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Essay on Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s Parenting in Pride and Prejudice

Analysis of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s Parenting in Pride and Prejudice

The roles of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice are contrasted between a father who cares about what’s inside of people and a mother who only worries about vanity and appearance. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s parental guidance is unique to their personalities. Because of their two opposing personas, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s ideas of marriage are contradictory for their daughters; Mr. Bennet believes in a loving respectful marriage whereas Mrs. Bennet values a marriage which concerns wealth and social status. Their aspirations for Lydia, Jane, Mary, Kitty and Elizabeth mirror their conflicting ideologies. Mr. Bennet seems to have a quiet deep love for his daughters while, on the contrary, Mrs. Bennet’s love is over-acted and conditional. Both parents help to shape their daughters’ characteristics and beliefs: Lydia reflecting Mrs. Bennet’s flighty and excessive behavior while Elizabeth inherits Mr. Bennet’s pensive and reflective temperament. Looking past their dissimilar personality traits and contradicting convictions, both parents hold the family together and play an integral role in the household structure.

The constant topic among the majority of the women in the Bennet household was marriage and future suitors. Mrs. Bennet prides in the hope that someday all her daughters will be married off to wealthy individuals who can even help support the Bennet family and increase their social status: “The business of her life was to get her daughters married…” (9). Mr. Bennet, on the other hand, only cares to see his daughters happy and content with themselves. Although Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s estate is endowed to Mr. Collins, Mr. Benn…

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…igued with the raptures of his wife” (9). Their children provide them with companions as well as people to take their sides. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s relationship revolves around their children because without them, they would have an impossible time living alone together.

When evaluating Mr. and Mrs. Bennet’s role in the family structure, they both provide insight into the origins of their daughters’ personalities. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet both play integral parts in their children’s lives; they give or attempt to give them guidance in marriage, in happiness, and in love. Whether it’s Mrs. Bennet expressing her over-bearing love or Mr. Bennet giving Elizabeth some well-needed advice, they both aim to help their daughters using their inborn parental love.

Works Cited:

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Ed. Donald Gray. New York: WW Norton

Symbols and Symbolism – Heat as a Symbol in The Great Gatsby

Heat as a Symbol in The Great Gatsby

Symbolism plays an important role in any novel of literary merit. In his novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald displays a superior use of symbols such as color, light, and heat. Fitzgerald’s superior use of heat as a symbol is the focus of this essay.

“When F. Scott Fitzgerald turns on the heat in Gatsby, he amplifies a single detail into an element of function and emphasis that transforms neutral landscapes into oppressive prisms” (Dyson 116). Through these prisms, which distort and color the lives of Fitzgerald’s characters, we see why human’s elations are, as Nick Carraway describes them, “shortwinded”. Heat is the antithesis of Jay Gatsby. It is symptomatic of his undoing, his nemesis. As he suited up in his cool demeanor time and time again, perhaps we should have guessed that his coldly methodical plan to restore the past would end up, in the sizzling heat of a showdown, “as useless as one of the spent match-heads Daisy flings so carelessly after lighting a cigarette” (Dyson 121).

From midafternoon at the Buchanan palace to twilight at the Plaza Hotel, Fitzgerald’s emphasis on the oppressive heat sticks out as clearly as Gatsby’s pink suit against Daisy’s crimson carpet. It is an emphasis that has a cumulative effect of placing characters into a setting they cannot escape and into a situation that reflects their internal discomfort. The plot heats up as the setting heats up, furthering suspense while placing untested characters in such boiling heat that their lives can find expression only in explosive release or resignation. Their tempers flare as the temperature rises and it is not until they lose their composure that anything begins to cool. I…

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…ened once Daisy and Gatsby left the Plaza. To the fair-weather princess, their passions had become too heated. Theirs was, after all, an early summer love, and the fair-weather was no more.

Works Cited and Consulted

Bewley, Marius. “Scott Fitzgerald’s Criticism of America.” Modern Critical Interpretations: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986. 11-27.

Dyson, A. E. “The Great Gatsby: Thirty-Six Years After.” Mizener 112-24.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. England: Penguin, 1990.

Hobsbawm, Eric. The Age of Extremes. New York: Pantheon, 1994.

Tanner, Tony. “Introduction.” The Great Gatsby. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald. England: Penguin, 1990. vii-lvi.

Way, Brian. “The Great Gatsby.” Modern Critical Interpretations. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986. 87-108.

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