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Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

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Family Ties In Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, she created a realistic family image, by introducing some of the imperfections that many families encounter. The Bennet family, consisting of five daughters, a marriage obsessed mother, and an unhappily married father, contain many of these difficulties. Throughout the love, joy, heartache and pain, which evolved from the series of events the Bennet family encountered, one character in particular, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, viewed her family from another perspective. Elizabeth Bennet, though a very loving and respectable woman, had developed a rather poor opinion of her family: Had Elizabeth's opinion been all drawn from her own family, she could not have formed a very pleasing picture of conjugal felicity or domestic comfort(Pg. 209). As the second daughter of her family, Elizabeth had to deal with the many discomforts of being a daughter of five. Though Elizabeth loved her sisters dearly, she found it difficult not to see the differences between them, and in turn, each of their actions contributed to her perspective of her family. One sister in particular, Miss Lydia Bennet, caused Elizabeth the greatest concern. Lydia was a self-willed and careless(Pg.189) individual that cared only about men and marriage. As one of the youngest sisters, Lydia felt neglected from the opportunities her eldest sisters received. In turn, Lydia became the flirt of the family, causing embarrassment not only to herself, but as well to her family. When Lydia eloped to London, Elizabeth feared that the source of her behavior was derived from the negative behavior of her parents. Not only did Elizabeth fear for Lydia's sake, she feared as well for her other sister, Catherine, who was under the direct influence of Lydia: Catherine, weak-spirited, irritable, and completely under Lydia's guidance(Pg.189). While supported by their mother's indulgence(Pg.189), the two ignorant, idle, and vain(Pg189) sisters, was a subject that Jane and Elizabeth often united to check the imprudence of Catherine and Lydia.(Pg.189). Besides the poorly thought out actions of Catherine and Lydia, Elizabeth had no problems with her other sister Mary, who mainly kept to herself, and Jane, the eldest sister, whom she shared a very close friendship with. Besides the faults of some of Elizabeth's sisters, one of the biggest faults of their family was the relationship between her father, Mr. Bennet, and her mother, Mrs. Bennet: she had never felt so strongly as now, the disadvantages which must attend the children of so unsuitable a marriage(Pg.210). Though Elizabeth loved her father dearly, she was unable to be blind to the impropriety of her father's behaviour as a husband(Pg.209). Though made up of an odd mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice(Pg.3), he was a man of few words and was clearly unable to make his wife understand his character(Pg.3). In the decade of the Bennets, marriage was clearly seen through beauty and fortune. It became evident, after resentment had settled in, that Mr. Bennet had married for other reasons besides love: Her father captivated by youth and beauty/ had married a woman whose weak understandings



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