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|Focus: Miss Bingley - Nothingness yet Self-importance
Written by Robbin
(4/11/2013 7:25 p.m.)
I thought it would be fun to highlight some of Miss Bingley’s hypocritical verbal exploits in this week’s chapters. I am starting with Caroline’s comments to Darcy on the company at Lucas Lodge. As I progressed through the Netherfield chapters it seemed to me her words said at least as much if not more about her than the company at the party:
"You are considering how insupportable it would be to pass many evenings in this manner -- in such society; and indeed I am quite of your opinion. I was never more annoyed! The insipidity, and yet the noise -- the nothingness, and yet the self-importance of all these people! What would I give to hear your strictures on them!" (6)
While the company surely feels a natural self-importance in their provincial concerns and statuses that are Inconceivable! to the superior feeling Miss Bingley yet she is hardly immune to the same judgments. ‘The insipidity, and yet the noise’ (6) - At the end of Ch. 6 Darcy is completely disengaged from Caroline although apparently she speaks for quite some time: He listened to her with perfect indifference…and as his composure convinced her that all was safe, her wit flowed long (6). Her excessive flattery of Pemberley’s library and Darcy’s penmanship are inane, insipid and amusing because they are so. The ‘nothingness, and yet the self-importance’ (6) - She is proud and conceited on account of her fortune and hanging with people of rank but is ashamed of the part trade played in establishing her fortune (4). She can sing and play (8) and ‘describe an entertainment with accuracy, relate an anecdote with humour, and laugh at their acquaintance with spirit’ (11). Yet despite these accomplishments and “a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions” (8) Miss Bingley is really nothing special. I thought it was funny in her first on-stage speech Caroline tells us what we need to know about her through her mean disparaging others. The joke is on Miss Bingley! (:D)
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