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Pride and Prejudice Love Quotes

Instructor: Kimberly Myers

Kimberly has taught college writing and rhetoric and has a master's degree in Comparative Literature.

This lesson includes a selection of quotations about love from Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'. The quotes highlight various characters' perspectives on love, as well as the general attitude toward love during the time period.

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Pride and Prejudice is a love story, primarily the love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, which results after many twists and turns in their decision to marry. Throughout the novel, Austen explores various views of love and other considerations that motivate different characters to marry.

Let's take a look at some of these views of love and quotes from the novel regarding love and marriage.

Status, Security, and Convenience

In some people's eyes during this time period, love isn't really the goal of marriage--it's more of a bonus. Financial security and social standing come first as established in the novel's famous opening sentence:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Mrs. Bennet is relying on this truth to secure her daughters' futures, as this exchange with Mr. Bennet demonstrates:

A single man of large fortune....What a fine thing for our girls!

How so? How can it affect them?

'My dear Mr. Bennet,' replied his wife, 'how can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them.'

Charlotte and Mr. Collins

This pragmatic approach to marriage is illustrated by Mr. Collins's proposal to Elizabeth and his marriage to Charlotte. Mr. Collins comes to Longbourn to choose a Bennet sister. When that fails, he decides Charlotte Lucas is acceptable.

Mr. Collins' proposal to Elizabeth clearly illustrates his pragmatism--and, not surprisingly, fails to sweep her off her feet.

My reasons for marrying are, first, that I think it a right thing for every clergyman...to set the example of matrimony...; secondly, that I am convinced that it will add very greatly to my happiness; and thirdly--which perhaps I ought to have mentioned earlier, that it is the particular advice...of the...noble lady whom I have the honour of calling patroness.

When Mr. Collins turns almost immediately to Elizabeth's friend Charlotte Lucas, he finds a more like-minded life partner.

Miss Lucas, who accepted him solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment, cared not how soon that establishment were gained.

News of Charlotte's engagement shocks Elizabeth, who is resolved to marry only for love.

She had always felt that Charlotte's opinion of matrimony was not exactly like her own, but she had not supposed...she would have sacrificed every better feeling to worldly advantage. Charlotte the wife of Mr. Collins was a most humiliating picture!

Mr. and Mrs. Bennet

The Bennets' marriage is a union of a woman who as mentioned earlier is generally pragmatic and a man whose affection for his wife has faded over time.

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.

Mr. Bennet settles for making comments that provoke Mrs. Bennet and amuse him. He takes similar amused disinterest in his daughters' romantic pursuits.

So, Lizzy,...your sister is crossed in love, I find. I congratulate her. Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then. It is something to think of, and it gives her a sort of distinction among her companions. When is your turn to come?

Jane and Bingley

Unlike Charlotte and Mr. Collins, and Jane's parents, Jane and Bingley area love match and their good natured personalities make them a perfect couple. Though it takes time to solidify their relationship, their feelings about one another are constant. Jane expresses her admiration and love for Bingley in comments such as:

'He is just what a young man ought to be,' said she, 'sensible, good humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners! -- so much ease, with such perfect good breeding!'

'I am certainly the most fortunate creature that ever existed!'

Elizabeth and Darcy

Now we come to the central love story of the novel. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have a tumultuous road to love. Their meeting at a ball leaves them both with a bad first impression based on--what else--their pride and prejudice.

Mr. Darcy's attitude begins to warm, however, when he has more opportunities to observe Elizabeth.

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