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|Self pity expressed through sarcasm?
Written by Susan L
(6/13/2007 9:57 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mr. Bennet's feelings towards Wickham, penned by Lila
I particularly like this quote from Mr Bennet as I think it shows him at his sarcastic best. I also think there’s a strong element of self pity running through this paragraph. I won’t cover the reasons why Mr Bennet accepts Wickham and Lydia into his home as these have already been covered by Robbin.
Mr Bennet firstly picks over Wickham’s personality—I sum up the references to simpering, smirking and making love to us all as references to Wickham conning others, that he is two-faced. And Mr Bennet is at his sarcastic best when he claims to be “prodigiously” proud of Wickham for this—a slap at the effort and quality of Wickham’s efforts and self pity?
But what always makes me simultaneously smile (at how well Mr Bennet communicates how he feels) and feel sad (because of the self pity which creeps in) is the last sentence. Mr Bennet compares Wickham with Mr Collins in a way that shows Mr Bennet believes both men to be ‘valuable’ only in a negative sense. However, Mr Bennet believes that Wickham is worse than Mr Collins, and does this through a challenge to Sir William Lucas who he believes cannot “… produce a more ‘valuable’ son-in-law”.
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