Elizabeth’s relationship with her family is in general quite amicable. Each member of her family has a different character, some interact well, while others not.
Elizabeth has a calm character, often described as intelligent, independent and somewhat more agreeable than her boisterous younger sisters. This makes her more able to get along with the many different classes of characters brought up in the book.
Elizabeth has very much varied relationships within her family. Each character portrayed is very different, taking the obvious example of Jane and Lydia. Jane, with whom Elizabeth gets on especially well with, is described and shown to be calm and extremely mild, especially in her opinion of other characters in the book ‘Jane…who would willingly have gone through the world without believing that so much wickedness existed in the whole race of mankind, as was here collected in one individual’. Elizabeth often had many intimate discussions with Jane, on occasions having shown concern for her, and confiding in her, ‘Elizabeth’s impatience to acquaint Jane with what had happened could no longer be overcome…’
There seems to be no evidence of tension between these two characters in the book.
From this, the reader may assume that Elizabeth is most intimate with Jane, especially in comparison with her mother. She often has disagreements with her mother, especially over the prospects of her future with Mr Collins. Mrs Bennet tends to overreact and compulsively complain attempting to gain pity. She had threatened Elizabeth that if she doesn’t accept his proposal she would never speak to her again. This can imply that her mother doesn’t care much for her daughter’s happiness, as Lizzy had pointedly explained that she had no feelings for him. In their society, it is very important to have married children.
Mrs Bennet takes this very seriously. Another example of Mrs Bennet having little care of who her daughter marries- simply as long as she’s married is when Elizabeth tells her that she’s marrying Mr Darcy. Mrs Bennet reaction is almost delirious with joy, when only minutes earlier she had been proclaiming her dislike of the very same man. Mrs Bennet appears to have petty problems and concerns, which bother Elizabeth not in the slightest. They are portrayed to have very different abilities of entertaining in public. Mrs Bennet is often loud and unreserved. She thrives in gossip and pride of her daughters. Mrs Bennet is very considerate towards Lydia and Jane in particular. From evidence in the book, we can perceive that Lydia and Mrs Bennet have similar personalities. They are both boisterous and in aspects incoherent. Jane and Mrs Bennet get on well, simply because of Jane’s mildness and capability of coping with her mother’s delicate temper. Elizabeth however, appears too strong-minded to bear her mothers unjust attacks about her refusal of Mr Collins.
On the same topic, her father had said that if Lizzy had accepted the proposal from Mr Collins, he would never speak to her- giving Lizzy a choice of which parent not to speak to. Of course Mr Bennet was not serious in his comment, but it lightened the mood and relieved Elizabeth, at the same time startling and upsetting Mrs Bennet. Mr Bennet’s humour enjoyed his wife’s petty concerns and aggravating her. Mr Bennet takes Elizabeth’s feelings very seriously. He would rather have his child unmarried than unhappy.
Her relationship with her father is as close as it could be in those days. Taking the example of Elizabeth’s visit to Hunsford ‘The only pain was in leaving her father, who would certainly miss her… he told her to write to him, and almost promised to answer her letter.’
At the beginning of the book, Mr Bennet is accused by his wife of Elizabeth being his favourite daughter. The reader is shown that Mr Bennet, indeed does get on well with Elizabeth. Their personalities are both reserved, well spoken, and intelligent.
Lydia and Kitty are the two youngest daughters of the family. They are the most mischievous and most like their mother. Their relationship with the elder sisters is minimal. This may be partly explained in that their interests are completely different. Kitty and Lydia are amused by the trivial matters of flirting, especially with the officers, and the latest fashions.
Mary is not mentioned frequently in the plot, however, when mentioned, it is pointedly shown that she is interested in little else than study and philosophy. She shows little talent- especially in singing, or beauty.
Elizabeth and Mary are not shown to speak or connect in little else than discussions. Elizabeth is at times embarrassed by Mary’s lack of talent, yet determination. For example, at the ball Mary was determined to entertain everyone by singing. She sang several songs, with “a weak voice”, finally being interrupted by her father who delicately put that other ladies should have the chance to entertain. In this respect Elizabeth feels sympathy for her sister, so that she doesn’t embarrass herself. There is little other interaction shown between these two characters.
Elizabeth has a close relationship with several members of her immediate family. She appears to connect well with characters of a similar personality and disposition. At times however, it seems that she needs a break from her family. For example, when Jane had been invited to stay with her aunt and uncle, the Gardiners, Elizabeth had no body to talk to, as Charlotte was in Hunsford. Elizabeth, although at first not intending to go visit Charlotte grew increasingly fond of the idea. It was implied to be because she couldn’t stand her mother and younger sisters. She had growing pressure from her mother, as she was still disappointed with her for her refusal of Mr Collins. This shows how her family is at times unbearable.