Jane Austen Thoughts: Siblings

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I’m not going to dwell too much on the siblings of Mansfield Park, Emma, or Northanger Abbey. But Lydia from Pride and Prejudice, Mr. John Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility, and Elizabeth and Mary from Persuasion are in competition for worst.

The situation with Lydia is awkward because if it had happened today it probably wouldn’t have happened. To be honest, I don’t know all the laws currently active in Great Britain but I’m pretty sure they have something against a twenty-something man absconding with a sixteen-year-old girl. Wickham is a creep but he’s also self-serving. Lydia would not have been worth a trip to jail. So I put the situation in the time period. Lydia was charmed and manipulated by Wickham definitely but she made the choice to elope with him and then to hide with him. It was a selfish. She hurt her family members.

Then there’s John, another selfish sibling with a wife who enables him. He promised his father he would assist his half-sisters and stepmom and then proceeded to be talked out of it. They were pressured to leave their home when he didn’t need it. Luckily they were able to find a place to live on the money they had or his neglect would have had much worse ramifications.

Next is Elizabeth, older sister to Anne in Persuasion. Mostly she acts like Anne doesn’t exist and then disregards anything she thinks or feels.

Last is Mary, younger sister to Anne. In some ways she’s like Lydia, a bit self-centered. She has moods and will get upset if she feels left out. She is also proud and demands that her rank as daughter of Sir Walter Elliot be considered whenever precedence is determined.

In conclusion, Elizabeth is the worst. Mary is annoying but she values Anne, Lydia and John are selfish but things still worked out for their sisters. Elizabeth is emotionally abusive.

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