Pride And Prejudice Mrs Bennet Opene Analysis

1016 Words 5 Pages
In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, woman of the gentry class are trapped in a society where appearance and status reign and the only possibility of achieving happiness is through marriage to a like-minded individual. The aspects of women’s lives were limited to gossiping, home-making, mingling and child-rearing. The only possibility for happiness lied in the prospect of marrying out of love and not out of obligation. The novel offers a spectrum of perspectives, both male and female, from which a picture of 1800’s England can be gathered. Of these perspectives, the two polar opposite personalities are those of Mrs. Bennet and her daughter Elizabeth Bennet.
Mrs. Bennet represents everything society pushes women to be. She is consumed by the world of keeping up appearances, and lives to further the social statuses of her kin. Mrs. Bennet, though very much a caricature of social pressures, establishes the weight of the situation and the consequent excommunication that can come from poor decision-making. The
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Bennet is in no way a progressive character, it is not her fault that her beliefs are so backwards. Austen uses Mrs. Bennet to show the product of English society. Mrs. Bennet was manufactured by social expectations and is trapped in an unfavorable marriage because of them. It is ironic that Mrs. Bennet puts so much pressure on her daughters to marry when she rushed into a marriage and pays a lifelong consequence for it. Mr. Bennet, although funny and entertaining, pains Mrs. Bennet. He abuses her gullible nature and toys with her nerves. Although the Bennet’s marriage is not an explosive catastrophe, Austen makes it clear that they are not meant for each other. Would a man who derives joy from his wife’s “ignorance and folly (302)” really be considered “in love?” The stringent expectations imposed upon women in Pride and Prejudice is illustrated through the almost tragic character of Mrs. Bennet, whose happiness is solely dependent on

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