The Role Of Parents In Pride And Prejudice

Henry Wheeler Shaw, an American lecturer and humorist from the 18th century, said that parents are responsible for a child’s development through the example they set. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a novel about Elizabeth Bennet. Her parents’ words and actions greatly affect her. As is shown by her prejudice and poor judgment towards Fitzwilliam Dacy, Fitzwilliam’s wealthy aristocrat. Jane Austen’s portrayal Elizabeth Bennet suggests that her prejudice is rooted in her parents’ mistakes and inability communicate.

Elizabeth has been the daughter and only child of Mr. Bennet for over twenty years. She is now acutely aware her parents’ failings. Because of his calm demeanour and humor, Mr. Bennet is initially portrayed as a sympathetic figure. He is the father and the only male figure in Bennet’s family. His particular flaw – his propensity for withdrawing from family problems instead of confronting them – becomes apparent as his character develops. He is a man who often withdraws from his family. He will go to his study at night to read, drink, or amuse himself by the foolishness of his wives or daughters. His statement exposes his tendency to criticize Elizabeth as well his open favoritism toward her.

They, Elizabeth and his children, are not much to be proud of.

These are the thoughts of the “proud” father. It is most likely that the father would be proud of his daughters if he spent most of his time in the study.

Mrs. Bennet is often a poor person. She is known for her quick temper and hasty nature. According to the narrator, Mrs. Bennet is “a woman with little understanding, little information and an uncertain temper”. A wealthy man living in Longbourne’s vicinity can also excite her personality and cause her to go crazy. Mrs. Bennet also has a tendency for grudges towards anyone who is contrary to her beliefs. Mrs. Bennet would be a fool to call Darcy if he refused to dance with Elizabeth or any other local girl. Mrs. Bennet is enraged by Darcy’s one-off incident and vows to hate him for her entire life. Elizabeth’s quick temper and impatience with others mirrors her mother’s. She also has a tendency to brood and is critical of others.

Elizabeth Bennet’s inability to communicate between her parents is another factor. The Bennets were married because Mrs. Bennet had a beautiful, young woman and Mr. Bennet had a charming personality. However, these qualities faded when their differences became more apparent. The emotional distance between parents is so severe that the narrator claims that Mrs. Bennet, even after having known him for three to twenty years, is not aware of his true character. This married couple can’t have a real conversation due to Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet being subtly cynical. Ms. Bennet speaks and Mr. Bennet replies with witty non-sequiters. However, neither of them listens to each other. When Mrs. Bennet tells Mr. Bennet that his children “very intelligent”, Mr. Bennet thinks sardonically about the differences. He responds coolly.

This is our only disagreement, I am proud to say. Although I had hoped that our feelings would be similar in all aspects, I have to admit that I disagree with you enough to believe our youngest daughters are uncommonly stupid.

The truth is that Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Bennet are very different in nearly every way. Because her parents always disagree, Elizabeth learns to be assertive and to offer the judgmental witticisms from her father. Elizabeth’s parents’ upbringing contributes to her “Lizzy” ability to be prejudiced.

Elizabeth Bennet is a beautiful, intelligent, and vivacious girl. However, her interactions with Darcy show that she can jump to prejudicious judgments and jump to conclusions. Elizabeth encounters Darcy’s personality when she first meets him. While Mr. Bennet is quiet, shy, and reticent, Darcy can be sarcastic and strikingly subtle. Elizabeth is unable interact with Darcy because she doesn’t have a role model. Darcy isn’t on the same level as her father and eighteenth century society requires that young people of opposite genders maintain the highest standards of decorum. Elizabeth can’t treat Darcy like her mother treats Mr. Bennet due to Elizabeth’s social flightiness. Elizabeth finds herself in a personal dilemma when she meets Darcy for the first time. She is predisposed against him due to his blunt language and hurt feelings. Darcy’s comments that Elizabeth Bennet “is tolerable” and “but not handsome enough for me” excite Elizabeth. This overreaction reflects Elizabeth’s narrow-mindedness and quickness to judge. Elizabeth Bennet is quick to repeat Darcy’s insults to others, revealing her prejudicial nature.

Jane Austen’s portrayal Elizabeth Bennet by Jane Austen suggests that Elizabeth’s prejudices, as exemplified by her treatment for Mr. Darcy’s character, are the result of long-term exposure and communication difficulties between her parents. Austen might have provided this information in order to help readers understand the importance of a healthy family and good parenting. But, one can say with confidence that all the prejudicial judgments and misunderstandings as well as the acrimony that Elizabeth and Darcy experienced could have been avoided by sincerity.

Author

  • marthareynolds

    I'm Martha, a 27-year-old blogger, volunteer, and student. I'm a graduate of the University of Utah, where I studied communications and political science. I'm passionate about education and volunteer work, and I love spending time with my family and friends.

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