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Compare and Contrast the Three Proposals that Elizabeth Receives

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Compare and Contrast the Three Proposals that Elizabeth Receives Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, contains many opinions given by the narrator about the characters, but the true personalities are shown in the way their feelings and words are portrayed. Austen uses dramatic irony to allow the reader to appreciate the hidden feelings of the characters. The unseen feelings of Elizabeth, Mr Darcy and Mr Collins are revealed to others in the novel during the three proposals that occur. There are a number of similarities between the first two proposals that Elizabeth receives. When Mr Collins made his "declaration of form" he expects Elizabeth to say yes, as did Mr Darcy. He "had no doubt of a favourable answer." This shows that they are both bad judges of character, because Elizabeth has no intention of marrying either of them. In fact, at the point in the novel when Mr Darcy proposes, she holds the biggest grudge against him. In both proposals they do not respect Elizabeth's feelings and insult her and her family. Mr Collins believes that "it is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made to her". He thinks this will make her want to marry him, but it has the opposite affect. Austen uses irony to make what Mr Collins says more effective. He emphasizes the fact that she is poor and that nobody else will want to marry her because of it, when actually he has said previously that he will be "uniformly silent" about how much money she will inherit. ...read more.


Elizabeth knows about his speeches and made herself miss her chance to interrupt it because she was "so near to laughing." On the other hand when Mr Darcy proposes he immediately tells her "how ardently he admires and loves her." Austen confirms his true love for Elizabeth by making his proposal disorganized and spontaneous, to show that it comes from the heart. The first proposal, from Mr Collins, is expected and Elizabeth does everything she can to avoid it. She even "begs" her mother not to leave her alone with him. On the other hand, when Mr Darcy arrives "to her utter amazement" she cannot even try to avoid the proposal because she has no idea that is going to happen. When the proposals take place Elizabeth is prepared for Mr Collins, but when Mr Darcy proposed, "she stared, coloured, doubted, and was silent." Austen uses her speechlessness to prove that she had no knowledge of any love Mr Darcy had for her, because she is usually quick thinking whatever happens, but on this occasion she is too shocked to make a clever response. When he proposes she dislikes him the most because he split up her sister and Mr Bingley. Austen emphasizes this hatred by the fact that Elizabeth is reading Jane's letters on his arrival. She, at this point in the novel, believes that Mr Darcy does not like her as much as she does not like him him, so is extremely shocked when he proposes. ...read more.


He shows during his proposal to be selfish, pompous and arrogant. It also shows that he lacks perception, and his pride in himself leads him to believe that he is more important than he actually is. When he is refused the reader is not made to feel sorry for him, but made to feel happy for Elizabeth in her successful refusal. When Mr Darcy first proposes his pride makes him be disrespectful to Elizabeth, and makes him seem rude. He shows that he believes he is superior to her and he should be respected. However, when Elizabeth informs him about how his pride has made him act improperly, he tries to change. In his second proposal he is a lot more thoughtful in the way he behaves, and is shown as a much more likeable character, resulting in the acceptance from Elizabeth. Austen uses irony throughout the novel but it is very clearly noticeable during Mr Collins' proposal to Elizabeth. Austen satirizes Mr Collins during the novel, and informs the reader of his character prior to the proposal to let the reader appreciate his language and actions. On the other hand when Mr Darcy proposes for the second time Austen uses the way in which Mr Darcy and Elizabeth act to let the reader be aware of his, and Elizabeth's feelings. After the proposals the reader is not made to feel sorry for Mr Collins, but is made to feel pleased for Mr Darcy. Throughout the novel Austen satirizes the characters that marry for money, and uses the marriage of Elizabeth and Mr Darcy to show that she thinks the most successful marriage is when they marry for love. ...read more.

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