What is the major conflict in Pride and Prejudice?

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

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One of the major conflicts that is introduced at the beginning of the book is how difficult it is for a young woman to marry well with little or no dowry. 

The other conflict that exists from the beginning is the looming prospect of being kicked out of their house if Mr. Bennet should die.  With no male heir in his family, the home will pass to the next male in the family, Mr. Collins.  So the Bennet's are in a state of high anxiety about being evicted from their home from the beginning of the story.

This leads to additional conflict from Mrs. Bennet on the lack of appropriate gentleman callers for her five daughters.  Particularly for Jane and Lizzie, the two oldest girls.  Mrs. Bennetis in a state of agitation over finding suitable, men of means, to court her daughters.  She believes that if either of them marry well that they could provide for her and the other girls if Mr. Bennet should die.

Mrs. Bennet's angst over finding Jane and Lizzie husbands dominates the beginning of the story, it is her vulgar expressions, her over the top behavior, her crude behavior that so disturbs Mr. Darcy.  Even when the girls are invited to a ball, and surrounded by potential suitors, Mrs. Bennet cannot suppress her need to gush about the problems at finding a husband for her daughters.