En defensa de la Sra. Bennet

A Defense of Mrs Bennet, escrito por Jean Main-Reade
Sra. Bennet y Elizabeth Bennet en Jane Austen NewsEn Orgullo y prejuicio, y en cada etapa, pantalla y adaptación de fanfic, la Sra. Bennet es un personaje cómico. Fue creada para ser burlada, primero por su esposo y luego por millones de lectores. De hecho, vemos a una mujer sin educación y con la cabeza vacía. "El negocio de su vida era casar a sus hijas. Es un consuelo las visitas y las noticias". Mire la primera mitad de eso en forma aislada. Al trabajar para conseguir maridos para sus hijas, sostengo que la Sra. Bennet era una madre.
 
La propiedad de Longbourn estaba comprometida y, a falta de herederos, los varones volverían al Sr. Collins. La Sra. Bennet no era lo suficientemente inteligente como para comprender el funcionamiento de un vínculo, pero ciertamente comprendía cuál sería el destino de sus hijas si su padre moría antes de que ellas tuvieran maridos para mantenerlas.
 
Las novelas de Jane Austen llevan este punto a casa. En Sentido y sensibilidad, La familia Dashwood se vio obligada a vivir en circunstancias reducidas por la muerte del Sr. Dashwood. En Emma, La señora y la señorita Bates se habrían muerto de hambre si no fuera por la generosidad de sus vecinos. En parque MansfieldLa Sra. Price se casó, pero su mala elección de marido significó que ella y sus hijos tuvieran que vivir en la pobreza.
 
Cuando Charlotte Lucas anunció su compromiso, Elizabeth se horrorizó y no retuvo su desaprobación. Siento que esto fue injusto. Charlotte tenía «unos veintisiete años» y era sencilla. Elizabeth tenía veinte años y era bonita. Charlotte se había enfrentado a la posibilidad de depender de sus hermanos en el futuro. Su estado de soltería retrasó la salida del armario de sus hermanas. Las niñas Bennet más jóvenes no se vieron afectadas de esta manera ya que la Sra. Bennet desafió las convenciones y sacó a todas sus hijas temprano. Cuando nos damos cuenta de que Charlotte prefería la vida con el señor Collins a la soltería, creo que eso ilustra lo que Cecily Hamilton describió como "el destino de toda mujer que no haya nacido heredera".
 
Deberíamos darle a la Sra. Bennet lo que le corresponde. ¿No estaba ella más del lado de los ángeles que su marido? Ante la posibilidad de pre-fallecer a su esposa lo único que dijo fue "Querida ... esperemos cosas mejores. Felicitémonos de que yo pueda ser el sobreviviente". Para decirlo de otra manera "Estoy bien, Jack".
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Sobre el autor: Jean vive en Truro y, entre escribir artículos para la prensa local y ser voluntaria como presentadora en la radio comunitaria y del hospital, está trabajando en un emocionante proyecto de escritura sobre la vida de un ex residente de Falmouth que vivió en el 1800.

8 comentarios

beatriceparvin@yahoo.co.uk
Thanks for this – just my sentiment. For the time, she is doing her very best for her daughters’ future while Mr Bennett seems to have given up all responsibility. She is reduced to gossip and one-upmanship of other women [one-upwomanship !] because that is a necessity in the highly competitive marriage market of the time. You could read her manipulation of ‘her nerves’ as a tool for the only power she has: her delicate femininity. Saying that, I do feel Lydia and Kitty could have done with some boundaries!

Beatrice Parvin marzo 03, 2021

Mrs Bennett annoyed me originally (and in ways still does) but coming from a family of five girls myself and looking at it from her perspective, living in that period , it must have been a huge worry for her making sure her daughters had a secure future. Their estate entailed away from them angered her and quite rightly. In those days and within their background finding husbands with some financial security for them would have been a goal for most mother’s. She at least realistically saw the future should the worst
have happened. I did love Alison Steadman’s line to Lizzie’s impatience “five more minutes will do the trick” and it did!

Margie noviembre 15, 2020

Mrs Bennett annoyed me originally (and in ways still does) but coming from a family of five girls myself and looking at it from her perspective, living in that period , it must have been a huge worry for her making sure her daughters had a secure future. Their estate entailed away from them angered her and quite rightly. In those days and within their background finding husbands with some financial security for them would have been a goal for most mother’s. She at least realistically saw the future should the worst
have happened. I did love Alison Steadman’s line to Lizzie’s impatience “five more minutes will do the trick” and it did!

Margie noviembre 15, 2020

I love this article. Upon first reading P&P, I saw Mrs Bennet as a very silly woman. But years later, after hearing other opinions, I have come to the same conclusion. Mrs. B. was doing her duty and taking care of her daughters’ future. I still laugh at her silliness but I don’t have quite the condescending attitude I previously held.

nmlumber7 julio 26, 2020

I never thought of that before, but you’re absolutely right. Mrs. Bennett was the one looking out for her daughters’ future. Mr. Bennett was kind of useless.

mousiemom julio 26, 2020

I also absolutely agree. Obviously I thought really hard about all the characters when I was writing What Kitty Did Next (Red Door Publishing; and on this website) and Mrs B is a pivotal character both in my novel and Kitty ‘s development. It was indeed the business of her life to get the girls married, as it was for any dedicated mother in those days. She may have got on her daughters’ nerves (what’s changed, who has teenage daughters? ) but she did her best, with no help from Mr B, who may well have married in haste and repented at leisure but was a pretty absent father in most ways. Mrs B was a nag but she was good humoured and well meaning. And she has given us all a lot of laughs. In the novel of course and via Alison Steadman’s wonderful portrayal.

Duchess of Albany julio 26, 2020

Mrs. Bennet was looking out for her daughters of course, but she also wanted to make Lizzy marry a man she despised, which is taking things a little too far in my opinion. I think a person can be happier in a cottage with the people they love than in a palace with no one to love or respect. Certainly though, she was doing more for them than Mr. Bennet.

Regency Girl julio 26, 2020

This was a delightful read. I want to hear more from the writer… This was well written.

triplelbooks julio 26, 2020

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