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Written by BarbaraB
(5/23/2010 9:50 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Going to London, penned by Karen G
I see what you are saying about blame. JA did create realistic characters and as such, when I discuss them, I am discussing a real-life Mr. and Mrs. Bennet in the era of JA. It was a patriarchal society. Men had all the power, the financial control and rights over his wife and kids. I agree that Mrs. Bennet was just as irresponsible as Mr. Bennet but if Mr. Bennet was willing to abdicate his power to his wife then he had to be willing to accept the consequences of his own irresponsibility of giving someone so incapable that power when he knew that society would be judging him. I know it was unfair the way it worked but it's just how it was in so strict a patriarchal culture. The buck stopped at the top. It simply was determined by the society in which they lived that the man was responsible regardless of what his wife (and children) did so it was up to him to make sure they were shedding a good light on his household. I do appreciate the way JA wrote her characters so realistically but my admiration is for her, not necessarily the characters themselves if they haven't earned it in the lives they have lead. We live in a world where irresponsibility begets blame and unfortunately for Mr. B. he lived in the wrong time to get away with having to take full responsibility. But your point of view can be just as valid for you as anyone else's is for them. :)
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