Pride and Prejudice

Mr. Bennet

What do you think of Mr. Bennet as a husband and a father?

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As a man surrounded by five daughters and a wife, he is obviously bored (or oppressed by giddy female society. He entertains himself by teasing them and exercising his rather

sarcastic wit upon them. He probably uses his sarcasm to maintain a distance from his wife and daughters to prevent them from constantly trying to manipulate him. His wit most likely also hides his disappointment in not having a son and heir. However, this means that he must stay cooped up in his study for long hours and he does not really interact much with his family. This inattention results in Lydia’s eloping with Mr. Wickham and almost ruining the family’s reputation. Not knowing that it was Darcy, and not his brother-in-law, who forced Wickham to marry Lydia, he does try to rectify the situation. Thinking his brother-in-law has paid Wickham to marry Lydia, he offers to pay him back. He does receive Lydia in his home, if only to bid her farewell. And he is very concerned when Elizabeth announces her love for Darcy. Thinking of his own mismatched marriage, he thinks he has instilled in Elizabeth the importance of matching temperaments with her husband. When assured both Darcy and Elizabeth are well suited for each other, he allows the match. Thus, he ends up with a relatively happy family.