In "Pride and Prejudice," how do the Bennets view marriage?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Bennets seem to be a product of their time, when marriage was more of a business arrangement that a love match. It is obvious that the Mr. and Mrs. Bennet were totally different characters and had little in common. Mrs. Bennet's job was to give Mr. Bennet a male heir since his property was entailed, or had to be passed on to the closest male heir. Unfortunately, Mrs. Bennet had no sons, one of the many reasons she is so obsessed with finding her daughters "good matches". By that, she means they must marry men with money enough to support her daughters and herself, once Mr. Bennet dies. Elizabeth, though, is more concerned with marrying for love and thus she defies her mother and turns down Mr. Collins' proposal. Given her ideas about marriage, Mrs. Bennet is furious. She simply cannot understand why her daughter would turn down such a generous offer. Collins is, after all, heir to the Bennet estate. However, Jane Austen is on Elizabeth's side and all turn out well in the end.

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Pride and Prejudice

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