- Aug 2022
Potential parallels to Mr Bennet's feelings for Mrs Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. Mr Bennet had been "captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good-humour which youth and beauty generally give, [and] had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had very early in their marriage put an end to all real affection for her." (P&P Chapter 42) Perhaps this also parallels Sir Thomas Bertram's feelings for Lady Bertram in Mansfield Park. It's never stated that Sir Thomas regrets his match but she "captivated" him (chapter 1 MP) and became a "woman who spent her days in sitting, nicely dressed, on a sofa, doing some long piece of needlework, of little use and no beauty, thinking more of her pug than her children" (chapter 2 MP). It seems more fitting somehow that it was the men making choices led my their hormones more than the women (though you must consider Lydia Bennet). Austen points out constantly how women had few choices in life and marriage, they had to make good ones as they would be trapped, they did not have the same freedoms as men.