Parent-Child Relationship

Jazzy Alvarez & Fatima Khan


We will be talking about the relationship between a parent and their child, how that affects the personality of the character (the child), and how different relationships can be with the children (even if they all have in common one parent).

What Would You Do? (Parent Edition)

  1. You have your screaming baby crying for the past hour. You have changed their diaper and fed them...what do you do?
  2. Your daughter comes back from her first year of going to Harvard (full-ride) with her new boyfriend from the neighboring community college and a diamond ring on her finger...what do you do?
  3. Your son tells you that he does not want to go to college but wants to go to the army to find himself...what do you do?
  4. Your daughter is now 45 years old, still single and you are on your death bed...what are your last words to her?
  5. Your son comes home from middle school crying because he got shoved into a locker...what do you do?

Mrs. Bennet and her daughters (Jane, Elizabeth, and Lydia)

Jane & Mrs. Bennet

  • Because she is the prettiest one, Mrs. Bennet knows that she has the best potential of getting the best man out of the daughters therefore she treats Jane as her prized porcelain doll: sweet towards it but it is still an item, not a person

  • “‘Can I have the carriage?’ said Jane. ‘No my dear, you had better go on horseback, because it seems likely to rain; and then you must stay all night.’”

    • Says my dear because she does care for her and loves her however she does not care about her well-being as much as her potential to have a man (especially when Mr. Bingley becomes an option)

    • Also when the find out Jane does get sick, Mrs. Bennet says she would go when she can have the carriage instead of the want to actually go check up on her daughter unlike Elizabeth who is completely anxious at the thought of not seeing her

  • “‘Oh! that my dear mother had more command over herself; she can have no idea the pain she gives me by her continual reflections on him.” -Jane talking about Mrs. Bennet pushing her to Mr. Bingley

  • How does this correlate with Jane’s personality?

    • Everything is handed to her so she really does nothing

    • She is sweet and quiet because she cannot speak out; she is Mrs. Bennet’s little puppet and she cannot say anything without Mrs. Bennet’s approval

Elizabeth and Mrs. Bennet

  • “Of having another daughter married to Mr. Collins, she thought with equal certainty, and with considerable, though not equal, pleasure. Elizabeth was the least dear to her of all her children; and though the man and the match were quite good enough for her, the worth of each was eclipsed by Mr. Bingley and Netherfield.” (pg.71-72) (QQ)

    • Her least favorite daughter

    • The hardest, most stubborn to deal with so she does not care as much about her well-being

    • Just allows her to do whatever she wants until she can actually do something that will benefit for her (Mrs. Bennet)

  • How does this correlate with Elizabeth’s personality?

    • Has a rebellious, sassy side to her for she is fed up with being the daughter that is not good enough for the mom

    • She knows she wants the happy ending that every girl wants and she feels as if she deserves it

    • Because of the mother not accepting her, she knows she has to be on her own so she is very independent

    • Also, because she has never been good enough for her mom, she has a side of her not being good enough for others so she speaks her mind freely but she has the attitude of “Why do I care? I am hopeless anyway”

Lydia and Mrs. Bennet

  • “Had Lydia and her mother known the substance of her conference with her father, their indignation would hardly have found expression in their united volubility.”

    • Lydia and Mrs. Bennet are the same person. Lydia thinks whatever Mrs. Bennet feels and Mrs. Bennet just eggs her on. They do not see the big picture of the pros and cons of a situation. They are both naive and with that ignorance, comes a strong bond that are in this together. they share the same goals and same perspectives which is why they get along so well.

    • Like mother, like daughter, I always say. I trust that my ignorance and folly will contribute to my dear Wickham’s amusement too. Is he not a charming man? I am sure that Kitty and Mary must envy me. I only hope they may have half my good luck.” (QQ)

      • She even recognizes the resemblance!!!

  • How does that affect Lydia’s personality?
    • Her mother kind of lets her do whatever she wants so she has a very outgoing personality. She is a free-bird and thinks there is nothing wrong with the world except when he one goal is not met. She is seen as her mother’s favorite but Lydia understands Mrs. Bennet which makes them super close: henceforth the strong correlation between the two’s personalities.

Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth

  • “‘You are over scrupulous, surely. I dare say Mr. Bingley will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chooses of the girls; though I must throw in a good for my little Lizzy’” (Austen 6).

    • Mr. Bennet shows more a stronger liking to Elizabeth than he does to his other daughters.

    • This shows the strong bond that Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth share with each other than Mr. Bennet does with anyone else in the family.

  • “‘They are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters’” (Austen 7). (QQ)

    • Mr. Bennet puts Elizabeth in a higher place than he does his other daughters.

  • “‘Do not make yourself uneasy, my love. 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’” (Austen 217).

    • This strengthens the bond between Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth by giving Elizabeth more hope and respect through Mr. Bennet’s words.

Lady Catherine and Her Daughter Anne

  • “Far superior to the handsomest of her sex; because there is that in her features which marks the young woman of distinguished birth” (QQ)

    • Lady Catherine has brought her up to make sure she is the best of the best and will expect no less

    • Lady Catherine has a tolerance for laughing matters and something out of order

    • Persona to everyone else means to her

    • How does that affect Anne’s personality?

      • She is quiet and does not speak much but she tends to be kind of sad. Her mother has put her on such a high pedestal and expected anything but is extremely hard to follow suit but things do not go the way it should be and it is out of your control. She is afraid of disappointing her mother and there is a lot of room for “error” therefore Anne rather not say anything to have a less of a chance to mess up.

The Gardiners vs. The Bennets

  • “Mr. Gardiner was a sensible, gentlemanlike man, greatly superior to his sister, as well by nature as education… so well-bred and agreeable. Mrs. Gardiner… was an amiable, intelligent, elegant woman, and a great favourite with all her Longbourn nieces”

  • The Gardiners were related to the Bennets through Mrs. Bennet’s brother, Mr. Gardiner.

  • Aunt and Uncle Gardiner were the much needed parental figures in the lives of Jane and Elizabeth.

  • They gave sensible advice, gave concern when necessary, and helped the two girls when they needed it.


  • Pride and Prejudice has many different family relations, more specifically parent-child relations, that are very different from one another.

  • We can see in the Bennet family how the relationship of one parent affects their children versus the effect of the other parent.

  • Also, we can see how Lady Catherine interacts with her daughter compared to everyone else’s family interactions.

  • And lastly we can see how the Gardiners may be better parents that the Bennets to the Bennet girls.

Discussion Questions

1) Do you think the relationship with your parents affects your personality?

2) What do you think Mr. Bingley and his sister's mother might have been like?

3) Which parent do you think was the best out of all the characters? The worst? Why?

4) Is the behavior of a child the parent's fault? (For example Lydia's behavior)

5) Can the Nature vs Nurture debate be seen in Pride and Prejudice?

6) Can the Nature vs Nurture debate be seen in Pride and Prejudice?