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Written by gianni
(5/18/2010 9:26 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, tempted to say that there is a strong appearance of duplicity, penned by Stephanie
Do you think that Mrs. Bennet wants the social standing of married daughters, ...
I think it's a mistake to give Mrs. Bennet credit for any kind of thinking, even superficial. She simply reacts thoughtlessly to what goes on around her and indulges herself (even her indulgence of Lydia is self-indulgence, to my mind). So she reacts with thoughtless viciousness to Lizzy's refusal of Collins and Charlotte's engagement; she reacts with thoughtless extravagance to Lydia's elopement; she reacts with thoughtless extravagance to Lydia's recovery; she reacts with thoughtless shocked joy to Lizzy's engagement. About the only things I can think of that show even minimal thought are her transparent manipulations to get Bingley and Jane together (and that hardly qualifies as thought, to me), and her preparations for parties and such.
Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner probably did not think that Elizabeth was working to recover Lydia.
If you mean they didn't think Lizzy was running around London with him, or even corresponding with him to keep track of his search, or any direct participation of this sort, I agree with you.
But what I think Mrs. Gardiner thought was that Lizzy and Darcy were secretly in love (slyness seems the fashion), and that they had agreed together to find Lydia and and fix her mess so they could go open and get married without the disastrous scandal that Lydia's elopement without marriage would provoke.
Otherwise, I can make no sense of her not imagining such inquiries to be necessary on your side,, her repeated sly comments about Darcy having another motive that would never disgrace him, and her plea not to be excluded from P.
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