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|Danger of being too meek?
Written by Jasmine D
(5/3/2013 3:03 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Jane's Goodness, penned by BarbaraB
One of the main themes of the novel is pride, obviously. Most of the characters display some elements of pride. But perhaps the only truly humble character in the novel is Jane Bennet.
Jane is sweet, kind, and gentle. Jane refuses to think ill of anyone. She always gives others the benefit of the doubt, and she always looks for the best in other people.
I wonder, though, (as you point out) if there is a danger of being too meek. Some would say that because of Jane’s timid nature, she does not show her affection for Bingley with much openness.
I would say though that where Jane's meekness was more dangerous was in her friendship with Caroline Bingley. Because of Jane’s trusting nature, she believes Caroline’s friendship to be sincere and genuine. She does not see the signs of disdain that Elizabeth (and we readers) see. As a result, Jane is sorely hurt when Bingley leaves her and discovers that Caroline has betrayed her. Her meekness and trust made the pain of separation and betrayal even harder to bear. She never believed that people could be capable of such behavior. She therefore feels the brunt more severely.
Perhaps Austen suggests that the person of an ideal character should maintain a proper balance of pride and humility.
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