• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and Contrast the Three Proposals that Elizabeth Receives

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Jane Austen essays

  1. How do pride and Prejudice affect the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth - Compare ...

    Mr Collins is a very humorous character, and very idiotic. He adds comedy to the novel when in fact he is actually trying to be serious. Jane Austen mocks him as she puts this pompous and arrogant clergyman in a romantic situation.

  2. Elizabeth receives three proposals of marriage in Pride and Prejudice. Why does she ...

    This shows that she is as proud and self interested as Mr Collins. However, Elizabeth lacks self-awareness - she is proud and prejudiced. Elizabeth wants to be seen as an intelligent, educated woman. She wants a marriage but only if it is based on love.

  1. Why Would it Degrade Cathy to Marry Heathcliff?

    Hindley's resentment and, to a degree even some hatred, for Heathcliff grew stronger by the day, because although he was succeeding in making his stepbrother a social out cast, he was also turning his own sister into one as well.

  2. Pride and Prejudice - Compare the proposals Elizabeth receives from Mr Collins and Darcy ...

    to set the example of matrimony in his parish.' This is telling Elizabeth that he does not love her, and this is not what she wants in a marriage. In Mr Darcy's proposal, he starts by telling her 'You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.'

  1. How does Austen use the character of Mr Collins?

    As Elizabeth has already been established as an intelligent person, her observation seems to be accurate. Proof of this opinion comes throughout the novel; he "begged pardon for having displeased her ...he continued to apologise for about a quarter of an hour".

  2. Half Brothers - How far can you sympathise with Helen, Gregory, William Preston and ...

    pretty pale dead face... die... lay dead'. All of these words, used within short distances of each other evoke a feeling of pity and sadness. During this part of the passage, many adjectives are used. The smallness of the child is highlighted on many different occasions during the story, for example, 'wee lassie's hand' and 'little girl'.

  1. Elizabeth receives three proposals of marriage in 'Pride and Prejudice'. Why does she reject ...

    Lady Catherine De Bourgh was if the aristocracy and though she was very rich she wanted her daughter to marry Darcy so her daughter would continue living a pleasant and comfortable life as she was living. Throughout the novel we see the necessity of marriage especially to lower class people like the Bennets as they have all female children.

  2. Pride and Prejudice - Both Darcy and Mr Collins propose to Elizabeth. Compare and ...

    In this proposal Mr Collins feelings come last of all instead of first. We therefore have the impression that his patron Lady Catherine is more important than his wife especially when he quotes her as saying," Mr Collins you must marry.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work