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|A lot of stress for a simple minded woman
Written by Robbin
(6/2/2007 10:46 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Neglect ( Long), penned by Mary B
"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." (Chapter 1)
Great post, I think you make valid points on Mrs. Bennet’s situation; she is certainly a limited woman but giving birth to five children in eight years is an accomplishment in itself. She seems very ill equipped in understanding and by temperament to teach her daughters more than the basics and that may have been quite hard for her to manage at all. I do not think Mrs. Bennet believes her daughters minds are their primary attraction to potential husbands and probably did not put much emphasis on learning anything aside from what she deemed necessary for managing a household or snagging a husband. In Chapter 1 (above) we got a dose of what Mrs. Bennet esteems in her daughters but it seems to me her model of female comeliness is herself. She caught Mr. Bennet because he was “captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good-humour which youth and beauty generally give” (Chapter 42) so not only is Mrs. Bennet too foolish, unintelligent, and ill suited to teaching her daughters IMO she is also does not think it is important. Mr. Bennet must have been aware of his wife’s deficiencies by the time Jane had need of education and should have found a governess or taken some responsibility for instruction himself to improve his daughter’s minds. Leaving the choice to his daughters is the laziest option and with the sort of mother they have he virtually ensures that some will have no inclination and plague him by being the silliness girls in the country. I too have more sympathy for Mrs. Bennet than her husband because more than his wife, Mr. Bennet appears to be at fault because he has the intelligence to know better. :D
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