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Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 to the Reverend George Austen and his wife in Hampshire, England. The sixth child out of the seven, Jane was educated mostly at her home although she and her sister, Cassandra, were sent away to school for several years when they were young. Austen wrote several novels when she was in her teens, but her major works were written later on in her life.
‘Pride and Prejudice’, was first published in 1813. Austen began writing the novel in 1796 at the age of twenty-one. The first title was originally called ‘First Impressions’. Between 1810 and 1812 ‘Pride and Prejudice’ was rewritten for publication. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is usually considered to be the most popular of Austen’s novels.
This novel is mainly about people expressing both pride and prejudice in their relationships. The main theme of the novel is marriage, which reoccurs throughout the story and it is marriage which attracted Lydia to run off with Mr Wickham.
There is pressure on women of these times to marry properly this is because the women need to get financial safety, not for just themselves, but also for their families too. In this novel the most important cause of marriage for a woman were financially and a high social position.
The first line of the novel justifies this and explains what the novel is about.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession
of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”
This is a wonderful introductory line written by Jane Austen to introduce and outline much of this romantic novel.
There are various reactions of Lydia going to Brighton by the Bennet family as they all have their own response and thoughts.
Mr. Bennet is the husband of Mrs. Bennet and the father of Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, Kitty and Lydia. He is the master of Longbourn. He has a sarcastic humor intelligent and believes his two eldest daughters sensible, while he finds his wife and younger daughters silly. He does wants to be bothered as little as possible by his family. Even when Elizabeth warns him not to allow Lydia to go to Brighton, he does not listen to her because he does not want to be bothered with Lydia’s complaints.
Mrs. Bennet is a different person does not really care about her daughter’s education. From the beginning of the novel her only obsession is to marry off her daughters to wealthy men, as she has a greed for wealth. Her only joys come from visiting others and gossip. She is a self-centered person and causes humiliation to the family due to her inappropriate behavior.
Elizabeth Bennet is the second oldest of five sisters. Elizabeth is lively, smart, and intelligent. Her father and herself are not too different in their characteristics therefore she has a good relationship with her father and makes decisions wisely due to her intelligence. She is not scared to express her feelings and gets along with people very well except those who think they are far more superior to her, for example Darcy in the beginning but later on through the novel Elizabeth discovers Darcy to be a fine gentleman.
Jane Bennet is the eldest Bennet daughter and is considered quite pretty by all has a good relationship with Elizabeth. She is Beautiful, friendly, sweet, sociable, humble and noble. Jane never thinks badly of anybody.
Kitty Bennet is the third daughter in the family, and she is more under the influence of Lydia, Kitty follows what ever Lydia does. She effect by Lydia going off to Brighton.
Mary Bennet The third oldest of the Bennet sisters, she is the most modest of the five daughters .She dislikes going out into the public, and uses her time studying instead.
Lydia Bennet The youngest of the Bennet sisters, she is a self-centered girl who is the flirting kind. However she is the liveliest out of all the sisters. She is the first to get married despite her being a young teenager. She also has similar characteristics to her mother. She doesn’t really care about her family members after her marriage.
The various reactions of Lydia going to Brighton are mainly negative. This is due to Lydia’s ridiculous thinking. She’s an extremely self-absorbed teenager. She has a great interest in men and particularly officers. She begins flirting with them once they have settled in the town and also admires and enjoys their presence, and exposes this in freely, in view of the fact that she has no shame.
Due to her selfishness Lydia commits foolish acts which affect her and her reputation and mostly has an effect on her family. She shows a negative impression of her family by eloping with Mr Wickham mainly because she also has another four sisters who are keen to get married and their chances of doing so have diminished. She does what she likes without thinking of the consequences to come. It is like she is in a world of her own and doesn’t realise the bad reputation her family is developing because of her immature behaviour.
Lydia is invited be her friend to Brighton by Mrs. Forster. Mrs. Bennet is extremely excited and pleased for Lydia’s trip to Brighton and wished all the best for her.
“Mrs Bennet was diffuse in her good wishes for the felicity of her daughter and impressive in her injunctions that she would not miss the opportunity of enjoying herself as much as possible”
Mrs. Bennet was totally trusting Lydia to go Brighton and thought she was old and mature to take care of her self, awareness to what the entire family is going to face shortly and how it will effect her sister’s chances of marriage.
Lydia begins celebrating she is thrilled, perhaps because of the reason that she will be with the presence of the regiment.
“Lydia Flew about the house in restless ecstasy, calling for everyone’s congratulations, and laughing and talking…”
She showed this excitement by roaming the house in happiness. She was awareness about her sister Kitty’s feelings and how degraded she feels, lonely and neglected. Kitty doesn’t understand why Mrs. Forster doesn’t ask her to come to Brighton too.
“I cannot see why Mrs. Forster should not ask me as well as Lydia”
Kitty as mentioned before follows Lydia in what ever she does and feels as though that she should be going as well due to her close relationship with Lydia. She becomes extremely upset, expressive and is envious towards Lydia.
“The separation between her and her family was rather noisy and pathetic. Kitty was the only one who shed tears but she did weep from vexation and envy.”
Kitty was mostly envious towards Lydia because of her trip to Brighton she was jealous and she wanted to go as much as her sister wanted to go.
. She is saddened by the fact that Mrs. Forster requests Lydia to go and not her and can’t do anything about it.
“Though I am not her particular friend. I have just as much right to be asked as she has, and more too, for I am two years older.”
Kitty cannot accept the fact that she will not be going and exposes her frustration.
Kitty gradually becomes resentful of Lydia’s attention. Lydia is unaware of Kitty because of her self-centeredness. Lydia and Kitty are very similar to one another when talking about their characteristics due to this, if Kitty would have gone she would have copied Lydia’s interest of men, and may have also began flirting just like her sister, and soon enough eloping with an officer and getting married just like Lydia. So by Kitty not going she may perhaps have been saved by the hazard she may have faced if she were to go.
However, Elizabeth as the second oldest, was entirely aware of the situation and Lydia’s potential and capability, and is worried of what may occur if Lydia does go to Brighton.
Mr. Bennet is a person who doesn’t not want to be bothered by his families problems so as a result he does not think about the damage Lydia may cause if she goes. Mr. Bennet just wants quiet and peace; by letting Lydia go perhaps he has the impression that there will be less botheration from his family.
As mentioned before, Elizabeth has the same distinctiveness as her father and realizes that Lydia is not mature enough to go to Brighton so she tries and convince her father to think twice.
“If you were aware.” said Elizabeth, “of the very great disadvantage to us all, which must arise from the public notice of Lydia’s unguarded and imprudent manner; nay, which has already arisen from it, I am sure you would judge differently in the affair.”
Elizabeth is worried about Lydia going to Brighton and is trying her best to change her fathers mind and trying to stop her father giving Lydia permission to go. She also thinks that Kitty may be affected by this and points this out.
“In this danger Kitty is also comprehended. She will follow wherever Lydia leads. Vain, ignorant, idle, and absolutely uncontrolled! “
Kitty follows Lydia in everything she does and Elizabeth realises this and is concerned, and mentions it. Elizabeth also expresses her frustration also by telling her father how the rest of the family can also be affected.
Mr. Bennet is well aware of Lydia and her capabilities and her attitude towards men, especially officers, but simply doesn’t care and wants her to leave for the good of the town and possibly the family, as he mentions this to Elizabeth.
“We shall have no peace at Longbourn if Lydia does not go to Brighton.”
This quotation shows us that Mr. Bennet has no concern about his daughters and can’t be bothered. He fails to complete his duties as a proper father to the family.
It may have been because of him not listening to Elizabeth that the bad reputation that Lydia soon gives to the family. This may have happened because of his immature behavior as a father.
Despite the argument between Elizabeth and her father, Lydia is still sent to Brighton. After sometime the situation in Longbourn improves and Kitty overcomes her emotions.
Later Elizabeth begins to have feelings for Darcy and is quite thrilled when she hears that she is going to meet him while on a trip with her aunty Mrs. Gardiner.
Elizabeth arrives at Pemberley where Mr. Darcy was also. Her relationship with Darcy was improving on a regularly for the duration of her stay. She discovered what type of man Darcy actually is. She also gets to meet Georgiana Darcy the sister of Darcy. She is found very pleasant and charming to Elizabeth by surprise.
While Elizabeth was on her trip she receives letters, one of them stating that Lydia had eloped with Mr. Wickham, she was shaken by the message and totally astonished that her sister had done such a thing. The emotions Elizabeth was going through made her burst in tears.
“She burst into tears as she alluded to it and for a few minutes could not speak another word,
Elizabeth is obviously in disbelief and in shock. She is worries about Lydia and the reputation and shame she have bought on the family, she must be also worried about her father feeling because it was his idea to allow Lydia to go in the first place.
“Lydia-the humiliation, the misery, she was bringing on them all, soon swallowed up every private care.
Jane expresses her devastation and requests that Elizabeth to return as soon as possible since there is disorder and astonishment from this shameless act by Lydia. The whole family regrets sending Lydia to Brighton. M r. Bennet is going through an immensely tense emotional situation. Mr Bennet on the other hand, handles the case with ease and isn’t extremely stressed compared to the rest of the family is. Kitty was told about the news and was not surprised at all, as if she was expecting it from her sister.
“To Kitty, however, it does not seem so wholly unexpected.”
Jane points out this in her letter. Kitty already has negative feelings about this matter and wasn’t really surprised. Elizabeth is totally overwhelmed by sad emotions mostly due to her absence and her concern for Lydia.
Mr Darcy becomes aware of this situation and decides to think of a solution to the problem, as he is trying to build up a relationship with Lydia, this could be the chance to show he cares about her and her family and can feel the pain she is going through whilst thinking about the awful reputation that her family will have to face later on.
The Bennets were completely disgraced by this and were mocked and looked bad upon by the community. However, there was still a way for the family to get rid of the reputation, which the family desperately hoped for that to happen was for Wickham to marry Lydia, as that was vital for a better future for the family, especially the sisters as they still have to get married.
Mr Darcy shortly takes action and meets Wickham, and completes Wickham’s demands by paying off all his debts off which then soon encouraged Wickham to decide on marring Lydia.
While everyone was miserable and disgusted by Lydia’s untrustworthiness and selfishness they were quite soon relieved, after hearing that Wickham was due to marry Lydia. Darcy’s attendance was very important in this and he also deserves an immense amount of praise for doing the right thing and sort out the problem in which Elizabeth was going through.
. The matter is soon solved and Lydia is back together along with her family. She feel proud that she is the first out of the five daughters to get married and her parents are very proud too especially their mother as she was excited for her daughters marriages.
“Pride and Prejudice” is a book in which we can be taught that having pride and arrogance is not liked to have in your individuality as a person. It destroys your status inside a community an example of this from the book is Mr Darcy, who in due course shows his true qualities and changes from a disliked person to well-liked
Lydia is a cheerful young lady after her wedding which Mr. Darcy showed by returning the Bennet’s family reputation the right way by speaking and encouraging his friend Mr. Wickham to marry Lydia as soon as possible
On the other hand, her other sister Elizabeth finds herself a man who can become a great husband for her. Mr Darcy establishes this constantly because of his support to Elizabeth and his . Mr and Mrs Bennet, Jane, Kitty and Mary are all happy for Lydia after the family come together after her marriage ceremony.
. The elopement of a woman with a man was very common at that time. As we can see from Mrs Bennet’s reaction it is a painful experience upon the mother as well as the entire family. The whole community changes their sight about the Bennet family due to a self-centred person mistake by Lydia.
The story also gives us an image of how romance and relationships took place during that time enabling us to compare and contrast it with the present and we can see what sort of relationships went on between the men and women of the 19th century
It all shows that how one person and by a mistake can destroy the family and effect everyone else in the family especially the parents.