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Pride & Prejudice.

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GCSE English (Literature) - Michael Godfrey Student Number: 16947 Pride & Prejudice Any man who tries to argue Jane Austen's ability to draw characters would be undoubtedly a fool, for the author's talent in that area of prose is hard to match. However even the most ardent fans of Austen will have to agree with the fact that the personages she creates are not appealing to every man. An exception to that trend in this reader's opinion would be the character of Mr. Bennet, who by his sharp wit and stark realism alone redeems Pride and Prejudice for any audience who under other circumstances would take no joy in reading any novel by Austen, this one included. In many ways Mr. Bennet stands as a literary monument to the writer's amazing storytelling ability. While his personality sticks out among others in the novel like a sore thumb, his place in the plot has monumental importance not only to the task of saving an unappreciative reader from boredom but also to the movement and the development of the work as a whole. One of his most meaningful contributions to the plot is the influence he exerts on Elizabeth. She is obviously his favorite, and probably the only one in his family that he feels real fatherly love for. This is seen from the fact that even though he is often very reserved and distant, the one time he shows emotion it is directed towards her. ...read more.


He realizes that there is still time to change Kitty for the better, and though his methods might not be as severe as he threatens, his fifth daughter will still benefit from them. Although all throughout this scene Mr. Bennet shows very few chinks in his armor, his admission is very profound. Not only does he display the guilt he feels for being an irresponsible and distant father but also assumes a part of the blame for the way his family has become. This is the most evident display of this character's importance to the plot by far. All through the novel the Bennet family is in an unfavorable way, the mother and the three insensible daughters making continuous fools of themselves. This behavior is generally blamed on the mother being a poor example for her offspring, but with Mr. Bennet's acknowledgment of poor fathering the condition takes on a new light. Perhaps if he has shown more love and more guidance to his three youngest children they would not be so infected with their mother's character traits and act more amiably like their older sisters. Perhaps had he have been more caring he would have taken Elizabeth's advice and prohibited Lydia's going to Brighton, thereby destroying the whole eloping scheme at the root. Truly, had he been a better father most of the unfortunate predicaments faced by his family could have been prevented, an inference which reveals the true depth of his importance in Pride and Prejudice. ...read more.


A similar situation is created with Mr. Collins, whom Mr. Bennet is unashamedly amused by during his first call to Longbourn despite the seriousness that the visit carries. Mr. Bennet is glad that "his cousin was as absurd as he hoped" (Austen, 60), and the audience delights with him through that whole scene as he cleverly sets up Collins to make a complete fool out of himself. It is a cruel endeavor, and yet still the reader stay's on Mr. Bennet's side readily partaking in his little sin. These little details and plot points are what make Mr. Bennet appealing to not only Austen fans but to any reader of Pride and Prejudice. While having an immense weight in the plot he also has a large part in the character structure of the novel, a part that is equally if not more important. He has the role that in the old fairy tales would be the role of a wise jester, a comic relief with kernels of truth hidden between the lines of jokes. Without him those who do not appreciate the author's prose and plot are in danger of boredom as well as missing or misinterpreting some major themes of the book. Mr. Bennet enriches this literary work like no other character, and in this reader's humble opinion Pride and Prejudice would lose most of its entertainment value without him. GCSE English (Literature) - Michael Godfrey Student Number: 16947 ...read more.

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