Mr. Bennet is a fascinating character, in that he is almost an exact foil to Mr. Darcy.
Darcy is dedicated and loyal, Mr. Bennet is laissez faire and enjoys laughing at others. Darcy is fiscally responsible and Mr. Bennet is lax about the financial vulnerability of his family. Darcy is taciturn and reserved, Mr. Bennet enjoys embarrassing people and exposing their stupidity for all the world to see.
Given that Lizzy is Mr. Bennet’s favorite, it is surprising that she develops an affection for Mr. Darcy. It is said that many women love men who are like their fathers. Instead, Lizzy grows to love a man who is almost the exact opposite.
Lizzy starts off int he book very similar to Mr. Bennet. Witty, charming and fun. But also a little proudly condescending and hasty in her judgements. As her character grows and matures, she learns to balance out her pride and prejudices and finds a way to love Mr. Darcy, a man whose personality is so different than her fathers.
You know, I think that Mrs. Bennet gets a bad rap. OK, so she’s a little hard to take. She is silly, uninformed, gossipy, petty and usually just plain wrong. I picture her as the precursor to stage moms with the lipsticked and hairsprayed six year-olds in beauty pageants.
But you’ve got to give her a little credit– she got three of her daughters married, with little-to-no help from Mr. Bennet.
Mr. Bennet didn’t plan at all for the entail on his estate–despite the fact that his youngest daughter is sixteen. He had some time to figure out that a boy ain’t gonna be coming. But instead, he hides out in his library and hopes a solution for the well-being of his family will somehow appear.
But our Mrs. Bennet is a different story. She zeros in on Mr. Bingley like a heat-seeking missile. She parades the girls — all five of them — around the county looking for eligible men. And she talks about it. Constantly. Ad nauseam. She is a woman on a mission.
Lo and behold — she could be seen as a resounding success! Almost despite herself. Lizzy and Jane become very well situated, and Mrs. Bennet convinces herself that Lydia is well-situated too. She has fulfilled her sole mission in life, despite her poor nerves.