The Gardiners Essay

Submitted By bergstroms
Words: 654
Pages: 3

how does Austin present Mr and Mrs gardener? in what way does Austin use these characters to comment on culture and society?

In the book 'Pride and Prejudice' Elizabeth's aunt and uncle come to visit them and offer to take Jane to London. Austin presents Mr and Mrs Gardiner as friendly and welcoming and almost more of a parent figure than Mr and Mrs Bennet. The Gardiners are related to the Bennets in the way that Mr Gardiner is Mrs Bennet's brother. Austin presents the Gardiners as sophisticated and well-mannered and although the Gardiners are of a slightly lower social class, they show more culture and refinement then the Bennets. Like Elizabeth, Mrs Gardiner is social, witty and lively and Elizabeth bonds with her far more than she bonds with Mrs Bennet. We find out in the book that Mr Gardiner’s job is in trade. This job is frowned upon by the upper classes as it is seen as getting your hands dirty. People were deemed a higher social class if they had been born into their money instead of earning it themselves for example, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Charlotte Bingly looks down at the Gardiners immensely, but ironically, the Binglys also earned their money in the trade business and are technically his equal. However Mr Gardiner is modest and polite, careful not to offend anyone. On pages 116-118, we meet Mrs Gardiner. Mrs Gardiner is a very caring and engaging person, taking care to listen to the Bennet girls and help them with their problems, unlike Mrs Bennet who has not the faintest of ideas about what is going on in her daughters’ lives. Mrs Gardiner shows genuine concern for Jane when she talks to Elizabeth about the departure of Mr Bingly and sympathizes with her unlike Mrs Bennet who just sees it as the loss of a potential husband. Mrs Gardiner becomes more of the mother figure in the book as Mrs Bennet stands idly by. Mrs Gardiner suggests that Jane goes to London with them and may meet with Mr Bingly, but Elizabeth ensures her that Mr Darcy will never let his friend visit that part of London. This shows Mrs Gardiner general concern and determination to bring Jane and Mr Bingly together. On page 120, Mrs Gardiner gives Elizabeth some motherly advice regarding Mr Wickham. She tells Elizabeth to be cautious and to not fall in love too quickly. This seems like the motherly conversation that Mrs Bennet should be having…