Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
Written by Jen S
(4/29/2007 8:38 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, P&P Focus Topics?, penned by Cheryl
This is a great idea. I've found that I've re-read the first 7 chapters that I've been unconsciously doing this already. My jots and tittles in the margins tend to be about the family dynamics within the Bennet household, particularly focusing on the relationships between parent and child.
"You are over-scrupulous surely. I dare say Mr. Bingley will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chuses of the girls: though I must throw in a good word for my little Lizzy."
"I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane, nor half so good-humoured as Lydia. But you are always giving her the preference."
"They have none of them much to recommend them," replied he; "they are all silly and ignorant, like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters."
"Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way! You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves." Ch. 1
At first pass this exchange seems amusing, but upon reflection can be quite revealing of the family dynamics, and thus even a bit disturbing. Jane is beautiful, Lizzy quick and clever, Lydia good-humoured. At this point we know nothing of what the parents/family view as the strengths and/or weaknesses of Kitty or Mary, well, other than that Mr. Bennet has a general view of all females as being silly and ignorant. The blatant favoritism and verbal darts are a bit shocking. I'm a mom of three kids, and I know that it is possible to, how can I word this, prefer the company of one child over another due to personality compatability. Most parents I know will strive to make all their children feel equally loved, even if one child's personality rubs one the wrong way sometimes. But this, this comparing the girls in front of each other seems weird at best, and possibly even dysfunctional. It has to have some consequence in behavior and personality as the girls grow and mature. I assume that it is the status quo in the home, in otherwords, that it is the way things have always been. It will be interesting to see how these dynamics and relationships play out as I get further into the book.
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.