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|Birds of a Feather: Kitty & Lydia—Silly
Written by Robbin
(5/8/2007 10:03 p.m.)
They could talk of nothing but officers; and Mr. Bingley's large fortune, the mention of which gave animation to their mother, was worthless in their eyes when opposed to the regimentals of an ensign. (Chapter 7)
Kitty and Lydia are notoriously silly—two of the silliest girls in the country according to their father in Chapter 7. So far what have they done to deserve the word? Much of their silliness seems to be focused on habits easily recognized in teenage girls today such as excitement at the entrance of a handsome newcomer to the neighborhood and for an upcoming party. I think the real problem is that their silliness in pursuit of officers is unrestrained by either of their parents. It is more than that however; in Chapter 7 the narrator also says their minds are more vacant than their sisters. For example, they are insensible to the advantage of Bingley’s fortune because he does not wear a red coat and they spend a lot of their time chasing down gossip about the officers from their Aunt Phillips. They lack sense and Lydia particularly lacks self control.
I surprised to discover Kitty and Lydia are unabashed novel readers when Mr. Collins protested he never read novels; both girls are surprised and this at least shows they like be read to for entertainment if not reading themselves to improve their mind--I have seen nothing of that with them. I cannot blame them for disliking Fordyce’s Sermons however. Lydia starts talking after Mr. Collins is three pages into his reading while Kitty does not; it is this unthinking rudeness which is censured and apologized for. Another incident which surprised me was when they go to Meryton and meet Deny and Wickham in Chapter 15. I have had this view of them running after the officers and shouting at them in the street which I think comes from one of the adaptations; however in Chapter 15 they do design to meet up with Deny and the stranger but they do not actually run after them and they cover their intention by pretending to shop. The last item I want to bring up is Lydia’s rude manners while waiting for the carriage after the Netherfield ball in Chapter 18, “even Lydia was too much fatigued to utter more than the occasional exclamation of "Lord, how tired I am!" accompanied by a violent yawn.” Unthinking loud vulgar manners put Lydia in a worse light than Kitty. I like finding these little differences between the two youngest because they are unexpected. ;D
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