This is something I have referenced in previous posts, (see Mr. Bennet and the Entailment Part I and Part II) but that I think is very important to consider. I really do think that in some ways Mr. Bennet could be considered one of Pride and Prejudice’s villains, primarily due to his neglect of his family. Mrs. Bennet really didn’t do her daughters many favors, but she does at least appear to be attempting to do something and if she wasn’t so focused on the idea of marrying her daughters off to rich men or so intellectually limited she might have actually accomplished something. Mr. Bennet was certainly aware of his wife’s limitations and obsessions and could have at least attempted to direct her efforts towards more useful pursuits.
When it comes to parenting their five daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet aren’t likely to be up for any awards. Both of them play favorites while neglecting to educate their daughters and have chosen an economic course that requires the girls to marry well or face lives of genteel poverty which their upbringings have made them entirely unprepared for.