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Father's parenting style and its effect on children

 In Pride and Prejudice, the marriage and love of the Bennett daughters occupy a large part of the novel. The novel ends with two couples getting married, and the related film and television adaptation also pays attention to the presentation of the love scene. However, beneath the romantic surface lies the author's deep anxiety: what kind of family education can let the children grow into mature young people? Are fathers fulfilling their duties in family education? How does family education affect children's love and marriage? In the book, unsuccessful marriage and love can be explained in the failure of family education, and the father bears the inescapable responsibility. In this regard, this paper will study how fathers educate their children and its influence on their children in all aspects.

1. Literature review

Pride and Prejudice has well-rounded female characters and a great story about love and marriage. Most studies focus on the role of women, or choose a feminist perspective, or explore the view of marriage and love in a specific historical and social context. However, this paper intends to explore how family education affects the personality of the characters, and then how it affects their love and marriage behavior. The background of the novel is about the Regency period, when the British family structure was dominated by fathers. This paper will focus on the role of fathers in family education.

There are few foreign researches on family education, and a few articles related to this topic mainly analyze Bennett's family and Mr. Bennett's education to his children. Mr Burgan notes the failure of the heroine's father in Austen's main works, highlighting Mr Bennett's neglect of his daughters and his wife. ①Odeh uses Baumrind's theory of parenting style to study the father images in Austen's works and the way they educate their daughters, and classifies Mr. Bennett as a laissez-faire and indifferent parent. ②Seeber criticizes the three film adaptations for beautifying The image of Mr. Bennett, revealing his double failure as a father and husband in the family in the original novel. 3.

Domestic research also needs to be developed, the relevant articles and their main exposition are as follows. Chen Xi analyzes the positive influence of Mr. Bennett's rational marriage view on Elizabeth's personality formation and marriage choice and the negative influence of Mrs. Bennett on Lydia in family education, and concludes the importance of rational education. (4) Yang Tao interprets the influence of family environment and education on the personality formation of the four female characters in Pride and Prejudice, and holds that only mature personality can bring happiness in life. (5) Wu Ying and Zhang Yonghua study Mr. Bennett's ironic language and demonstrate that he evaded disciplining his three young daughters with sarcasm. (6) Wang Xinyan briefly stated that Mr. Bennett's failure to control and guide his daughters resulted in their obvious character defects. All landowners

These studies either deal with many of Austen's works simultaneously, which is a bit scattered, or with Mr Bennett alone, which is too focused. Mr Bennett is pride and Prejudice's most fully fleshed out father character, but other young men have also been influenced by their fathers. The author tries to explore the group images of fathers in the book and study the role of these fathers in their children's education from a relatively holistic perspective.

2. Theoretical framework

Odeh used Baumrind's parenting type theory when studying the father images in Austen's major works, which has a strong guiding role in this paper. Therefore, the author chooses this theory to analyze the parenting strategies of fathers in Pride and Prejudice and their influence on their children. Baumrind studied the influence of parenting types on children's ability development and use of contraband, summarized six common parenting types, and listed the corresponding behavior and ability characteristics of children as follows:

The authoritative parent has a high expectation that the child will fit in and agree with the family's general values, and does not allow for disobedience; Highly supportive of children, by understanding and meeting their individual needs to develop their personality, self-management ability and determination. Family order is good, the parents have almost no problem behavior, rarely use contraband, do not approve of their children to use contraband.

Democratic parents require their children to integrate into the family and identify with the overall family values. Highly supportive of their children, by understanding and meeting their individual needs to develop their personality, self-management ability and determination; Not overly strict with children. These parents were less traditional and authoritative than the authoritative parents, but were equally supportive, caring and positive, had a well-ordered household and had no problem parents.

In both cases, children generally outperform their parents in terms of overall competence, cognitive differentiation and prosocial behavior, while conforming to parental standards of behavior. In general, teenagers in both families are more competent than other children. Because democratic parents identify with democratic values and respect their children's autonomy, adolescents from democratic families are likely to be more socially aware and more likely to use contraband than adolescents from authoritative families.

Directive parents require their children to integrate into the family and identify with the overall value of the family. They have low support for their children and strictly restrain their children. Attach importance to children's obedience, provide orderly family environment and clear rule system for children, and closely supervise their actions. Children lack personality, social awareness and autonomy to a certain extent and crave approval from others, and are generally less likely to use contraband than children of other family types.

The good-enough parent was in the middle of the pack in terms of wanting their children to be part of the family, agreeing with the family's overall values, supporting them, and restraining them. Such families are usually well-ordered, with no problematic behavior by the parents themselves. Children in all aspects of moderate ability, not outstanding, there is no serious problem behavior, but unexpectedly found that this kind of family girls withdrawn and inferiority.

Non-directive parents have little restraint on their children and are quite supportive of them, giving them more space for self-management and avoiding parent-child conflicts. Household order is often chaotic, with most mothers using contraband and not objecting to their children using contraband and rarely exhibiting other problematic behaviours. Children are often less competent, relatively isolated, indifferent to grades, indifferent to rules, and free to use contraband.

Laisseful parents do not require their children to integrate into the family and agree with the overall values of the family. They do not support their children and do not control them. Family disorder, problematic parental behavior. The children are often antisocial, lacking self-regulation and social responsibility, with poor cognitive abilities, extremely low academic performance, problematic behavior, and frequent use of contraband. today

Pride and Prejudice does not deal with the issue of contraband, but behaviors that violate social norms, such as cheating, gambling, excessive flirting, premarital sex and even elopement, can be classified as problematic behaviors and are still in Baumrind's theoretical framework. The author will compare the parenting types of Baumrind to analyze fathers' education of their children and their results.


1. Bennett father's parenting style and its influence on his children

Burgan, Odeh, and Seeber generally illustrate two characteristics of a laissez parent: a severe lack of control over his daughter, and an inability or refusal to provide adequate support for her development. The consequences include: the eldest daughter's lack of initiative; The second daughter had a high opinion of herself and was unforgiving in her speech. The third daughter craves approval; Two of the younger girls were stupid, and the fifth finally eloped. What these articles don't say, however, is whether Mr. Bennett fits the third characteristic of a liberal upbringing, which does not require children to conform to and subscribe to general family values.

Austen writes that In his youth Mr. Bennett chose his wife for her looks, but later, finding her a fool, abandoned her both psychologically and physically. Centrifugal pet-name ruby husband and wife, more of the order of harmony and unity of family values, example as follows: on the one hand, in the 18th century British social value women's chastity, think this is an important farmar attending to women in the marriage market, but Bennett wife and two young daughters keen to flirt with the officer, Mr Bennett disagree, but I did not stop, until five daughter eloped. On the other hand, Elizabeth's conversation with Lady Catherine reveals that Mr. Bennett failed to educate his daughters and allowed them to enter the social circle at the same time. First, Hume explains that although Austen's heroines are not wealthy, they are undoubtedly upper-class. ? Upper-class families usually send their daughters to school or employ governesses to teach their daughters music, dance, painting, foreign languages, etc.? Mr. Bennett ignored social norms. Second, Lady Catherine decreed that girls should wait until their older sisters married off to join the social circle in turn. Mr Bennett allowed all five of his daughters to join the social circle at the same time, which was against the social rules of unmarried women. As a result, Mr. Bennett does not internalize social norms as family norms and values that his daughters follow.

To sum up, Mr. Bennett did not provide his daughter with what she needed to grow up, did not support her development, did not discipline her, did not set up a unified code of conduct and values for the family, and his upbringing of his daughter was typical of laissedness.

2. Father and family education in the Darcy family

Darcy described his childhood education as follows: although he was taught the right view of right and wrong and the rules to be followed, he was not taught to give up his bad temper. Instead, he became arrogant. His parents dote on him, indulging and encouraging him to be selfish and arrogant.

This paragraph makes it easy for readers to conclude that old Darcy's education method is non-directive or laissed-in. However, according to Baumrind's theory, children from non-directive or laissed-in families usually lack abilities, while Darcy has strong decision-making and execution ability. Learning that Wickham has eloped with Lydia, Darcy immediately sets off to London to find them and marry them quickly. At the same time, through the Gardiners, the readers learn that Darcy manages the family's great wealth, servants and tenants praise him, indicating that Darcy is successful in leading the family. Such a Darcy is highly unlikely to come from an undictatorial or laissed-off family.

The old Darcy cares for his son and plans his future for him. It is reasonable to speculate that he pays more for Darcy and puts more effort into the training of Darcy's future management of the family. Darcy's own statement that "I was taught good manners" indicates that the elder Darcy was strict and had high expectations of his children, and Elizabeth later admitted that Darcy possessed all the good qualities. , such as integrity, caring for relatives and friends, and good at correcting mistakes. Based on this, the author speculated that the old Darcy's educational style was authoritative.

In addition, Darcy's arrogance in interpersonal communication is reasonable. At that time, cross-class equality and respect had not yet entered the mainstream discourse. This is reflected in marriage selection. The absolute majority of people pursue marriage based on the same social status and wealth. Parents are very afraid of their children choosing partners with lower status and wealth than themselves. ? In other words, upper-class people don't want to associate with lower-class people. In fact, Lady Catherine, who is in the same class as Darcy, and the Bingley sisters are equally arrogant, which shows that Darcy's behavior is a projection of the social status quo. Darcy said his parents had taught him to be selfish and arrogant, so his arrogance was the result of family upbringing reinforcing social values, so the elder Darcy was authoritative.

3. Father and family education in the Wickham family

Wickham's father had been Old Darcy's steward, and had behaved honourably; His mother squandered all the family's money, so he could not afford to give Wickham a good education. Old Wickham failed to control his wife's behaviour, and she failed to set the right example for their children; Such family order is bound to be chaotic, and there is a lack of uniform norms of family behavior and values. The elder Darcy offered Wickham unselfish care and support, sending him to Cambridge and planning his career, but no corresponding discipline.

Wickham had a mother who was spendthrift, lazy and irresponsible, but not a father who was honest, so the elder Wickham was probably unable to control his children. The love and care of old Darcy feeds Wickham's greed and gives him the illusion that he can enjoy a life of luxury as long as he keeps good relations with the people of high society. To this end, he pretended to be decent in front of old Darcy in order to obtain money, pretending to be a gentleman and victim to defraud trust. Knowing that being a priest and a soldier was not profitable, he chose to seduce the daughters of rich families and gamble. Because of doting love, lack of discipline, and negative influence from his mother, Wickham grew up to be the most morally corrupt person. For him, the teaching of the father is laissed-in and the parenting of the godfather is non-directive, which together lead to his personality defects and a large number of problematic behaviors.

4. Father and family education in the Collins family

Old Collins was illiterate and mean, but he paid for Collins to go to college. He was strict with Collins, demanding his obedience in everything. Mr Collins sr. did not get along with Mr Bennett, and he forbade her from associating with him, which she never did. Collins the elder had at first brought up his child as a modest man, but his simplicity, lack of life's stresses, a windfall of fortune, and lady Catherine's favour made him conceited.

Among other things, his father left a strong mark on Collins -- a high degree of obedience, a lack of autonomy and a desire for approval. Facing his patron, Lady Catherine, Collins was extremely humble and submissive. Lady Catherine urged him to marry as soon as possible, not mind his wife's humble birth, and he visited the Bennetts with the intention of marrying their daughter. He looked first at Jane, then at Elizabeth, and finally at Charlotte, one of whom would satisfy his patrons, and his own attitude to marriage mattered little. It was he who told Lady Catherine of Lydia's elopement and mocked the Bennetts for her. By complimenting and obeying his patrons, Collins received praise and decent work, free from independent thinking and decision-making. Based on the behavior of the father and his son, we can know that the old Collins carried out instruction education, resulting in Collins' extreme deference to his father and dignitaries.

5. Lucas father and family education

Old Lucas at first from business, profiting a lot, when the mayor, to the King was knighted after the letter. Then he moved to the country to live as a squire. The title glorified him, but it was not arrogant. He was sociable, considerate, friendly by nature, and never gave offence. The novel does not specifically describe how old Lucas teaches his children, but his father's shadow is clearly seen in his daughter Charlotte.


When it comes to relationships, Charlotte is a chip off the old block. When Mrs Bennett flattered her, she flattered her eldest daughter, Jane, to satisfy Mrs Bennett's vanity. The Bennetts publicly criticize Darcy, but Charlotte says she understands darcy, considering darcy's family background and social position. Charlotte came across as sensitive, smooth and easy-going, just like old Lucas.

In being practical and seeking opportunities, Charlotte was as good as Old Lucas. Marriage was dominated by material foundations, right? Charlotte knew she needed stability and not romantic love. Elizabeth made no secret of her dislike for Collins, but Charlotte's friendly attitude left her a backdoor. Collins proposed to Elizabeth was rejected, Mrs. Bennett asked her to help persuade Elizabeth, Elizabeth asked her to help get rid of Collins, but Charlotte has learned of Collins's personality, career and future wealth, realized that this is the right person to marry. She spent time with Collins to make him think he was in love, giving him the right encouragement. Early in the morning to see Collins to her home, they immediately go out to pretend to meet, to Collins to create a chance to propose. After marriage, Charlotte enjoyed taking control of the family, cleverly creating her own private space. Lady Catherine was demanding, but she rose to the occasion for her husband's career. Charlotte's marital shrewdness and high degree of autonomy coincided with old Lucas's rise from business to knighthood.

Compared with other children, Baumrind wrote, the children of authoritative and democratic families were more likely to be on par with their parents on all aspects of their abilities, on cognitive differentiation, on prosocial behaviour, and on children behaving according to the standards set by their parents. Charlotte is emotionally intelligent, cognitively sensitive, socially adept and closely aligned with her father. Compared with Darcy, her prosocial behavior is more prominent and her marriage autonomy is stronger. Therefore, considering the behavioral differences between the children of authoritative family and democratic family, it can be inferred that the education of senior Lucas is democratic.

Four, conclusion

Based on Baumrind's theory of parenting type, the author explores the influence of fathers on their children's education and their character and behavior in Pride and Prejudice, and here summarizes and answers the questions raised at the beginning of the article.

Among the five families, the elder Lucas education was democratic, while the elder Darcy education was authoritative. The common characteristics of the children trained by these two methods were: psychological maturity, clear goals, almost no problem behaviors, and relatively successful in love and marriage. Charlotte, by contrast, is better than Darcy. The education of old Collins is directive, and Collins is seriously lack of autonomy, but he seldom transgresses social regulations, has no problem behavior, and finds a decent job by virtue of obedience. His marriage is dominated by Charlotte.

In contrast, the Bennetts and The Wickham family practiced a laissetic or laissetic plus non-directive parenting, and the children of these two families were psychologically immature, prosocial and had a variety of problem behaviors. As for marriage, the fact that the bennetts' eldest and second daughters joined a rich family made no sense at all. Cross-class marriages were rare and were strongly opposed by aristocratic parents, who could disinherit their children if they chose a mate against their parents' wishes. ? So the relatively logical explanation is that Both Darcy and Bingley's parents have died, leaving them with great wealth and marital autonomy. If both parents were alive, the marriages would be almost impossible. Therefore, their marriage is not representative, whereas it is more logical for Lydia and Wickham, who have the most problematic behavior, to form a disastrous marriage.

In conclusion, in Pride and Prejudice, democratic and authoritative fathers were most likely to produce good children, with children from democratic families being more psychologically mature, socially adept, better at seizing opportunities and more likely to have the right marriage. Children of directive families have high compliance and poor autonomy. The children of laissed-off and non-directive families are characterized by immaturity, social disorder and behavioral deviation. The children of the latter three families have difficulty in obtaining ideal marriages.


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