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Pride1

In Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen, Austen uses Mr. Bennet to help develop the characters; in like manner, Austen uses Mr. Bennet to help develop the plot.One of Mr. Bennet’s most meaningful contributions to the character development is the influence he exerts on Elizabeth. “She is obviously his favorite [daughter], and probably the only one in his family that he feels real fatherly love for” (Bowen 113). 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” (Bradley 12). This behavior occurs towards the end of the novel, after Darcy announces to him his intention of marriage. However, “the reader notices that Mr. Bennet is not his usual self when Lizzy walks into the library. He is not cool and composed as in other times he is present” (Brower 173), but instead is “walking around the room, looking grave and anxious” (Austen 134). As Mr. Bennet starts to speak, “it becomes clear just how much Darcy's announcement affected Mr. Bennet” (Francis 21). Eventually, Mr. Bennet declares to Elizabeth, “My child, let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect Mr. Darcy in life” (Austen 135); Mr. Bennet not only admits the mistake of his marriage, but also shows Lizzy enough love to her to admit that he does not want the same fate to befall her. “This [statement] is very important, [because] a man as cynical as Mr. Bennet would not usually own up to any folly this directly. Although he makes several blunders in the course of the story this is one of only two he acknowledges” (Hirsch 71). Critics have stated that such a self-infraction of his character could only be explained by the fact that he cares for Elizabeth more than he ever shows, more even than the reader ever realizes. “Taking into consideration Elizabeth's perceptive nat...

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