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I've recently been studying Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, however this line confuses me:

"Her mind was less difficult to develop"

I'm aware that Mrs Bennet is less intelligent than her husband (this line is talking about her) - however surely if her mind was less difficult to develop, then it would mean she was more intelligent. Surely the more difficult it is to develop a mind, the stupider a person is?

I feel as if I'm being stupid and missing something - but I really don't understand it.


Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three and twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. Her mind was less difficult to develop. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper.


migrated to english.stackexchange.com by ladenedge May 3 '12 at 14:58

This question belongs on our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

I think a bit more context might be necessary to analyze that line. –  DForck42 Sep 19 '11 at 17:16
Also, welcome to Literature.StackExchange! –  DForck42 Sep 19 '11 at 17:16
Thanks! :D I've added the full quote to my OP. –  Joesavage1 Sep 19 '11 at 17:17
"develop" here roughly means "explain", as TML's answer says: "Her mind was less difficult to explain/describe". –  ShreevatsaR Sep 20 '11 at 2:23

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