welll... let's see...
look at the post below - isn't it lovely?:)
My husband finds it ridiculous how much i read Jane Austen novels and how much i watch P&P. I am so happy to have found this website because i really thought myself the only person on earth that loved jane austen this much.
or another problem we have:
Watching the movies again (PP2 and PP3) I begin to wonder about Mary........unlike her family Mary has always been the "smart and serious" one. How did she get like that? Her mother is nervous and outgoing, Jane is shy but playful, Lizzy is outspoken and outgoing, and as for the younger sisters they are childish and love sick. What happend to Mary along the way? Could she have taken after her father, who if I recall correctly although loved to read was very witty and playful as well.
Was it because Mary is the middle child that she sticks out from the rest? Or perhaps she feels she must be a "good" example for her younger sisters?
I would love to hear your opinions....
and here is a reply. read it carefully - its title goes like "MY THEORY"
I wrote a post on this back on August 25, 2000 but the search engine can't find it.
In my old post I stress the effect that nurture had on the five daughters but obviously there are differences due to genetics also. How would Mary have been treated if she had been the beauty and Jane plain? Would Elizabeth have fared as well with her father if she and Mary had swapped intelligence? How would Mary have been treated if she was both beautiful and intelligent? If Mary had been born Mark (a corollary to Kathleen Glancy's idea), he would have had instant approval that seems unfair, but we can partly blame the practice of entailment for that.
Since I can't link to my old post, here it is:
Effect of Bennet Marriage on Their 5 Daughters Written by Glenn (8/25/2000 10:17 p.m.)
This is a nature vs. nurture issue. I have tried to be as brief as the topic allowed.
Hypothesis: It seems that the differences between the 5 Bennet daughters can be partially explained by the gradual decay of the Bennet marriage. The Bennet parents had conflicting effects on the daughters. As Mr. Bennet withdrew from the marriage and family life into his library, Mrs. Bennet had a proportionately larger influence. Although my hypothesized progression of the marriage is not explicitly described in the novel, I believe it could reasonably have occurred. A young Mr. Bennet, not yet weary of his silly but beautiful wife, took a great interest in Jane, their first born. She was taught to be a proper young English lady (perhaps too proper). By the time Elizabeth was at an impressionable age, Mr. Bennet had started to use sarcasm against his wife. Children learn by the example of their parents, so Lizzy mimicked her father, thereby becoming his favorite and occasionally irritating her mother (when she had the presence of mind to understand Lizzy's wit). If Lizzy learned anything from her mother, it may have been prejudice. Lizzy may have learned Mr. Bennet's practice of observing the follies of others too well, as I believe she was the most aware of his defects, although Jane must have understood some of this as well. Mary had the benefit of only a perfunctory interest from Mr. Bennet. She grew up learning Fordyce's sermons and practicing piano in a vain effort to please her father. She is a victim of "book learning", so she parrots what she reads without true understanding, not having the benefit of intellectual discussions with her father. Kitty had even less attention from her father and must have felt abandoned when Mrs. Bennet naturally focused her attention on the newest baby, Lydia. Lydia had no input from the father, other than to be called a silly girl. She was the baby of the family and never learned to become an adult. Favored by her mother over Kitty, Mary, and Elizabeth, she was the quintessential spoiled brat, never criticized by her mother even for the most outlandish behavior.
Two groups formed in the family: 1) Mr. Bennet, Elizabeth, and Jane (proper manners, intellectual); 2) Mrs. Bennet, Lydia, and Kitty (vulgar, silly). The younger daughter in each triad ranks higher with the parent due to the similarity of minds. She also leads the older daughter. This upsets the usual regency practice of an older daughter holding a higher place than a younger. This reversal is at its most extreme when Lydia tells Jane "Ah! Jane, I take your place now, and you must go lower, because I am a married woman." Lydia, the youngest, is also the tallest daughter in the novel. The Bennet world has been turned upside down.
Beautiful and placid Jane, of course, is admired by everyone but she definitely belongs to the first group due to her proper manners and close relationship to Lizzy. I believe that Kitty joins the second triad (and chases officers with Lydia) so as not to be left alone. At the end of the novel, she greatly improves due to her visits to Pemberley and the absence of Lydia. Is this Jane Austen's comment on the effect of education for women? (silly = uneducated?) How might the entire family have fared if Mrs. Bennet had been as educated as her brother, Mr. Gardiner?
Notice also that Mary is left out entirely, being too proper to wish to ally with Mrs. Bennet/Lydia, and too silly to win the approval of Mr. Bennet/Lizzy. I do not feel sorry for Lydia except that she might have matured and married better if her father had been a better parent to her. My sympathy goes to Mary. Plain featured and neglected by both parents, she forever seeks the notice and approval of her father and older sisters but is ignored. When she is the last child at Longbourn, she anticipates more attention but I believe it is a hollow victory.
For those wishing to see the family effect of a silly father and a rational (but dead) mother, read Persuasion. The Elliot family had to retrench.
I am prepared for a volley of darts to be cast at this posting (if anyone bothers to read it).
Jane Austin will aways have her fans:)
Join them soon:)