How does Austen tell the Story in Chapter 7?
In chapter 7, Lydia and Catherine are first properly introduced as characters that reflect negatively towards the Bennet family, and Mr Bennet in particular: “Their minds more vacant than their sisters”. Austen writes that the sisters attempt to flirt with the soldiers of the recently arrived militia -something that the Mr Bennet is strongly against, and claims they are the “silliest girls in the country” for doing so. This negative portrayal of the two characters shows to the readers that the attributes of the two sisters are taken from their mother, who Mr Bennet also takes pleasure in criticising. The reader may think that there is a sense of pride that Mr Bennet has for his family that is being prevented by his wife and two of his daughters.
The idea of love in this chapter is given little value by the two daughters in the start of chapter 7, which contrasts the more complicated feeling of love Elizabeth struggles to find with Mr Darcy. In this chapter, the reader is exposed to the idea that Lydia and Catherine can be seen as shallow, as they do not seek to find a more meaningful relationship with the soldiers other than to flirt with them. It may be because of their age, or their personality. Therefore, the older the age of the young adult, the more that is expected of them and of how they behave to other people: “When they get your age, I dare say they will not think about officers any more than we do”.
In the middle of chapter 7, it was decided by Elizabeth upon receiving a letter by Jane to see her ill sister three miles away on foot in the rain. In the 1700’s, it would be rare to see a woman so independent to the extent that she would travel alone on her own accord, just to visit a sick sister. If one did, it would be in a carriage and with a man for protection, or her family. In the start of chapter 8, it is further elaborated by the Bingley’s that it was absurd to se a woman with “conceited...
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