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Our family is facing ruin because of your precious Lydia, and the only . expenses to make sure you are not trying to live beyond your means.
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- Pride and Prejudice
- Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice
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Good thing Darcy steps in to save the day—and to keep the family respectable enough to marry into. Her character will be fixed, and she will, at sixteen, be the most determined flirt that ever made herself or her family ridiculous; […] Oh! Bennet thinks that Lydia's behavior isn't going to reflect badly on Lizzy or Jane, but he's wrong.
Maybe if he ever left his library to supervise his daughters at one of those balls where they make themselves ridiculous, he'd actually know something about how the world works. Wherever you and Jane are known you must be respected and valued; and you will not appear to less advantage for having a couple of—or I may say, three—very silly sisters. Just one more example of how little Mr. Bennet understand about the way family works. Glad it all worked out. Her mother sees it differently and bitterly condemns Collins and Charlotte at every opportunity, even years after their marriage.
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- Jane Austen’s Most Widely Mocked Character is Also Her Most Subversive.
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- Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice by Natasha Farrant (3 star ratings)?
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There is nothing she can do to change the legal status of herself or her daughters, but still she refuses to accept it, and she will not be quiet about the injustice of it even while those who it affects most consider the matter settled and have found superior situations. Bennet is revolutionary in her simple and abiding refusal to shut up, even as those for whom she chiefly advocates desperately wish for her do so. While working within a system she openly acknowledges to be against her, Mrs.
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Bennet acts freely and without restraint. Darcy to me, pray, that I should be afraid of him?
The Price of Happiness Chapter 1, a pride and prejudice fanfic | FanFiction
And that is remarkable given how highly reputation is valued in her world and how little it takes to destroy one. Let us not forget that the dramatic height of the novel revolves around the horrific realization that Lydia, the youngest and silliest Bennett sister, may have pre-marital sex—and that if she does, the entire family will be destitute. Of course it is not Austen as much as the period in which she wrote that is the problem here. Fifteen years old, Lydia is only saved from assured ruin through the help of a rich male benefactor, Mr.
He acts not from any sense of morality or charity—he at first finds a possible association with Lydia so despicable as to prevent him proposing to her sister—but out of love for another, better-behaved woman and the need to protect his own reputation by association. After her marriage, Lydia is all but ostracized by her father and her sisters simply because she has the audacity not to be ashamed.
Bennet, who sent the notoriously flirtatious Lydia to spend poorly supervised months with a bunch of soldiers in the first place, is content to publicly cut ties with his daughter and her husband solely out of spite. Her actions seem to be equally condemned by Austen—she and Mr. Wickham are acknowledged as a point of fact to be unhappy and unstable long term.
Though Lizzie and Jane advocate for Lydia, arguing the disavowal would only hurt the family more, it is largely for the sake of their mother, who persists in loving Lydia, who silly woman is proud of her daughter, that she is allowed to return home at all.
Pride and Prejudice
Lydia is oblivious and vain, obviously, but the small, selfish idiocies of teenagers are deserving of light mockery and forgiveness, not permanent condemnation. It is a path few other Austen parents take.
That refusal to blame is not just kind but revolutionary. As the first rule of polite society is never to insult someone to their face, the family has little choice but to publicly endorse her felicity. She goes so far as to make peace with Wickham, who she worthily hates, solely to avoid any hint of a straightforward confrontation within the family.
Because Lizzie at her core is absolutely traditional, as are her values and her limitations.
Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice
She speaks in subtleties designed to amuse her allies and confuse her targets, not to openly challenge. She is embarrassed by the shabbiness and flightiness of her relations and fears her association with them diminishes her worth.
She succeeds in forging her path to happiness and prosperity, but it is a personal victory only, one that reinforces the oppressive system that she accepts without question. The victories of her mother and sister are of a much more significant character. Though both behave in a way that is unacceptable according to the standards of their society, by simply refusing to care or notice these transgressions, they force those who do to go to extraordinary lengths to accommodate them.