Silly Mrs Bennet

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“Mrs. Bennet was a woman of mean understanding, little information and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.” – Chapter one, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen Mrs. Bennet is a character that is clumsy and tiresome, but is quite entertaining. The last paragraph in chapter one, Austen describes Mrs. Bennet perfectly. First she defines her as a woman of “mean understanding” and of “little information”, meaning that Mrs. Bennet is not very bright. Throughout the novel she has multiple conversations with various people who often believe that she lacks intelligence and is ridiculous. (As an example in chapter nine, while talking with Mr. Darcy, Mrs. Bennet makes a complete fool of herself by angrily comparing the country life to the city just because she mistook what Mr. Darcy had said before.) Closely related to this example, Austen also describes Mrs. Bennet as having an uncertain temper, simply put this means that she gets angry very easily. When she does get angry, she starts to complain about her nerves. She states that they are under so much stress; hence the second phrase in the quotation above “When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous.”( p. 4 in eBook) As an example, in chapter one, during a small dispute with Mr. Bennet about Elizabeth, Jane and Lydia, Mrs. Bennet says: “Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves.” ( p. 4 in eBook) This quote shows that she does indeed “fancy herself nervous”. With that, the small dispute that she was having with Mr. Bennet was about how to him, Elizabeth had “something more of a quickness” than her sisters. And that was good thing to recommend men who are looking to marry. Mrs. Bennet surely thinks that all of her daughters are worthy of marrying, which leads us to the last sentence in the...
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