Illustration of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy with neutral expressions on their faces

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

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How does Mr. Bennet tease his family in Pride and Prejudice?

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Mr Bennet has a sharp wit and extremely sarcastic sense of humour. He makes constant fun of his family's marital aspirations. This is never more evident than in the very first chapter, which is mainly taken up by the dialogue between him and his wife concerning the arrival in the neighbourhood of a rich young man, Mr Bingley, who Mrs Bennet considers would be a perfect match for one of their five daughters. Throughout the entire chapter Mr Bennet ridicules his wife's hopes over this. Mrs Bennet however is a foolish and ignorant woman who remains wholly unaware that she is being mocked. This is a source of much comedy in the novel. Mr Bennet therefore pokes fun at the whole business of marriage which other people, particularly his own wife, take so seriously.

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