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Compare and contrast the two proposals to Elizabeth Bennet.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast the two proposals to Elizabeth Bennet by Mr Collins and Mr Darcy in chapters 19 and 34 of Pride and Prejudice. How does Jane Austen shape our response to each character and prompt us to feel sympathy for Elizabeth? I think is reasonable to say that Jane Austen is one of the most influential women writers of all time, her works being those of which can be returned to more than those of any other author, offering new insights at each encounter. Pride and Prejudice is one such illustration of this. Jane Austen first wrote the novel in 1779, then entitled First Impressions, but did not publish it. After reworking the novel it appeared in 1811 as Pride and Prejudice whilst she was living in Chawton, Hampshire, with her mother and sister. It is unfair to compare Jane Austen's works to modern day soap operas; however her writing in Pride and Prejudice has got similar characteristics to those of a juicy Eastenders story line and when it was written would've kept her audience keen in the same way. I believe that Jane Austen led a happy, if not slightly monotonous life and writing was a way to excite and entertain her, respectable women in Georgian Britain being neither expected nor allowed to work, writing was an easy way to venture into a stimulating world. ...read more.

Middle

This alone is reason enough to feel sorry for Lizzie, not wanting to jeopardize her family's estate and security but the thought of marrying such an insufferable man unthinkable. He begins the proposal in his gauche fashion, assuring Lizzie that 'the marriage will add very greatly to (his) happiness'. It is clear that Mr Collins has no regard for the happiness of Elizabeth and believes that he has guaranteed her acceptance because of the duty she feels towards her family. We understand how difficult it must be for Lizzie to refuse Mr Collins for she doesn't want him to loose respect and fondness for her family, aware that this could affect how kind he would be to them when Mr Bennet passes away. It is a very difficult situation; Lizzie is forced to make the decision between her own life and happiness or her family's security and peace of mind. Obviously, one would hope that in any marriage both partners are content and in love, enjoying each others company. HANDWRITTEN SECTION After assuring Elizabeth that when the marriage is sanctioned by her parents she will have no choice but to accept she feels no other option to get as far away from Mr Collins as she can, hoping that her parents will do nothing of the sort. ...read more.

Conclusion

Conversely, Mr Darcy does not come to Elizabeth with the intention of insulting her and making her feel mediocre of him but with his blunt honesty cannot help but tell her his true, and unflattering, feelings about her downsides. Both of them are brutally candid and so although I feel sorry for both of them, I also feel that they gave as good as they got. Mr Darcy's insults were far less intentional than those of Elizabeth's, which almost makes him worse. If he had been kinder to Elizabeth then she would not have been so malicious toward him and his feelings would never have been hurt. The fact that he felt that he could not hide his motives for believing she was inferior does make me feel sympathy for Elizabeth, sometimes it is worse to be insulted when you know that somebody does not have the intention of insulting you. Mr Darcy's only saving grace for his pitiable proposal is that, unlike Mr Collins, he does not beg Elizabeth to marry him, simply accepting her refusal and asking why. Whereas Mr Collins did not want to know why Elizabeth refused him, he attempted to talk her round, firstly trying to persuade her, later almost begging. Even if Mr Darcy only left with one thing, at least it was his dignity. CONCLUSION ...read more.

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