Describe the personality of Jane Bennet as developed by Jane Austen in her landmark novel Pride and Prejudice.

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Jane is an effective foil for her sister Elizabeth, the novel's protagonist, because where Elizabeth is clever, intelligent, and often outspoken, Jane is submissive, eager to please, and in her father's eyes, too generous, and easily taken advantage of.  Jane, however, tends toward being the Bennet sisters' mother's favorite because she is, in the words of Bingley, "the most beautiful creature I ever beheld."  Mrs. Bennet feels most confident that of the four girls, Jane will be the one to most easily marry off in a "good connection" or "favorable match".  However, Jane's love life with not without its tribulations as Darcy, for a time, discourages Bingley from his amorous intentions with Jane, and we see Jane at her most passively helpless as she copes with the rejection.  She spends a great deal of time moping during the period when Bingley is otherwise engaged, and one is reminded of her comment early in the novel, when she told Bingley she wished she could read more because "there's always so much more to do".  She didn't actually seem to have that much more to do when she was without Bingley to keep her entertained, and it occurs to the reader that in addition to being a pleaser, Jane wasn't exactly an intellectual heavyweight. 

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