Jane Bennet is the oldest and most beautiful of the five Bennet sisters. She is thoughtful, selfless, and trusting. She often sees only the good in the people she meets, whereas her sister Elizabeth is more shrewd in judgement. Jane falls in love with Mr. Bingley, a wealthy bachelor who moves into Netherfield Park near her family’s home in the countryside. Although Jane does love Mr. Bingley, her quiet and gentle nature does not allow her to outwardly show her affections. Mr. Darcy sees this and is convinced that Jane does not love Mr. Bingley. With the help of Mr. Bingley’s sisters, Mr. Darcy convinces Bingley to stop courting Jane. For Mr. Darcy, the benefits of this are twofold, as the Bennets are considered socially undesirable and he believes Jane isn’t in love.
Jane spends the majority of the novel unhappy over Mr. Bingley’s leaving, as she truly loves him. She even goes to London to stay with her aunt and uncle, the Gardiners, in the hopes of meeting him and his sisters. Jane is disappointed when, upon calling on Caroline and Mrs. Hurst in London, they treat her coldly. Jane also has no luck in finding Mr. Bingley in London. After Lydia and Wickham elope and then are found and forced to marry by Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy return to Netherfield. Upon returning, Mr. Bingley goes to Longbourn to see and propose to Jane, who happily accepts.
Mr. Charles Bingley is a wealthy, good-natured bachelor from the north of England. He prides himself in his spontaneity and is very loyal and trusting towards his friends, possessing “great natural modesty.” Although he falls in love with Jane Bennet, his trust in Mr. Darcy and his sisters allows them to persuade him to leave the countryside and end his courtship with her.
Mr. Darcy convinces Mr. Bingley that Jane is not in love with him and argues that the Bennets are vulgar and socially beneath them. However, after Elizabeth confronts Darcy about his decision to deter Bingley’s affections for Jane, Darcy realizes his mistake and eventually encourages his friend to return to Netherfield. Upon returning to the countryside, Bingley resumes his courtship of Jane and they marry.
Mr. Bennet, the father of the five Bennet ladies, is eccentric, intelligent, and sarcastic. Mr. Bennet is a small landowner, and, since he does not have any sons, his estate is entailed to Mr. Collins, his closest male relative. In his youth, Mr. Bennet married Mrs. Bennet for her beauty, unaware of her shallowness. He is now disappointed with his marriage, but he copes with Mrs. Bennet’s ridiculous nature through sarcasm and indifference. Although aloof, negligent, and often emotionally closed off to his daughters, Mr. Bennet loves and admires Elizabeth Bennet, viewing her as his most intelligent daughter.
In expressing his concerns over the match between Elizabeth and Darcy, Mr. Bennet states that a marriage without respect cannot be fulfilling. This view, likely learned as a result of his own poor marriage match, manifests itself in Elizabeth’s rejection of both Mr. Collins’s proposals and Mr. Darcy’s first proposal. Though largely a negligent father, Mr. Bennet encourages Elizabeth to pursue a match founded on love and respect, preventing her from making the same mistakes that he did.
Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Bennet’s wife, is silly, shallow, and interested only in getting her daughters married to wealthy men. She favors her youngest daughter, Lydia, but she also takes a great amount of pride in the beauty and grace of her eldest daughter, Jane. Mrs. Bennet shows contempt towards Elizabeth, often pointing out Elizabeth’s flaws in beauty and manner as compared to Jane's. Mrs. Bennet constantly seeks out attention and adds to the Bennet family’s continuous embarrassment in social situations.
However, for all of her flaws, Mrs. Bennet’s concerns about her daughters’ futures are valid. As opposed to Mr. Bennet, who largely ignores the problem, Mrs. Bennet actively encourages her daughters to...
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