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The reader is most familiar with the unhappy marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Mr. Bennet married his wife because of her youthful beauty and her ability to have children. The following quote describes how Mrs. Bennet's beauty faded and so did their enjoyment of each other, "[Mr. Bennet] captivated by youth and beauty...had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind, had very early in their marriage put an end to all real affection...Respect, esteem, and confidence had vanished forever." As the lust faded, Mrs. Bennet diverted her attention to finding husbands for her five daughters that would ensure each of them financial and social security. She was often viewed as more of a nuisance than of any help. Her daughter Elizabeth describes her manner as "so far from right herself...[and] entirely insensible of evil." Excluding himself from his wife's pity affairs, Mr. Bennet took refuge in his study reading books. He did, however find amusement in his wife's ignorance and folly. Therefore marriage only for physical appearance is wrong for beauty fades with time.
Unlike Mr. Bennet, Charlotte Lucas did not marry for physical attraction, she married for money. Although Charlotte desired a happy, loving marriage, she was getting old and in turn settled for financial stability and establishment. Mr. Collins had been directed by his mentor, Lady Catherine DeBourg, to find a wife in order to remain in the social status she has placed him. When Elizabeth Bennet did not accept his proposal, he proposed to Charlotte who accepted. Upon hearing of her engagement to Mr. Collins, Charlotte's family was relieved from their apprehension of her dying an old maid. Charlotte explains to Elizabeth her reasons for accepting Mr. Collins' proposal: "I ask only for a comfortable home; and a situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with his is as fair, as most people can boast on entering the marriage state.
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