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Compare the Proposals Elizabeth Receives From Mr Collins and Mr Darcy and Her Reactions to Them

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Compare the Proposals Elizabeth Receives From Mr Collins and Mr Darcy and Her Reactions to Them "Pride and Prejudice" deal with several issues important to people in the early 19th century. Marriage is a key theme in this book of love, hatred, pride and prejudice. Marriage was highly imperative in the early 19th century, especially with girls born into less wealthy families. Being over 25 and unmarried was an extremely undesirable position to be in. It was also necessary for a young girl to marry so that she was not financially dependant on her family. At the beginning of the novel, Austen writes, "a wealthy, single man must need a wife." This was the attitude of women who wanted and needed a husband. For women in the early 19th century, women were customarily restricted to the home and their families. For women in upper-middle class, such as the Bennet family, life consisted of dances, dinners and visits to their friends and relatives. A woman's place in society was to marry a (preferably wealthy) man as a duty to her parents. Also she would have been expected to have at least one son to ensure that their family's estate can stay in the family. Mrs Bennet was so keen to marry her daughters off to a wealthy gentleman to ensure Mr Collins would not get the Longbourn estate, which would be disastrous. As Mr and Mrs Bennett had 5 children, they had assumed that at least one of them would be a boy and inherit Longbourn. ...read more.


For example, after Mr Collins' has requested time alone with Lizzy she "begs (she) you will not go." This was quite rude of Lizzy, but Mr Collins' thinks it "only adds to your other perfections." Lizzy is also guilty of being subject to the vices of pride and prejudice. She is prejudice towards Mr Collins' who has been brought up to believe that he is dull and boring, however she does not know him very well. She is also prejudice towards him because she thinks the worst of him because he is entitled to the estate after her father dies. This is not his fault or anything he has done to deserve it, it is just the entail law. Lizzy is also guilty of having a lot of pride. She does not want to marry Mr Collins even though she knows that it will save her estate and she is getting old. She does not want to marry Mr Collins beause she does not want to have to swallow her pride and admit that she is going against her values and marrying for convenience rather than love. In chapter 34 we see Mr Darcy, in an agitated manner walked towards Lizzy and he said, "In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." This is already a contrast to Mr Collins' proposal. Here we can tell that Mr Darcy is nervous about asking for Lizzy's hand in marriage, whereas Mr Collins "set about it in a very orderly manner." ...read more.


Mr Darcy also overcame prejudices towards Lizzy that she is inferior to him. By his second proposal. He also realises that "I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle." This means that he has got rid of some of his pride that he is he most important person and everyone else is inferior. By forgiving him for his vices, Lizzy has shown that she has overcome her Pride as she can listen to others and accept it when they apologise. By the end of this chapter Mr Darcy modestly enlightens Elizabeth that he has apologised to Mr Bingley about his unfounded advice about Jane. Again, this shows us that Mr Darcy has overcome both Pride and prejudice. He has overcome pride by talking to someone and apologising for something that he did out of superiority. He is also less prejudice as he realises that Jane really did love Mr Bingley despite her inferior connections and social status. Throughout this novel we see many vices in almost everyone we meet. By the end of the novel both Mr Darcy and Lizzy have overcome their vices and have found true love. Jane Austen uses this to show the reader how our views can be clouded by unfounded judgements and feelings of superiority and inability to swallow our pride and accept our faults and wrong doings. She also used this to show how when we break away from these harsh moulds we can find true beauties in people we never thought possible. ...read more.

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