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Mr. Bennet's initiative to pay a call upon Mr. Bingley is uncharacteristic and exuberantly surprising. While this event occurs early on in the novel, the reader already knows at this point that Mrs. Bennet is the domineering figure in the family, and Mr. Bennet normally tries to escape all the women in his household or observes their antics while making an occasional droll comment.
The effect of his visit is a catalyst for his family's marriage quests to begin in full force. It initiates the relationship between Jane and Bingley and introduces Elizabeth to Mr. Darcy.