Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice Chapter 42 Quotes Page 1

How we cite the quotes:
(Chapter.Paragraph)
Quote 1

Had Elizabeth's opinion been all drawn from her own family, she could not have formed a very pleasing opinion of conjugal felicity or domestic comfort.  Her father, captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good humour which youth and beauty generally give, had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had very early in their marriage put an end to all real affection for her.  Respect, esteem, and confidence had vanished for ever; and all his views of domestic happiness were overthrown. […] To his wife he was very little otherwise indebted, than as her ignorance and folly had contributed to his amusement.  This is not the sort of happiness which a man would in general wish to owe to his wife; but where other powers of entertainment are wanting, the true philosopher will derive benefit from such as are given. Elizabeth, however, had never been blind to the impropriety of her father's behaviour as a husband.  She had always seen it with pain; but respecting his abilities, and grateful for his affectionate treatment of herself, she endeavoured to forget what she could not overlook, and to banish from her thoughts that continual breach of conjugal obligation and decorum which, in exposing his wife to the contempt of her own children, was so highly reprehensible.  But she had never felt so strongly as now the disadvantages which must attend the children of so unsuitable marriage, nor ever been so fully aware of the evils arising from so ill-judged a direction of talents; talents, which, rightly used, might at least have preserved the respectability of his daughters, even if incapable of enlarging the mind of his wife. (42.1-3)

There's a lot going on here. First of all, it seems that Lydia and Wickham's marriage might turn out to be similar to Mrs. Bennet's—Lydia has very little going on for her other than her youth. Second, the Bennets have a terrible marriage, and Elizabeth sees a giant "What Not to Do" sign flashing next to her parents. Lastly, a bad marriage will hurt the kids.

Quote 2

But she had never felt so strongly as now the disadvantages which must attend the children of so unsuitable marriage, nor ever been so fully aware of the evils arising from so ill-judged a direction of talents; talents, which, rightly used, might at least have preserved the respectability of his daughters, even if incapable of enlarging the mind of his wife. (42.3)

You know that painful moment when you realize that your parents aren't perfect? Lizzy probably never had to experience that with her mom, but this is the moment she figures out that her father isn't quite as awesome as she thought. Unpleasant, sure—but it's a crucial part of growing up.

Quote 3

But she had never felt so strongly as now the disadvantages which must attend the children of so unsuitable marriage, nor ever been so fully aware of the evils arising from so ill-judged a direction of talents; talents, which, rightly used, might at least have preserved the respectability of his daughters, even if incapable of enlarging the mind of his wife. (42.3)

Here Elizabeth realizes for the first time that her father isn't exactly Dad of the Year. It's just one of many, many revelations about her friends and family that Elizabeth has to have before she's worthy of marrying Mr. Perfect.

Next Page: Chapter 43 Quotes
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