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Consider how Jane Austen presents the character of Mr Collins in the first twenty chapters of Pride and Prejudice.

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Introduction

English Coursework. Consider how Jane Austen presents the character of Mr Collins in the first twenty chapters of Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen presents Mr Collins as a character with many different traits. Mr Collins is a man who is very aware of his social status, likes to impress people, is extremely proud and has an inflated ego to name but a few. The first time we get a mention of Mr Collins, is in chapter thirteen, where we learn that Mr Bennet has in fact never met the man who will inherit the house upon Mr Bennet's death. We learn this from Mr Bennet, and the way he says, "``it is a person whom I never saw in the whole course of my life.''" This suggests that Mr Collins' arrival will be one of great surprise and unexpected. Also, it gives a hint of suspicion, as Mr Collins is Mr Bennet's cousin and yet they have never met before, so why has he suddenly decided to write now? However, the first time we see the character of Mr Collins, is when Mr Bennet reads out his letter. In the first sentence, Mr Collins says: "The disagreement subsisting between yourself and my late honourable father, always gave me much uneasiness" I feel that here Mr Collins is trying to sweeten the family up, so that he could in turn receive something for trying to heal the rift between the two families. ...read more.

Middle

He also talks about Lady Catherine, saying "she had always spoken to him as she would to any other gentleman; she made not the smallest objection to his joining in the society of the neighbourhood, nor to his leaving of the parish occasionally for a week or two, to visit his relations." Here, he is making out that Lady Catherine is so wonderful that she lets him do all this stuff, when in fact he is entitled to do it in the first place. He doesn't need her permission, yet says she gives him permission. Here he shows his lack of independence, showing that he allows himself to be influenced by her wealth and social status. We also see that Mr Collins is not spontaneous, but in fact a person who amuses himself by previously thinking about compliments. He admits this to Mr Bennet, "I sometimes amuse myself with suggesting and arranging such little elegant compliments as may be adapted to ordinary occasions, I always wish to give them as unstudied air as possible." The way Mr Collins is portrayed here shows him to be a man that likes to impress people, trying to find a way to befriend people by bombarding them with compliments and by talking about how wonderful they are to his friends. He uses this to secure his own advantage. When Mr Collins proposes to Elizabeth, he yet again shows he will use flattery to get what he wants, as he says "adds to your perfections" and "natural delicacy". ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, he thinks that even though Elizabeth has only met him, that she has already fallen madly in love with him. In chapter twenty, Mr Collins enters the breakfast-room and talks to Mrs Bennet about the refusal of marriage. When he is talking to her, he says "we are all liable to error. I have certainly meant well through the whole affair. My object has been to secure an amiable companion for myself, with due consideration for the advantage of all your family, and if my manner has been at all reprehensible, I here beg leave to apologise." Here, he is trying to make Mrs Bennet believe that her daughter is in the wrong for turning down Mr Collins, than Mr Collins proposing so early. Also, he is trying to make out that he does not care that Elizabeth has turned him down and that all he wanted out of his proposal was a companion and that he can find someone else to replace her. He is horrified to think that he has been turned down by someone in their situation and can not believe it. Overall, Mr Collins is a man who is so wrapped up in himself that he cannot see how inflated his ego is. He also thinks that he is above everyone else both socially and personally. Mr Collins is also arrogant as he expected Elizabeth to accept his marriage proposal and he is also striving to impress as he tries to sweet talk everyone by paying them compliments. ...read more.

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