How does idea of relationships between siblings affect "Pride and Prejudice"? Especially relationships between the Bennett sisters. Some siblings act as foils to each other; others...

How does idea of relationships between siblings affect "Pride and Prejudice"? Especially relationships between the Bennett sisters.

Some siblings act as foils to each other; others are in competition; still others are mutually supportive and encouraging. But how do the Bennet sisters associate with each other?

Thank you.

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pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The Bennett sisters have a unique relationship that is affected not only by their family relationship, particularly by their mother's attitude toward marriage, but also by the rules that govern the society in which they live.  It was expected in polite society for the older girls to be launched into society and married before the younger sisters in the family. 

This is not the case in Pride and Prejudice, Lydia gets married before her older sisters, causing a family scandal, especially due to her unchaste behavior.

Lydia's decision to run off with Mr. Wickham puts the whole family's reputation in jeopardy, it could technically rule out certain types of matches for Jane and Lizzie. 

Effectively, with Lydia's disgrace, the Bennett family could be considered to be in social exile.  If it were not for Mr. Darcy who makes sure that Wickham marries Lydia, they would be ruined.  He literally rescues the family's name from absolute ruination.

Lizzie and Jane are very supportive of each other, when Jane falls in love with Bingley, Lizzie is delighted. And, when Lizzie tells Jane of her love for Darcy, she understands her sister's decision.

When Lizzie meets Mr. Darcy, initially he rejects her based on the behavior of her sisters, Kitty and Lydia, as well as Mary's incessant piano playing.  He finds the younger sisters ill-mannered.

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