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COMPARE THE PROPOSALS OF MR COLLINS AND MR DARCY TO ELIZABETH DURING CHAPTERS 19 AND 34 IN PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

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Introduction

COMPARE THE PROPOSALS OF MR COLLINS AND MR DARCY TO ELIZABETH DURING CHAPTERS 19 AND 34 IN PRIDE AND PREJUDICE "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" The first sentence of chapter one of "Pride and Prejudice" First published in early 1813, Pride and Prejudice has consistently been one of Jane Austen's most popular novels. It perfectly captures gentry life during the early decades of the 19th century, and tells of one of the most famous and cherished love stories in English literature history: the relationship between Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Austen wittily shows the initial misunderstandings, and later the undying love, between the lively and quick witted Elizabeth and the haughty Mr Darcy. We see how these two lovers overcome various hurdles and stumbling blocks, before they accept the fact that they are in love, and, much to the readers delight, the pair happily marry. Pride and Prejudice is set in the Victorian era, during the early 19th century. It was a time when society was totally patriarchal, and a woman's role in the community, and at home, was only to be a dedicated wife and mother. Women had very few legal rights, and for a woman to be unmarried was deemed unacceptable. ...read more.

Middle

This is not a very nice thing to say to Elizabeth, and is ironic on two counts: One, because he is trying to persuade her to marry him; And two, because she does get more offers of marriage. Mr Collins knows that Mrs Bennet would allow himself and Elizabeth to marry, but he also believes that Mr Bennet would accept the marriage. The reader however, knows that Mr Bennet would never allow it, as he knows that Mr Collins is not good enough for his favourite daughter Elizabeth: "Your mother will never speak to you again if you don't marry him [Mr Collins], and I will never speak to you again if you do". This statement from Mr Bennet, proves that the match is completely absurd, and Mr Collins was stupid to even think that Elizabeth would accept his offer. Mr Darcy's proposal demonstrates how his feelings towards Elizabeth have changed since his earlier dismissal of her as "not handsome enough". While Elizabeth rejects his proposal, this event marks the turning point in the novel. Before Darcy asked Elizabeth to marry him, she felt only disrespect and contempt for him; afterwards, she begins to see him in a new light. She dwells on his proposal and thinks about him all of the time. Jane Austen paraphrases Darcy's proposal as it is more sophisticated and it makes the reader feel sorry for Darcy. ...read more.

Conclusion

She refuses, as she does his first proposal. The second time he asks her to dance she accepts, as she does his second proposal. There are many more differences than similarities between the two proposals. Mr Collins' proposal is very rehearsed and is more like a monologue than a proposal. He talks non-stop and Elizabeth and Mr Collins stand apart, with no eye contact. During Mr Darcy's proposal however, Elizabeth and Mr Darcy stand next to each other, and have constant eye contact. The proposal is very spur-of-the-moment, and Darcy gives Elizabeth a chance to speak. He tells her exactly how he feels about her, and the proposal is passionate throughout. Austen uses emotive language during Darcy's proposal, which makes the atmosphere constantly charged with emotions. Mr Collins' proposal is a complete opposite to this. He shows no love or emotions, and his proposal is feeble and pathetic all the way through. Overall, it is clear from the first moment that we meet Mr Collins, that he is not to be Elizabeth's future husband, but we read in amazement, as both Elizabeth and Mr Darcy argue, make up and eventually fall in love. We see both characters overcome their prides and their prejudices, so they can find true love within one another. "I could not have parted with you, my dear Lizzy, for anyone less worthy." Mr Bennet to Elizabeth, on her marriage to Mr Darcy. ...read more.

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