Mr. Bennet has a dry sense of moral detachment, which allows him to continually re-frame contexts into more agreeable opinions. This shows most notably in his anger over Wickham and Lydia, which then becomes a sense of mockery in how “proud he is of my son-in-law.” He imagines no one else has such a fine peacock of one. He routinely messes with the emotional dynamics of the house for his own dry amusement, and often makes little barbing remarks to aggravate his wife (he has “every respect for your nerves, Madam, as I have lived with them for twenty-five years”). He often detachedly insults his entire family, continually referencing how insipid his daughters are, and they have not two “wits” to rub together between them, except for Lizzie. Though somewhat aware of social expectations and dynamics, he is flawed in how he approaches them—his rough attempt to get Mary to cease playing the piano humiliates her rather than seems effortless. Rather than abide by social customs, Mr. Bennet participates in them while routinely mocking them and all forms of conventional behavior. He often sneaks witty remarks into conversation at the dinner table, and has fun mocking Mr. Collins to his face, knowing the man too stupid to know the difference. He is quick to see the difference, when given new information – and reads between the lines quite well, such as when he says whomever paid off Wickham to marry Lydia must have given him a “vast amount.” He knows Lydia has no good fortune to recommend her. He refuses to allow Wickham back into the house, then welcomes him for dinner, and seems a little fond of him (perhaps) by the time he leaves.

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Mr. Bennet is an observer of life, not a direct participant. He hates parties and social events, and would rather stay in his library and read books. He begrudgingly performs the obligatory things society demands (such as introducing himself to Mr. Bingley, so his wife can then pawn off the girls on him) but by in large, prefers to remain detached. He celebrates his own intelligence, and looks down on anyone who cannot match it; he likes Jane for her sweetness, but also observes that she and Bingley are so good-natured, all their servants will cheat them going forward; and Lizzie for her rapier wit, which he sees as equal to his own. His 6 wing is humorous and can see the funny side of things, also wants a generally warm relationship with others, and is suspicious and prone to fretting when things go wrong.