Mr. Bennet’s Catharsis Essay, Research Paper
Most people realize that they can help either themselves or others by analyzing situations they have found themselves in, in the past and preventing themselves or others from repeating those same mistakes. The novel, Pride and Prejudice written by Jane Austen describes the events in the lives of a family composed of an irresponsible father and a foolish mother whose only concern consists of getting her daughters married off and having a place to live once her husband passes away. The novel takes place in the early nineteenth century when women were looked upon as objects and not equal counterparts to men; the government even considered it illegal for women to own land or vote due to their “inferiority”. Mr. Bennet, the father and husband in the novel betters the future of his fourth daughter Catherine (Kitty) by reflecting on the mistakes of his past. Through realizing his regret in marrying Mrs. Bennet, discovering Lydia s elopement to Mr. Wickham, and ultimately transforming into a stern father for Kitty s sake, Mr. Bennet makes a one hundred and eighty degree turn from a negligent irresponsible father to a stern and cautious father.
When Mr. Bennet initially realizes his regret in marrying Mrs. Bennet he does not even think about raising his daughters prudently in order that they do not make the same mistakes as him. Later on in life when he realizes the foolishness of his daughters, he decides to change his manner of raising his two youngest remaining children. The reader observes that Mr. Bennet falls out of love very early in his marriage to Mrs. Bennet when Elizabeth analyzes the relationship between her parents. She begins by describing her father as, “captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good humor, which youth and beauty generally give, had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind, had very early in their marriage put an end to all real affection for her.”(194) Mr. Bennet realizes that due to the fact that he married for the foolish reasons of youth and beauty he must save his daughters from making the same mistake in order that they have successful marriages, which will lead them to true happiness in life.
After discovering Lydia s elopement to Mr. Wickham, Mr. Bennet drops everything to go to Epsom to search for his daughter. He discovers Lydia s elopement when Elizabeth reads Lydia s letter to her friend Harriet out loud. After hearing about the elopement in the letter, Mr. Bennet “could not speak a word for full ten minutes”(236) and “he was in a hurry to be gone and his spirits were greatly discomposed.”(237) Mr. Bennet, greatly affected by this news, decides to bury his careless and negligent ways as a father. Mr. Bennet now knows that his daughters behave truly foolish and he must change his ways as a father in order that they wed properly.
Once Mr. Bennet realizes his great regret in marrying Mrs. Bennet and discovers how truly foolish Lydia could act he decides to change Kitty s way of life in order that she does not make the same mistakes that he himself and Lydia have made. He decides to change Kitty s way of life and turn into a stern father when he apologizes to Elizabeth for not taking her advice not to send Lydia to Brighton and realizes how truly foolish his wife acts. The reader notes Mr. Bennet s transformation when he remarks on the possibility of Lydia s running away to Brighton and she replies that she would surely behave better than Lydia if she ever went. Mr. Bennet blows up at this reply and yells; “You go to Brighton! I would not trust you so near it as Eastbourne, for fifty pounds! No, Kitty, I have at last learnt to be cautious, and you will feel the effects of it.”(242) Mr. Bennet has finally learnt from his mistake of allowing Lydia to go to Brighton surrounded by officers to transform into a stern father for the sake of Kitty.
Mr. Bennet transforms from a negligent, irresponsible father to a stern and cautious father through realizing his regret in marrying Mrs. Bennet, discovering his youngest daughters elopement to an officer, and ultimately transforming into a stern father for the sake of Kitty. Through realizing his regret in marrying Mrs. Bennet, he decides to teach his daughters not to marry merely for the reasons of youth and beauty. When he discovers Lydia s elopement to Mr. Wickham he decides to refine the way he acts as a father. Mr. Bennet learns that he must transform into a stern father for Kitty s sake when he realizes his regret in marrying Mrs. Bennet, and when he discovers his daughter s elopement. One may better the future of others by reflecting on the mistakes of one s past.