Pride and Prejudice

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Mrs. Bennet Character Analysis

Mrs. Bennet is a giddy, frivolous woman whose only purpose in life seems to be gossiping and marrying off her five daughters. She lacks any awareness of her vulgar conduct and embarrasses Elizabeth and Jane to no end. Her behavior depicts what can happen to women when they lack an education and the ability to think for themselves.

Mrs. Bennet Quotes in Pride and Prejudice

The Pride and Prejudice quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Bennet or refer to Mrs. Bennet. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Pride and Prejudice published in 2002.
Chapter 49 Quotes
It is all very right; who should do it but her own uncle? If he had not had a family of his own, I and my children must have had all his money, you know; and it is the first time we have ever had anything from him, except a few presents. Well! I am so happy! In a short time I shall have a daughter married. Mrs. Wickham! How well it sounds!
Related Characters: Mrs. Bennet (speaker), George Wickham, Lydia Bennet, Mr. Gardiner
Page Number: 290
Explanation and Analysis:

Thanks to Mr. Gardiner, Lydia's honor and reputation have been saved: Mr. Wickham will marry Lydia, as long as Mr. Bennet pays him a certain amount annually. Suspecting that Mr. Gardiner has already paid Wickham a good deal himself, Elizabeth and Jane wonder how they can ever repay him. Mrs. Bennet, though, does not linger over such questions of gratitude or debt. She is shown here at her most shallow, caring largely for appearances - how impressed others will be that Lydia is marrying such a man. She doesn't think of what kind of character Wickham must have: for Mrs. Bennet too marriage is a kind of transaction, and while Austen doesn't entirely disagree with this point of view, she shows just how much she disapproves of taking that idea to this extreme. 

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Mrs. Bennet Character Timeline in Pride and Prejudice

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Bennet appears in Pride and Prejudice. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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...wife." Then the narrator begins the story. One day in their modest house in Longbourn, Mrs. Bennet shares some news with her husband, Mr. Bennet. A wealthy young gentleman, Charles Bingley, has... (full context)
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Mrs. Bennet asks her husband to get them an introduction. Mr. Bennet purposely frustrates his wife by... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Mrs. Bennet is delighted and praises her husband and his little joke. She promises all the girls... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Returning home, Mrs. Bennet regales her husband with an abundance of details. She is excited for Jane and convinced... (full context)
Chapter 7
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A letter arrives to Jane from Caroline Bingley inviting her to visit. Mrs. Bennet schemes to send Jane on horseback, even though it will rain, so that she will... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Elizabeth sends home a note requesting that her mother come and visit Jane. Mrs. Bennet arrives with Lydia and, not wishing Jane to leave Bingley's company, declares that Jane seems... (full context)
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In conversation, Mrs. Bennet , seeking to raise Jane's status, tries to impress Bingley about her family and their... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Elizabeth and Jane write to Mrs. Bennet to send their carriage to take them home. Mrs. Bennet, still scheming to have them... (full context)
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Though Mrs. Bennet is disappointed that Jane and Elizabeth didn't stay, Mr. Bennet is glad to have them... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...surprise guest: Mr. Collins, the relative who will inherit Mr. Bennet's estate. The news upsets Mrs. Bennet because Mr. Collins can legally kick Mrs. Bennet and her daughters out of the house... (full context)
Chapter 15
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...so will atone for the injustice of his taking over their inheritance. He privately tells Mrs. Bennet his intentions, and she redirects his target from Jane, whom she hopes will marry Bingley,... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...Collins rudely introduces himself to Darcy and later pontificates to the whole assembly. Darcy overhears Mrs. Bennet talking about Jane and Bingley like they're already married. Mary insists on playing the piano,... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Mrs. Bennet rushes in to congratulate Mr. Collins but is shocked to hear that Elizabeth refused him.... (full context)
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Outraged, Mrs. Bennet tries to find support from anyone else: Jane, who keeps out of it, and then... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Sir William Lucas arrives to share his happy news. Mrs. Bennet and Lydia rudely exclaim that they cannot believe it, but Elizabeth intervenes to congratulate him... (full context)
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Mrs. Bennet fumes for days. She is angry with Elizabeth, the Lucases, and Charlotte, who will someday... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Mr. Collins leaves again and Mrs. Bennet 's brother and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, arrive for a visit. Mr. Gardiner is... (full context)
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After listening sympathetically to Mrs. Bennet 's outpouring of complaints, Mrs. Gardiner speaks with Elizabeth about Jane's situation. Elizabeth confirms that... (full context)
Chapter 39
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When they arrive home, Mr. Bennet is glad to see Elizabeth and Jane, Mrs. Bennet wants to hear about the latest fashions, and Kitty and Lydia want to walk to... (full context)
Chapter 42
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...married a foolish woman, he sought comfort in his library and in making fun of Mrs. Bennet . Though Elizabeth hates to admit it, Mr. Bennet has failed as a respectful spouse... (full context)
Chapter 46
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...them were now in London. The colonel and Mr. Bennet have gone there to search; Mrs. Bennet is a nervous wreck. Jane asks Elizabeth to come home immediately; she also requests that... (full context)
Chapter 47
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At Longbourn, Mrs. Bennet is holed up in her room, frantic with nervousness, and blames Colonel Foster for not... (full context)
Chapter 49
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Jane and Elizabeth share the news with Mrs. Bennet , who is overjoyed, instantly forgetting Lydia's disgrace. Asked about repaying Mr. Gardiner, Mrs. Bennet... (full context)
Chapter 50
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As Mrs. Bennet makes plans for Lydia's wedding, Elizabeth regrets having told Darcy about the scandal. She expects... (full context)
Chapter 53
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Soon after Wickham and Lydia leave, Mrs. Bennet hears rumors that Bingley is returning to Netherfield. Mr. Bennet refuses to visit him, however. (full context)
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...has returned for her. Bingley, however, warms up to Jane as the initial awkwardness subsides. Mrs. Bennet reminds Bingley about having left the neighborhood so suddenly, and reinvites Bingley and Darcy to... (full context)
Chapter 54
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Darcy, however, sits at the far end of the table from Elizabeth, next to Mrs. Bennet , and barely speaks to Elizabeth. Afterwards, she feels silly for thinking she had another... (full context)
Chapter 55
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Bingley visits again, this time alone. Mrs. Bennet , expecting a proposal, awkwardly clears everyone but Jane from the room. Nothing happens. The... (full context)
Chapter 56
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...Lady Catherine De Bourgh makes a surprise visit to Longbourn. She says almost nothing to Mrs. Bennet , coolly inspecting the rooms and property, then asks Elizabeth to take a walk. (full context)
Chapter 59
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Mrs. Bennet is annoyed when Darcy returns the next day with Bingley. She apologizes to Elizabeth for... (full context)
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Elizabeth tells her mother the news that night. After a moment of shock, Mrs. Bennet joyfully stutters that Elizabeth will be genteel and rich—even richer than Jane! Elizabeth fears that... (full context)
Chapter 61
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...year later, Jane and Bingley move into an estate near Elizabeth and Darcy at Pemberley. Mrs. Bennet , extremely proud, visits them often. Mr. Bennet misses Elizabeth and visits frequently, too. Kitty... (full context)