Pride and Prejudice

by: Jane Austen

Gender

1
When she is secure of him, there will be leisure for falling in love as much as she chooses.

Charlotte speaks this quote to Elizabeth when offering an opinion on how Jane ought to behave in order to end up married to Bingley. Charlotte does not think it is important for Jane to love Bingley or know very much about him. She believes Jane should work to get married as quickly as possible so that she can feel secure and have her own home. This quote reveals how limited options were for women at this time and the way in which women like Charlotte accepted the fact that they would probably not get to marry for love.

2
I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder now at your knowing any.

Elizabeth makes this retort to Darcy after he explains the high standards he has for women and the skills he expects them to possess. Elizabeth sarcastically points out that his expectations are unrealistic and unfair. Darcy is very quick to assume that other people are inadequate without questioning whether his expectations are reasonable. When Elizabeth challenges him, she shows that she is not afraid of him and that she believes her own opinion is just as valid as his.

3
Oh! Mr. Bennet, you are wanted immediately; we are all in an uproar. You must come and make Lizzy marry Mr. Collins, for she vows she will not have him.

This quote is spoken by Mrs. Bennet when she hears that Elizabeth has rejected Mr. Collins. The quote shows that Mrs. Bennet does not think her daughter has the right to choose whom she marries. She hopes that Mr. Bennet will back her up, and while her cry for help is ironic given Mr. Bennet’s personality, it is also revealing of gender roles at the time. Fathers usually had unlimited authority over their daughters, and it would not be uncommon for a man to make his daughter marry someone if the arrangement benefited the family.