Essay On Lydia In 'Pride And Prejudice'

357 Words 2 Pages
Most significantly, through Austen’s use of the character Lydia, readers are aware that women who break social norms are the subject to ridicule as their impulsive, passionate behaviour conflicts with Regency etiquette and are therefore frowned upon. Although Austen does include the reaction of Lydia’s family, it is the reaction of Mr Collins that best embodies a Regency response. In chapter 48, Mr Collins sends a letter to Mr Bennet addressing Lydia’s disappearance with Mr Wickham to Gretna Green. Mr Collins writes, “The death of your daughter would have been a blessing in comparison to this”. In particular, the use of the noun “blessing” is usually associated with the religious connotation of a gift from God, however the juxtaposition between …show more content…
Women were meant to be proper and ladylike but also very protective of their reputation and class otherwise were disliked thus showing the insult Lydia is subjected to, in the eyes of Mr Collins, is justified. In addition, later in the letter sent from Mr Collins he says, “…to throw off your unworthy child from your affection for ever…”. The use of the adjective “unworthy” demonstrates the seriousness of the Lydia’s behaviour, Lydia isn’t deserving of her family’s love and resources. Also, the noun, “for ever” makes this disapproval final and long lasting. Initially, the extreme views presented by Mr Collins are seen as offensive by modern day readers but alternatively, Austen is perhaps identifying the flaws in society, with the extreme language she use to suggest that the mockery Lydia is subjected to isn’t necessary. From this, the reader really understands Regency norms and the consequences for breaking social norms and sees that women have a standard to uphold or would be the subject of ridicule and derision from

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