Friday, 27 June 2008

Jane Austen Quote of the Week- Week Ten

My choice for this week is taken from Pride and Prejudice. I adore this part of the novel where Elizabeth rejects the marriage proposal of her cousin, Mr Collins. I think it is such a well-constructed part of the story and absolutely hilarious. I love the strength and utter defiance of Lizzy. Mrs Bennet responds to this rejection of marriage by visiting Mr Bennet and demanding that he talk to Lizzy and tell her to accept the proposal. She delivers these words:

"Not that I have much pleasure, indeed, in talking to anybody. People who suffer as I do from nervous complaints can have no great inclination for talking. Nobody can tell what I suffer! But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied."

- Mrs Bennet, Chapter 20, Pride and Prejudice

Whenever anyone has asked me which character I find the most comical throughout all of Jane's novels, I always say Mrs Bennet. No one but her has such an impact with her words. Its Jane's craftsmanship that is so commendable. Particularly the line 'Those who do not complain are never pitied' is so wise and meaningul but yet is produced in such a humorous light considering her character throughout the novel.

Pic: Jane Austens World


Anonymous said...

So true! Jane knew how to take real people's foibles to entertain us. I'm convinced she surely knew someone just like this, because I do. As I said when I was collecting her "Passionate Passages", it's hard not to quote the entire book. She really was a genius.

Linda the Librarian

Anonymous said...

I completely agree! Mrs Bennet is my favourite non-heroine/hero character of Jane's as well.

Icha said...

I think if I have to choose between Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Collins as my fave comical character, I would be very confused. I think it's a draw for me :-D

Thanks a lot, dearest Rachel!

Michelle said...

How anyone can deny JA is a genuis is beyond me. Just one look at the composition of Mrs Bennet should convince everyone. What a character! Thanks for this quote, Rachel!