Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice Chapter 59 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
"I have given him my consent. He is the kind of man, indeed, to whom I should never dare refuse anything, which he condescended to ask. I now give it to you, if you are resolved on having him. But let me advise you to think better of it. I know your disposition, Lizzy. I know that you could be neither happy nor respectable, unless you truly esteemed your husband; unless you looked up to him as a superior. Your lively talents would place you in the greatest danger in an unequal marriage. You could scarcely escape discredit and misery. My child, let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect your partner in life." (59.36)
This is kind of interesting, as far as we can get a sense of Mr. Bennet's views on partnership as a necessary part of marriage. The idea itself is kind of confused, though—which should Elizabeth want, equality of intelligence, since she would be miserable in an "unequal marriage"? Or does Mr. Bennet still think that in a relationship the man must be smarter than the woman, so that she would think him "a superior"? If it's the latter, then shouldn't his own marriage be totally awesome?