Mrs. Bennet rushes in to congratulate Mr. Collins but is shocked to hear that Elizabeth refused him. She runs to Mr. Bennet and demands that he convince his daughter to accept.
Although women could refuse a proposal, they were not expected to. Elizabeth shows her dedication to her happiness.
Mr. Bennet calmly calls in Elizabeth and, relishing the moment, tells her: "Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never you see you again if you do."
Mr. Bennet deeply respects his daughter's intelligence. They share an ability to perceive the absurdity in the world.
Outraged, Mrs. Bennet tries to find support from anyone else: Jane, who keeps out of it, and then Charlotte Lucas, who has just arrived to visit. But it's too late. Mr. Collins soon explains to Mrs. Bennet that, though he's not insulted, he has changed his mind about wanting to marry Elizabeth.
In contrast, Mrs. Bennet doesn't really care about Elizabeth's happiness. She treats her daughters like chess pieces in a match-making game. Only marriage matters to her.