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|Oh, dear, Mr Bennett
Written by Rose G
(5/3/2007 8:41 a.m.)
I have always taken the common view of Mr B, I think, that he is a man who made a hasty marriage to a foolish woman and makes up for it by making slightly sarcastic remarks to her and his younger daughters. He is not really bad, only frustrated. However, I have taken the time in this reading to look closely at what he has to say, and I am afraid I am liking him less and less.
An example from ch7...
'After listening one morning to their effusions on this subject, Mr. Bennet coolly observed --
"From all that I can collect by your manner of talking, you must be two of the silliest girls in the country. I have suspected it some time, but I am now convinced."
Catherine was disconcerted, and made no answer; but Lydia, with perfect indifference, continued to express her admiration of Captain Carter, and her hope of seeing him in the course of the day, as he was going the next morning to London.
"I am astonished, my dear," said Mrs. Bennet, "that you should be so ready to think your own children silly. If I wished to think slightingly of anybody's children, it should not be of my own, however."
"If my children are silly, I must hope to be always sensible of it."
"Yes -- but as it happens, they are all of them very clever."
"This is the only point, I flatter myself, on which we do not agree. I had hoped that our sentiments coincided in every particular, but I must so far differ from you as to think our two youngest daughters uncommonly foolish." '
First of all, he abuses his youngest daughters in front of the whole family, but offers no suggestion of how they might improve. Also, if he has always been sensible of their being silly, why has he never done anything to try to improve their understanding? Finally, his last speech is dripping with rather nasty sarcasm, as I read it now, rather than the affectionate teasing I have seen there previously.
Can he ever redeem himself?!
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