Pride and Prejudice characters

  • Created by: Ellie48
  • Created on: 26-11-17 20:48

Lydia

Lydia is only 15 years old in the novel yet as she is her mother's favourite she came out into society very young. Her wild behaviour is due to "neglect and mistaken indulgence"

Lydia does not understand the importance and permanence of marriage - she completely ignore Wickham's financial opinion. Lydia latter describes her marriage in a letter as a "good joke" showing her complete lack of seriousness. Lydia does not even realise the serious of her actions after she has been saved. "Lydia ws Lydia still; untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy, and fearless." 

Lydia is loud, assertive and impolite. She is very rowdy "We talked and laughed so loud, that anybody might have heard us ten miles of!"

She is described as having "animal spirits" - the word "animal" showing just how untamable and wild she really is. Lydia's wildness is very extreme contrasting with Lizzy who is playful in a friendly way.

Her bad behaviour damages the reputation of the whole family.  Lydia's behaviour is an important plot device. He bad manners and inapprtopriate flirting are an ostracle to her sister's marriage prospects. Her actions cause tension and drama in the novel. 

Lydia is very flirtations - this would have been considered quite improper "the most determined flirt that ever made herself or her family ridiculous."

Lydia is very superficial - she only cares about clothes, dances and officers.

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Lydia's scandal

Lydia does not understand the importance and permanence of marriage - she completely ignore Wickham's financial opinion. Lydia latter describes her marriage in a letter as a "good joke" showing her complete lack of seriousness. Lydia does not even realise the serious of her actions after she has been saved. "Lydia ws Lydia still; untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy, and fearless." 

Her bad behaviour damages the reputation of the whole family.  Lydia's behaviour is an important plot device. He bad manners and inapprtopriate flirting are an ostracle to her sister's marriage prospects. Her actions cause tension and drama in the novel. 

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Kitty

Kitty is heavily influenced by Lydia despide being two years her elder.

- Lydia's influence means she is interested in the same things as Lydia making her silly and shallow.

- When Kitty spends more time with her mature sisters, Jane and Elizabeth, she improves greatly. "removed from the influence of Lydia’s example, she became, by proper attention and management, less irritable, less ignorant, and less insipid.”

Parental neglect

Mrs Bennet unwittingly uses Kitty in her schemes of marriage for Elizabeth and Jane saying: “Come here, my love, I want to speak with you”  Mr Bennet sometimes makes Kitty the end of his blunt jokes saying“she times them ill" about her coughs.

“Kitty then owned, with very natural triumph on knowing more than the rest of us, that un Lydia’s last letter she prepared her for such a step." - Kitty will do anything to feel important and would not dream of snitching on Lydia.

When Mr. Bennet informs Kitty and Lydia that he is convinced they are two of the silliest girls in the county, “Catherine was disconcerted, and made no answer” - she is not as bold as Lydia

 

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Mary

 Mary is unfortunately the only "plain" one of the five sisters. As a result, she desperately tries to assert herself through studying and playing the piano. In reality she is not naturally clever or talanted. Mary is quite alone in her family as her other four sisters have neatly paired off. She gets the least attention and this neglect leads to her being rather tiresome.

Quotes

“Pride... is a very common failing I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed, that human nature is particularly prone to it, and there are very few”. This comment was not fit for the informal chat the sisters were having at all.

"Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia, we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable; that one false step involves her in endless ruin" - Mary clearly lacks compassion and is overly condescending and serious

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Mrs Bennet

Mrs Bennet is a caracature, with exaggerated personality traits, used by Austen for comedic purposes and as a character to criticise for her flaws. “She was a woman of mean understanding, little information and uncertain temper” Our introduction of Mrs Bennet immediately shapes her chacacter as a silly, shallow woman. 

Silly, frivolous and self-centered.

Mrs Bennet is pertpetually complaining about her "poor nerves". She allows hersellf to be overcome by her emotions making her a hysterial and annoying character. 

Irony

All Mrs Bennet cares about is getting her daughters married, yet ironically her poor social undertanding is the biggest obstacle to their marriage prospects. “The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news” - This is her sole objection, gossip is vital to be, she almost lives vicariously through them.

Embarrassing

Mrs Bennet's terrible loud and gauche behaviour in public damages the reputation of the whole family. In a conversation at Netherfield Elizabeth was “blushing for her mother”.

 

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Mrs Bennet 2

Bad mother

“You had better to go on horseback, because it seems likely to rain and then you must stay all night.” - This scheme is reckless. Getting caught in the rain in the Regency era could be very dangerous, but Mrs Bennet is so desperate for Jane to be married that she completely disregards this.

Mrs Bennets materialsim (interest in money) and lack of self-awareness sets a very bad example for her daughters, especailly Lydia.

Social pretence

Mrs Bennet tries, and fails, to self aggrandize herself to the party at Netherfield: “I know we dine with four and twenty families.” - this would seem like a very small number to them showing she is incapable of understanding social situations.

“I do not like to boast of my own child, but to be sure, Jane - one does not often see one better looking.” - This quote shows her false humility. Mrs Bennet boasts about her children whenever she possible can.

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Mr Bennet

Mr Bennet is not an unpleasant or unlikeable chacacter. His dry sense of humour provides some comic relief and he is a clever man. He is witty in a sarcastic way.

Mocking

Mr Bennet never takes anything seriously and when he is in the presence of his family he is usually mocking them. He jibes Mrs Bennet saying "I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends." Mr Bennet should be a better husband but the reader enjoys his teasing of Mrs Bennet as she is so ridiculous. 

Relationship with Lizzy

Mrs Bennet clearly favoures Lizzy saying "Lizzy has something more of a quickness than her sisters". He also helps her escape a marriage with Mr Collins saying "I will never see you again if you do [marry Collins]" 

 

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Mr Bennet 2

Flaws

Mr Bennet is an insensitive father and a bad husband. His role in the novel is generally defined by what he does not do. He chooses to ridicule his family rather than try and fix their defects. Mr Bennet mocks Mary saying "what say you Mary?... you area young lady of deep reflection" - this is somewhat cruel. Mr Bennet plays a "laconic" role and is very subdued towards his family. His irresponsibility in allowing Lydia to go to Brighton almost had devastating effects. 

“The evils arising from so ill-judged a direction of talents; talents, which, rightly used, might at least have preserved the respectability of his daughters, even if incapable of enlarging the mind of his wife.” pg 181 (p.1)

The chapter encourages readers to take new perspectives. Initially it could seem like Lizzy blamed only her mother for the problems her family faced but from this we can see that her father was also at fault. Though most of the time Mr Bennet is quite a likeable character due to his humour he is actually very flawed and neglects both his duties as a father and a husband. Mr Bennet remains very detached and uninvolved, even laughing at them very often. If Mr Bennet had been a better husband than perhaps he could have helped shape Mrs Bennet’s character a bit and reign in Lydia.

Mr Bennet enjoys being in a position of power over his wife and daughters -"He had always intended to visit him, though to the last always ensuring his wife that he should not go"- Mr Bennet controls the situation by withholding information in a cryptic way.

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