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|Do we give Jane too much credit?
Written by Adrian
(4/26/2010 1:27 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, The Bennet girls' education, penned by Cheryl
We know from the text that Jane and Elizabeth were more sensible (and gracious) than their younger sisters; but on contemplating the girls' education, I begin to wonder what evidence we have for Jane's level of education or accomplishment. What do we know?
Jane was uncommonly beautiful. She was uncommonly kind. Neither of those are necessarily teachable. Perhaps she has that elusive manner and certain something Caroline so values. Beyond that, what has Jane learned?
What seems to set Lizzy and Jane apart really is their sense and their sense of responsibility. Mr. Bennet misses their sensible conversation while they are at Netherfield and seems to respect the two eldest more than the others, something their behavior at the Netherfield ball seems to validate. Yet only Lizzy seems to have an intellectual curiosity, a desire to debate ideas, a desire to observe people, and (what appears despite her denial to be) a love of extensive reading. In terms of formal education, Jane does not seem much more experienced than her younger sisters. Her advantages are instead more personal.
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