An Excellent Father is an extract from Jane Austen’s famous novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’. The main theme of the play is marriage. The novel shows how women marry men they are not in love with simply in order to gain financial security. The important characters of this passage are Mr and Mrs Bennet, Jane, Elizabeth and Mr Bingley.
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Mr Bennet: Mr Bennet is a gentleman, who lives with his wife and five daughters at Longhorn House. Mr Bennet seldom shows anger: he prefers to laugh at people’s weaknesses.
His wife was a foolish, quick-tempered woman. Her chief aim In life is to find rich husbands for her daughters.
Jane:-The eldest of the Bennet daughters and also the prettiest.
Elizabeth:- The second of the Bennet daughter. She is shrewder than Jane and is always ready to speak her mind.
Kitty:- The fourth of the Bennet daughters.
Charles Bingley:- A rich handsome. eligible and single gentleman.
Summary of An Excellent Father
This prose extract has been taken from Jane Austen’s famous novel “Pride and Prejudice” which after considerable revision appeared as “Pride and Prejudice” in 1813. This novel tells the story of the gradual union of two people- one held back by unconquerable pride and the other blinded by Prejudice- thus the name “Pride and Prejudice”.
Mr Bennet seems to be a careless father who is not bothered about the marriage of his daughters who have attained marriageable age. The chapter starts when Mr Bingley rents Netherfield Park to a young rich man named Mr Bingley. Neithfield park is in the neighbourhood of Mr Bennet’s house. Mrs Bennet becomes very cautious about her daughter because she does not want to lose this opportunity of marrying one of her daughters to Mr Bingley. Actually, this novel is written in 19″ century when there was a custom that the property was taken over by only male members. Since Mr Bennet had no son. So his property was to be owned by any of his close relatives. That is why Mrs Bennet was very much worried about the fate of her daughters.
On hearing about the arrival of Mr Bingley, she tells her husband to develop some familiarity with him. But he reacts very lightly to this news. He starts leasing his wife and comments that should send the girls to meet Mr Bingley but should not go herself, for she is very beautiful even in her old age.
Finally. Mrs Bennet gets very disappointed because of her husband’s loose reaction. As a result in a fit of anger, she scolds her daughter Kitty for coughing. Ultimately, when she comes to know that her husband, Mr Bennet, had visited Mr Bingley, she feels relaxed and overwhelmed. In the end, she tells her daughters -You have an excellent father. girls” because she comes to know that Mr Bennet had actually paid the visit to Mr Bingley stealthily without telling anyone of them.
Main Highlights and Attractions of The Lesson
Netherfield Park which is vacant for a long time is at last taken by a wealthy and dashing young gentleman whose name is Mr Bingley.
When Mrs Bennet comes to know about it, she becomes extremely happy because she desires that Mr Bingley might marry one of her daughters.
She wants her husband, Mr Bennet, not to miss such a golden opportunity for the sake of her daughters. She apprehends that some other mother having marriageable daughter might exploit such a glorious opportunity.
When Mr Bennet tells her husband if he has heard that Netherfield Park has been taken by a rich young man, Mr Bennet intentionally, in order to irritate her says ‘no’.
Mrs Bennet becomes impatient and tells her husband that it is true and the dashing young gentleman is very rich and he is a glorious thing for their daughters.
Mr Bennet irritates her wife Mrs Bennet more when he tells her how the young Bingley is a fine thing for their daughters.
Mr Bingley pours out that as Mr Bingley is rich and single she is thinking of him marrying one of their daughters.
Mrs Bennet tells her if it is Mr Bingley’s plan to settle at Netherfield Park. Mrs Bennet angrily retorts him that he shall not talk like this.
Ms Bennet insists her husband visit, Mr Bingley, as soon as possible but Mr Bennet tells her that he has no time to visit him. He adds that she and the girls may go themselves and perhaps Mr Bingley might like her the best of the party.
Mrs Bennet now tells her husband that he takes delight in vexing her and he has no compassion on her poor nerves. Mr Bennet responds her back that her nerves are his age-old friends and he respects them.
Mrs Bennet also expresses her husband that he does not know how much she suffers. Mr Bennet replies to her that she will get over it and see many rich young men in their neighbourhood. Mrs Bennet pours out that it will be of no benefit since he will not visit any of them.
Note: Mr Bennet is actually also interested in Mr Binlgey to the extent her wife is. He enjoys the moments with her wife. He feels excited to see the irritation on her wife’s face. That is why he talks with her wife in the way as if he is not interested in Mr Bingley. He just wants to see irritate his wife and enjoy the moments.
Mr Bennet was the most eager person who waited, Mr Bingley. He had always intended to visit him, though, till last he is telling his wife that he would not visit him.
On seeing his daughter Lizzy trimming a hat, Mr Bennet tells her that he hopes Mr Bingley might like it.
Mrs Bennet is now furious, she angrily pours out that they are not to know what the young Bingley likes because they are not visiting him.
On hearing this another girl Elizabeth who is the most beautiful of all the daughters tells her mother that they are meeting Mr Bingley at the assemblies as Mrs Long has promised to introduce him. Mrs Bennet pours out that Mrs Long will not do such a thing as has two nieces of her own.
Another girl Kitty is coughing badly. When Mrs Bennet hears her cough, she scolds her and tells her to have mercy on her nerves and do not cough like it for God’s sake. Kitty replies that she does not cough for her own amusement but she is ill.
Now Mr Bennet discloses that he has already visited Mr Bingley and cannot miss the familiarity with him.
All the girls are extremely surprised and happy. Mrs Bennet now merrily tells Mr Bennet that she knew she could persuade him at the end. She also tells her daughter that they have an excellent father.
Q.No.1.What does Mrs Bennett tell her husband?
Ans. Mrs Bennet tells her husband that a rich young man has come to take Neitherfield Park which was vacant for a long time. His name is Mr Bingley and he is single. Mrs Bennet finds him a good thing for one of her daughters.
Ans. Mrs Bennet tells her husband that Neitherfield park has been let at last and has been taken over by a man named Mr Bingley from north of England who is a man of a large fortune. She tells her husband to develop an affinity with him so that they can get one of their daughters married to him.
Ans. The Neitherfield Park is occupied by a young Bachelor of large fortune named as Bingley. Mrs Bennet feels jubilant over the message of his arrival. As the man is a bachelor with a handsome income of four or five thousand a year. Mrs Bennet thinks him to be a good match for one of her three daughters. She tells all about this to Mr Bennet and wants him to visit the young man and form an acquaintance.
Q.No.2.Who takes over Netherfield park? Why is Mrs Bennet happy about it?
Ans. Mr Bingley who is a rich young man takes over Netherfield park. Mrs Bennet is happy about it because the rich young man is unmarried and she finds him fortunate things for anyone of her daughters. She wants to join the fate of anyone of her daughters with him.
Ans. The Neitherfield park has been taken over by a man named Mr Bingley from north of England who happens to be a man of a large fortune. Mrs Bennet is happy about it because she is of the opinion of getting one of her daughters married to Mr Bingley who seems to her to be a perfect match for one of her daughters, for he is a composed man of a large fortune.
Ans. Mr Bingley takes over Neitherfield Park. He is an unmarried and young man from the north of England. He is a man of large fortune with four or five thousand per year. He was delighted to see the park and agreed to take it.
Mrs Bennet feels jubilant over the message of his arrival. As the man is a bachelor with a handsome income a year, she feels that he could be a good match for one of her three daughters. She tells all about this to Mr Bennet and wants him to pay a visit to the young man, and form an acquaintance with him.
Q.NO.3.Why does Mrs Bennet insist on her husband to meet Mr Bingley?
Ans. Mr Bingley is a rich dashing man. He is unmarried also. Mrs Bennet finds in him a good match for anyone of her marriageable daughters. She wants to make hay while the sun shines, that is, make the best use of the opportunity. That is why she insists on her husband to visit Mr Bingley so that they can make an acquaintance with him as soon as possible.
Ans. Mrs Bennet insists her husband to meet Mr Bingley because of the fact that she intends to get one of her daughters married to Mr Bingley who seems to her to be a perfect match for one of her daughters, for his being rich enough and handsome. She does not want to miss the opportunity of getting one of her daughters’ marriage settled so she urges Mr Bennet to meet and develop an affinity with Mr Bingley.
Ans. Mrs Bennet has three daughters and all of them are of marriageable age. She is anxious to find a good life partner for one of them. Mr Bingley a young Bachelor takes over the Neitherfield Park. He is a bachelor of handsome income a year. She feels happy over this news and sees in him a very good match for one of her daughters. She predicts to her husband if at the young man may fall in love with one of her daughters and insists him to meet Mr Bingley and form an acquaintance with him.
Q.NO.4.’You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves’.Explain.
Ans. When Mr Bingley comes to stay in their neighbourhood, Mrs Bennet tells her husband to visit him for she finds in him a good match for one of her daughters. But Mr Bennet does not give positive ear to her words. He instead teases her with his comic remarks. Mrs Bennet feels irritated. She thinks her husband has no regard for her feelings and thoughts. That is why she says these words to him.
Ans. Mrs Bennet is very particular that her husband pays a visit to Mr Bingley which will help in getting one of their daughters married to the rich man but gets a cold response from him. He in response teases her by saying that the young man would be more pleased to see her as she is equally beautiful as her girls. These words annoy Mrs Bennet as she feels vexed and says the above-given lines which mean that Mr.Bennet doesn’t care about her intentions but amuses himself in annoying and teasing her and has not a bit sympathy on her anxious state.
Ans. By ‘you take delight in vexing me ou have no compassion on my poor nerves’ Mrs Bennet means to say that Mr Bennet takes delight that is feels amused in irritating her by any means and does not care about her feelings and her potential to bear. Mrs Bennet says this out of anger when Mr Bennet makes fun of her and does not pay any attention to what she says.
Q.NO.5.Why does Mrs Bennet think that Mrs Long is selfish?
ANS. Mrs Bennet thinks that Mrs Long is selfish because the latter has two marriageable nieces of her own for making the hay while the sun shines. Mrs Bennet fears that Mrs Long will not introduce her and her daughters with Mr Bingley as she has promised them. She has an apprehension that Mrs Long will opt Mr Bingley for one of her own nieces and will not allow any other girl of marriageable age to snatch the opportunity.
Ans. Mrs Bennet has made her mind to get one of her daughters married to Mr Bingley, a man of a large fortune, but when it comes to her mind that Mrs Long who has promised her to introduce her and her family to Mr Bingley has two nieces of her own and may think of getting one of them married to Mr Bingey, she started thinking of her to be a selfish woman who may dodge her and not introduce her to Mr Bingley.
Ans. Mrs Long had promised that she would introduce Mr Bingley to Mrs Bennet and her daughters at the assemblies. But Mrs Bennet doesn’t believe that she will do any such thing to happen as she has two nieces of her own. Mrs Bennet calls her a selfish woman that she might use the opportunity to one of her nieces instead of any other girl.
Q.NO.6.How does Mr Bennet react to the plan designed by his wife?
Ans: Mrs Bennet is very particular that Mr Bennet pays a visit to Mr Bingley and form an
acquaintance with him which will help in getting one of their daughters married to the rich man. At the beginning of the conversation, he doesn’t show a willingness to meet him but flatters his wife that the young man would be more pleased to see her than girls. He teases Lizzy while trimming a hat and says, “I hope Mr Bingley will like it, Lizzy.” When Mrs Bennet says that she is sick of Mr Bingley, her husband discloses the fact of his earliest meeting with Bingley and tells it in a surprising way. It was his desire to surprise the ladies. He is a good reader of his wife and handles the situation with great care not letting the drama of suspense to go down in the least but discloses it in the end.
Ans. At the outset, it seems Mr Bennet is not interested in the plan designed by his wife as he pretends to have no interested in Mr Bingley. But later we find that he too has been eager to develop an acquaintance with the young man. He visits the rich young man but without saying it to his wife and daughters.when the ladies come to know about it, they get surprised. They now realise the fact that Mr Bennet has been also equally worried about the girls.
Ans. Mr Bennet reacted to the plan designed by his wife in a positive but an awkward manner. Mr Bennet went to meet Mr Bingley as designed by his wife but he did not let his wife and daughters know about it. He kept the visit paid to Mr Bingley a secret from his family and pretended that he did not want to do so. But the secret visit paid to Mr Bingley remained no longer a secret as Mr Bennet happened to tell about it to his family later on.
Q.NO.7.Why does Mrs Bennet says her daughters that they have an excellent father?
Ans. Mrs Bennet berated Mr Bennet because he refused to go and visit Mr Bingley when he arrived in the neighbourhood. Mr Bennet’s visit to Mr Bingley was necessary because without Mr Bennet introducing himself, the girls were could not meet Mr Bingley– thwarting Mrs Bennet’s hopes of an advantageous marriage. She continues to berate him the next day, and Mr Bennet plays along. He then casually mentions thatMr. Bingley had already visited him that morning. She then changes her tune, praising her husband with his virtues and telling her girls that they have “an excellent father.” As Jim said, it’s just a line to show how changeable and ridiculous she is.
Ans.When Mrs Bennet comes to know that her husband has already paid the visit to Mr Bingley. She feels astonished. She realises that her husband too has been worrying about their daughters and loved them as much as she does. He has been just pretending that he is not interested to visit Mr Bingley. That is the reason why Mrs Bennet says her daughters that they have an excellent father.
Ans. Mrs Bennet tells her girls that they have an excellent father because she realizes that Mr Bennet worries about his daughters as much as she does. She says it out of joy and excitement that she feels when she comes to know about the secret visit paid by Mr Bennet to Mr Bingley. Mrs Bennet realizes that Mr Bennet also loves his daughters and takes good care of them and can do anything for their prosperous future.
Ans. After raising the volume of suspense and emotions Mr Bennet finally comes up with a delightful surprise that he is among the earliest of those who have already visited Mr Bingley. Mrs Bennet gets overjoyed by knowing this and exclaims, “What an excellent father you have girls!
Q.Draw a character sketch of Mrs Bennet.
Ans: Mrs Bennet is a caring mother having three daughters: Elizabeth, Lizzy and Kitty. Like all mothers, she is worried about their marriage. She does not want to lose any chance of finding a suitable match for each of them. She comes to know that a young bachelor with a handsome income has occupied Neitherfield Park. She at once designs a plan to marry one of her daughters with the young man and asks her husband to form an acquaintance with him.
We also see Mrs Bennet as a selfish woman. She is very fond of money and fame. Her main concern in life is seeing her daughters married to wealthy men. She insists her husband meet Mr Bingley, a rich man of a large fortune, as early as possible. She has an apprehension that some other mother with an eligible daughter would exploit such a golden opportunity. No doubt she is sensitive about the marriage of her daughters but her single-minded pursuit of future rich husbands for them can also blind her in spoiling their welfare.
Q. Do you feel that mother’s love is different from father’s love? Why or why not? Prove your answer with an example taken from the story “An Excellent Father”.
Ans: Children are always loved by their parents. lt is hard to say whether a father loves a child the most or a mother. Both have equal love for their children. But it is a naked truth that mother’s love seems more dominant than father’s. A father too loves his child gravely as a mother but doesn’t express it like a mother. His love can be judged from his actions than expressions. The fact of the matter is that Mother’s love is more affectionate than a father. Her love is emotional, feminine and natural for her children. She weeps, cries and sobs over their misery. It is unbearable for her to see them in a problem.
In the lesson, both Mr Bennet and Mrs Bennet are anxious about the marriage of their three daughters. Mrs Bennet is very particular that Mr Bennet pays a visit to Mr Bingley and form an acquaintance with him which will help in getting one of their daughters married to the rich man. Mr Bennet is also an excellent father. Though he pretends to be not interested in Bingley, yet he is the first to visit him. He keeps the secret about his visit until the last moment and discloses it in a surprising manner.
Q. Describe the character sketch of Mr Bennet.
Ans: Mr Bennet lives with his wife and three daughters- Elizabeth, Lizzy and Kitty. He is a very jolly person, full of wit and humour. He takes delight in vexing his nervous wife and three silly daughters. He flatters his wife by his witty remarks and says, “Mr Bingley might Iike you the best of the party.
Mr Bennet is an excellent father. He loves his daughters and is very serious about their marriage. Though he pretends to be not interested in Bingley, yet he is the first to visit him. He keeps the secret about his visit until the last moment and discloses it in a surprising manner. His wife gets overjoyed on knowing this and exclaims, “What an excellent father you have, girls!”
TAGS: NOTES FOR CLASS 10TH ENGLISH
CHAPTER NO. 2 AN EXCELLENT FATHER