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Paper #1 Dimitra Liacopoulos

Paper #1 Dimitra Liacopoulos - Dimitra Liacopoulos...

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Dimitra Liacopoulos Interpretation of Literature Professor Rosenbaum 3/13/08 Mrs. Gardiner: A Symbol of Sensibility We all know when it comes to a story, the characters are what bring life to it. Although the attention is usually focused on the main characters, Jane Austen makes sure that her minor characters are crucial to the story in her novel, Pride and Prejudice . One of those minor characters is Mrs. Gardiner, who takes on the role of a mother to the Bennet girls, especially when it comes to Jane and Elizabeth. Without her guidance, things would have gone very differently in the development of the story. At first glance, readers may overlook the importance of Mrs. Gardiner in the progression of the novel. One reason this may be is because a lot happens in the plot before Mrs. Gardiner is even introduced. The Bennet girls deal with many ups and downs and seem to handle them to their best ability, without any help from their aunt. She does not step in as a role model until almost halfway through the story, so some may assume that she could not have had that much impact on the girls, and on the outcome of the story. As the novel progresses though, we see that she plays a very significant role in the girls’ lives. Because Mrs. Gardiner steps in as a motherly figure, it is only natural to compare her to the girls’ real mother, Mrs. Bennet. This is the one woman who is supposed to be there for the girls no matter what, and at this she clearly fails. She does not pay equal attention to her girls, and seems to favor her two youngest daughters. Even when she tries to be there for her two eldest daughters, she does not give them the greatest advice because she’s so wrapped up in the idea that her daughters must marry men
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who are wealthy and of high status. Throughout the novel, Mrs. Bennet’s foolishness is portrayed through her obsession of marrying off her daughters. She runs around trying to make connections with the wealthy, so that, in her eyes, her daughters can benefit from them. She does not stop to realize that what her daughters really need is her love and support in everyday life. Mrs. Gardiner, on the other hand, is sharply contrasted with Mrs. Bennet in several ways. When she comes to visit, she immediately senses Jane’s sadness and begins to think of ways to try and raise her spirits. Instead of joining Jane in her devastation, as Mrs. Bennet does, Mrs. Gardiner is sensible and looks at the bright side of things. Through these actions, she is portrayed as caring and
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Paper #1 Dimitra Liacopoulos - Dimitra Liacopoulos...

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