Mrs. Bennet In Charles Dickens Great Expectations

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Although she may not intend to, she limits her daughters by prioritizing their social status over satisfaction with their life choices. With regard to Elizabeth, Mrs. Bennet embodies the roles and requirements which Elizabeth is meant to defy through her free-will and growth as a character. Mrs. Bennet’s image as a mother deteriorates further as she sends Jane in the rain to visit Mr. Bingley and his acquaintances with “many cheerful prognostics of a bad day” (Austen 45). The act alone is not inherently malicious, but the light-hearted tone regarding a seemingly worrisome journey indicates that Mrs. Bennet is willing to sacrifice the health of her own daughter to only potentially strengthen Bingley’s interest. Mrs. Bennet cares for Jane’s happiness…show more content…
Elizabeth, despite the fact that she still fulfills her societal roles to a slight extent, still contrasts her mother in that she balances care for others with her own well-being, indicating that she remains sympathetic without sacrificing her own needs to fit the expected role of women at the time. In contrast, both Elizabeth and the rest of her sisters are limited by Mrs. Bennet’s influence on their life decision. Author Sylvia Myers takes a far more critical approach on the role of Mrs. Bennet in comparison to her daughters in deeming her the “bad mother” through hindering the lives of her daughters. Myers asserts that Mrs. Bennet desires only for her daughters to fulfill their societal expectations, rather than reach their own full potential (Myers 228). She lacks the same free will which Elizabeth displays in her growth as a character, and therefore directly opposes Austen’s vision of an ideal woman. Although it would seem that Mrs. Bennet would experience growth by the end of the novel, Austen herself criticizes the mother: “I wish I could say, for the sake of her family, that the accomplishment of her earnest desire in the establishment of so many of her children” (Austen 364). Austen emphasizes the extent to which Mrs. Bennet

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