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|In Austen, a parent often prefers
Written by Heather Leigh
(4/22/2010 8:16 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, "The least dear to her of all her children" ch18, penned by Benedicte
the child who is most like her/him -- I remember this came up in the S&S Group Read last year, discussing Mrs Dashwood and Marianne. True here of both Bennett parents, where mom prefers Lydia and dad prefers Lizzie; in Persuasion, Sir Walter prefers Elizabeth who shares his pride and vanity.
I think it's consistent with Austen's unsentimental depiction of most family relationships, that she acknowledges this "narcissistic" aspect of parental love (versus a "sentimental" picture of a parent loving all her/his children equally or the same).
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