The publication had the rarest of chances and of course, a bit of luck, to have the honor of reading from Mrs. Jane Bingley excerpt at her house near Longbourn. We have come to speak with the former Ms. Bennet about her mother, who sadly passed away five years ago after a period of ill health. After being supplied by a generous amount of tea and sweets, Mrs. Jane Bingley was more than accommodating. She had welcomed us graciously into her home and had agreed a few weeks before to conduct this interview. Clearly, there were some unresolved issues before their mother’s death. I asked whether there were some specific issue.
Yes, the whole affair was a fiasco. Men came strolling down our lawn, some high-society people, right old snobs by the way, and of course my mother, who I daresay was in the middle of it all. Indeed, it was quite a fiasco for the Bennet family. Miss Jane Bennet-Bingley was the eldest of five children of the Bennet family. Their mother, as she narrates, was highly-obsessed with the idea of accomplishing her self-sworn duty to see all her daughters to get married. She used to send my sisters and me to social gatherings, and such. It was the popular thing to do back then and consequently became a symbol of social stature.
We were just middle-class, or more appropriately, preferred to linger between in the middle with menial social associations. This proved to be a factor toward their marriages which, by some sort of instances, was provoked by a high-class society member: the late Lady Catherine. She was arrogant, just like any aristocrat back then. She especially gave my sister, Lizzy (Elizabeth) a hard time since her husband was a nephew of hers. She did not want some sort of low-class society girl with his well-bred nephew. But then, the way things turned out surprised everybody, including me.
About my mother’s personality (with expression of momentary soft happiness), I did not hate nor despise my mother. My father would probably scorn at the thought, but then again, my father talked little. He cared for us and for the family very much but he would just sit sometimes in his study and let our mother do all the talking. Mrs. Bennet was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervously. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news (Austen). Mrs.
Bennet’s proudest moment would be the marriage of her two daughters, Jane and Elizabeth, to both respectable and hard-working men. We had our own marriage. My mother did not have any part of it; though I like to think that she did try to impress upon everybody else that she did have a part of it “on our marriage”. She was always fussy, kind to people, especially our husbands. She tried everything to put us in our good name, just to get married. Indeed, the social status during Mrs. Bingley’s time was centered on the idea that women had only one goal in their lives—that is, to get married.
Quite ludicrous actually; in changing times, the status of women have elevated to a more distinguished level. But my mother, if she were alive today, would not understand that. Mrs. Bingley, according to their narration, lived for the purpose of seeing her daughters married without any preamble or consideration for their feelings. Her obsession for marriage blinded her real nature. She was a good mother though; she never failed to uphold her duty as my father’s wife or our mother. I was indeed surprised that my father did not react in such a way that he was displeased with my mother’s behavior back then.
But I suppose it was really just her nature to be so. To summarily put forward a remark, I did not like the way my mother handled our affairs when she was still alive. She often embarrassed us and the family with her superfluous attempts of raising the name of the family even though it wasn’t needed. She was much concerned with the way we compose ourselves that she had started to ignore her own behavior. She acted like most mothers would do, though in a different case. And if she did not do what she did, I might still be single anyway. We loved her and we still do.
Austen, J. (1995). Pride and Prejudice.
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