nina RG
The humor of the situation is meant for us as the outsider looking in (like a modern day situation comedy) but for Mr. Bennet it should be considered a catastrophe. He is well aware of the hoped-for engagement for his daughter, Jane not to mention the other four who are of marriageable age themselves. As a father who has apparently done nothing to offset the entail or shown any discernible concern (other than an initial visit to Bingley's), to help his wife by giving some assistance in getting his daughters married, he should be appalled at this display of inappropriate behavior by his family for Jane's sake if nothing else. Eligible men generally veered away from families such as the Bennets for they were not looking to make connections with families of great impropriety (quite the opposite). It was not an occasion to be amused if he had any feelings for Jane at all.
Also while there's nothing he can do about the entail now (though there was the possibility before he signed the entail documents) some things Mr. Bennet could have done and still could do:
1. Has he been setting some money aside to help them once he's gone? It doesn't appear that he has or is but I'm not sure that's entirely clear up to this point.
2. It does not appear that he travels with them or takes them to seasons so "they can be thrown in the path of eligible men." :)
3. He could get out and about more himself so that he could meet eligible men to invite back to his home. Just getting out to meet Bingley seems to be more than he really wants to do. As the main landholder he should be showing more concern for his community and reprensenting himself more in public anyway along the lines of, say, Mr. Knightley or Lady Catherine anyway.
4. He could develop closer family ties so there could be more family assistance if something happens to him.
If Mr. Bennet's entire family perished, he has nothing to worry about now or ever. Not so for his family. What would they do with not enough to live on? Maybe Mrs. Bennet's sister can take her in if she is still living herself. We've heard of the Gardiners who are living off a trade salary and perhaps they could afford to take in one or two of the girls if they are still living. What about the others even if two or three can find someone to take them in? These are things Mr. Bennet should be worrying about, not being amused in the possible derailment of his daughter's chance at helping herself and her mother and sisters by making a good marriage. He does nothing to be a part of the solution himself but...
Mr. Bennet is very self-centered and irresponsible in my opinion, mainly indulging in what he wants, needs and likes. No doubt, we have all been around such people at our jobs, within our families, in our social lives who have great personalities and are entertaining to be around, but who, when it's time to be helpful or put out effort for others whether it be physical, financial, or emotional support---where are they? It's all about them.
Despite Mr. Bennet's likability factor, I'm not feeling it. He needs to show some concern about the fate of his family instead of just living The Life of Riley since he has now worries about his own financial welfare. Okay, getting off the soapbox, now. :)
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