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Compare and contrast the various reactions to Lydia going to Brighton.

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Compare and contrast the various reactions to Lydia going to Brighton Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' is a very famous novel. The opening line lets us know what the story is all about. The story is set in the eighteenth or nineteenth century. Many of the characters in this novel are members of the gentry. They are largely a land-owning class, but also include others, such as the Anglican clergy. At face value, 'Pride and Prejudice' is a romantic comedy and Jane Austen acknowledges how romantic feelings may overwhelm us. However whilst romantic passion needs to be celebrated, it offers an incomplete picture of human relationships. Jane Austen makes it clear that the passion of the moment is a poor foundation for love. The main plot of the story hangs off the opening sentence, 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.' (pg 1) This sentence is the basis of almost everything that happens in the story. Lydia Bennet is the youngest of the five Bennet sisters. She is only fifteen years of age at the beginning of the novel and her smiling face and confidently provocative manner make her very attractive to men. ...read more.


How actually did she feel it! (pg 227) The family's attitude towards Lydia going to Brighton confirms Elizabeth's perceptions of them, as well as Darcy's. He describes the family's, 'Total want of propriety.' (pg 163) Elizabeth is very angry with her father and blames him for many of Lydia's actions. She describes her father as having a lack of parental control and weakness, but simultaneously feels sorry for him and defends him. Mr Bennet is very nonchalant and relaxed about Lydia going to Brighton. He feels she can only get better. Due to this very irresponsible attitude, Elizabeth feels he is to blame for Lydia's uncontrolled and precocious behaviour. He doesn't seem too interested in Lydia's welfare, but more in his personal peace and harmony as he says, 'We shall have no peace at Longbourn if Lydia does not go to Brighton...us to lock her up for the rest of her life.' This quotation shows his witty, mocking personality as well as his relaxed ways. His inability to take up his parental duties and control his children shows the weakness of his character. There is a slight hint that he is in want of an officer as a husband for his daughter. ...read more.


Even so, she is still able to feel sorry for her father and when Lady Catherine confronts her with the scandal, she is fiercely loyal. She takes the attack on her youngest sister as a personal insult and firmly dismisses her Ladyship. Mr and Mrs Bennet's irresponsibility leads to Lydia's elopement with Wickham from Brighton. Mrs Bennet's hysteria at Lydia's elopement is outwardly comic but her concern for her daughter's wedding clothes is such dire circumstances is chilling. Mr Bennet attempts to track down Wickham and Lydia are hopelessly ineffective; he even neglects to write. On his return from London, he blames himself at first but his mock sternness towards Kitty is an early indication that he cannot take his responsibilities seriously. They are both to blame for the humiliation and shame suffered by the family, but neither accepts responsibility towards Lydia's actions. After Lydia's undermining actions and the marriages of Elizabeth and Jane, Mary breaks out of her shell and becomes more sociable. Kitty on the other hand, free of Lydia's influence becomes much more sensible. Lydia does not learn her lesson after humiliating her family. She is still incorrigible and writes to Elizabeth demanding that Darcy should provide them with additional income. She and Wickham are constantly in debt and their relationship is distinctly cooling. Mehmoon Mahmood English coursework 1 ...read more.

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