If you don’t have anything nice to say…

Caroline Bingley reminds me of the saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, come and sit next to me!” We all love some gossip, and fall prey to petty put-downs. But Miss Bingley is a master at the craft.

She is a wonderfully entertaining character, even if you wouldn’t want her as a friend or confidante. Kind of like the alpha-female Regina George in the movie Mean Girls.

I love the irony of Caroline Bingley the best. Consider her following comments and actions:

  • She is the daughter of a nouveau riche man of trade, yet she acts as though she is a duchess moving in the first circles of society.
  • Her remarks on Hertfordshire society, “The insipidity, and yet the noise — the nothingness, and yet the self-importance of all these people!” actually speak more to her own personality.
  • She calls Jane a dear friend, saying, “I have an excessive regard for Jane Bennet; she is really a very sweet girl,” but does everthing in her power to keep her at arms length.
  • She accuses Elizabeth of being the kind of lady who recommends themselves “to the other sex by undervaluing their own,” when that is exactly what she does herself.

Mr. Darcy’s observation that Lizzy occassionally enjoys “professing opinions which in fact are not your own” might be more aptly applied to Caroline Bingley.

 

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