What were the consequences of Lydia Bennet and George Wickham's relationship in Pride and Prejudice? How did Lydia's obligation to get married contribute to it?

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Lydia and Wickham's elopement generates much of the drama in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice because their relationship profoundly affects all the principal characters. Lydia's irresponsible behavior — and the fact that she and Wickham do not initially marry — tarnishes the reputation of the other Bennet sisters and potentially damages their prospects of marrying well. As Mr. Collins states following the elopement:

The death of your [Mr. Bennet's] daughter would have been a blessing in comparison of this... They agree with me in apprehending that this false step in one daughter will be injurious to the fortunes of all the others; for who, as Lady Catherine herself condescendingly says, will...

(The entire section contains 332 words.)

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