Pride and Prejudice

by: Jane Austen

Family

Quotes Family
The business of her life was to get her daughters married.

This quote describes Mrs. Bennet’s ambitious focus on finding wealthy husbands for her five daughters. The use of the word “business” suggests that she sees this project both as her primary occupation (similar to a man’s profession) and also that marriage is connected to economic advantages. The quote illustrates the theme of family because it reveals that the romantic lives of the Bennet sisters are not private matters but shared family concerns. Rather than choosing partners for themselves, the daughters will have their choices shaped and influenced by their parents and siblings.

You will have a charming mother-in-law, and of course she will always be at Pemberley with you.

Miss Bingley speaks this quotation when Mr. Darcy expresses his admiration for Elizabeth Bennet. She is clearly jealous and trying to find something insulting to say about Elizabeth. Rather than criticizing Elizabeth directly, Miss Bingley attacks her by sarcastically praising Mrs Bennet. This comment is meant to make Mr. Darcy reflect on how unpleasant it would be to be forced to spend a lot of time with Mrs. Bennet. The quote reveals the significance of family in the novel, because even though Lizzy may be very attractive, her family members are still a significant factor in determining whether she is a desirable marriage prospect. Even though one cannot control who one’s family is, that family has a significant impact on the possibility of achieving happiness.

Her hopes were answered; Jane had not been gone long before it rained hard. Her sisters were uneasy for her, but her mother was delighted.

This quotation shows how obsessive Mrs. Bennet is about finding husbands for her daughters and how she does not actually care about their comfort or happiness. As it turns out, Jane getting drenched during the rainstorm leads her to become dangerously ill, but Mrs. Bennet is more preoccupied with how the rainstorm might help Jane to find a husband by forcing her to extend her visit at Netherfield Park. In the novel, family is not always a source of love and support. As this quote shows, family members sometimes encourage behavior that is actually harmful.

To Elizabeth it appeared, that had her family made an agreement to expose themselves as much as they could during the evening, it would have been impossible for them to play their parts with more spirit, or finer success.

This quote reveals how embarrassed Elizabeth is by her family’s behavior in public spaces, especially when they interact with high-status characters such as Darcy and the Bingleys. While Elizabeth is often shown defending her family when other characters make fun of them, she is also too intelligent not to notice that her family does indeed lack social graces. This quote reveals how family is shown to be a source of tension in the novel and how the behavior of the other Bennets can be a source of unhappiness to both Elizabeth and Jane.