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Compare and contrast Mr Collins' proposal to Elizabethwith Mr Darcy's marriage and proposal. How do the proposals and Elizabeth's response contribute to our understanding of Jane Austen's view of marriage?

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Introduction

Compare and contrast Mr Collins' proposal to Elizabeth with Mr Darcy's marriage and proposal. How do the proposals and Elizabeth's response contribute to our understanding of Jane Austen's view of marriage? Jane Austen does not use the word love very often in 'Pride and Prejudice', marriage is mentioned frequently throughout the novel, but love may have been considered too strong a word. During her lifetime Jane Austen was exposed to fashionable society and she learnt to gather inspiration, and then write it down in her witty, poignant way. She lived in a time when reputation was everything and women wanted no more than to settle down with a husband, whom preferably should exceed their own income. Austen received no such husband, but did fall in love, only to be heartbroken when he died before they were even engaged. Though love is a theme in 'Pride and Prejudice' Austen didn't use the word too recklessly but was sure to use it when a relationship was worthy of such a title. ...read more.

Middle

Of course the next obvious choice is Lizzie, the pretty, sensible girl whom could make a very agreeable wife, in his mind. Over the weeks Mr Collins attempts to woo Lizzie in various ways, most of the time trying to impress her with the grand splendour of his patroness Lady Catherine de Bourgh's estate Rosings Park. Of course Lizzie's intelligence is somewhat insulted by Mr Collins' company and she would never be able to marry him but Mrs Bennet and Mr Collins think quite the opposite. Lizzie knew of her mother's intentions and when Mr Collins asked for her permission, Lizzie tried her hardest to escape from the expected proposal. Lizzie is sat down and Mr Collins begins, at first Lizzie looks on to the proposal as amusing, she was close to laughing at the thought of him being 'run away with his feelings' and she has a light heartedness towards him. ...read more.

Conclusion

It would also add, to his reason number two, his happiness. Lizzie's happiness is not mentioned for who could doubt that Lizzie would be happy? Married to a clergyman whom is associated with Lady Catherine de Bourgh? Mr Collins couldn't imagine why she would not be happy so the subject does not arise. The third reason (which he adds should maybe have been mentioned to begin with), that it is 'the particular advice and recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honour of calling my patroness'. Clearly Mr Collins had listened attentively to Lady Catherine de Bourgh for she specifically asked 'chuse a gentlewoman for my sake; and for your own let her be an active, useful sort of person.' Whether or not it was Lizzie whom Mr Collins was proposing to, have it be Mary or even Kitty, they would suit this criteria from Mr Collins' point of view, he is not a perceptive type and sees people how he desires them to be. ...read more.

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