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Discuss Mr. Collins' Proposal to Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's Novel 'Pride & Prejudice'

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Introduction

Discuss Mr. Collins' Proposal to Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's Novel 'Pride & Prejudice' 'It is a truth acknowledged, that a man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife' This quote not only opens the novel, but also sets the tone of the narrative story. It says that a man in possession of money and being an eligible bachelor would have every spinster in the neighbourhood wanting to be his wife In the nineteenth century women were below men in status. Men owned everything. After the death of the master of the house all his possessions were given to the next male relative. In the novel as there were only five daughters Jane, Elizabeth, Kitty, Mary and Lydia and no males in the immediate family, so their mother, Mrs. Bennet, as she is called in the novel is determined to get her daughters married as soon as possible. When the Bennet family received the letter from Mr.Collins, which included the words, '.. Assure you of my readiness to make them every possible amends, but of this hereafter' this shows that Mr. Collins was hinting that he is looking for a wife. When Mrs. ...read more.

Middle

Mr.Collins then came out with his first reason for his proposal, '...first that I think it a right thing for every clergyman in easy circumstances (like myself) to set the example of matrimony in the parish;' This shows he obviously wants to marry her to set a good example to his parish, it also this shows her doesn't care about her, but what Lady Catherine de Bourgh wishes and his reputation. He then states, '..secondly, that I am convinced it will add very greatly to my happiness;..' Once again he is showing that he thinks marriage will bring him happiness, he has no idea that marriage is suppose to be about being in love, trust, companionship and getting to know each other beforehand. '.. and thirdly-which perhaps I ought to have mentioned earlier, that it is the particular advice and recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honour of calling patroness.' This is actually the only true reason that he wants to marry her, to please Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Mr.Collins is frightened of not complying with her wishes. He sees her suggestion as an order or a command and he would never disobey her because he is very aware of her superior rank in the society, this shows him to be cowardly, weak and rather silly man who can be easily intimidated. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even when Elizabeth gives him these reasons for refusal he still continues, 'I cannot imagine that her ladyship would at all disapprove of you' The reader will know that he has once again mis-judged her character. Later on in the novel Elizabeth and Lady Catherine are introduced to each other. Lady Catherine clearly despises Elizabeth's outspoken manner and lack of awe. Elizabeth, getting annoyed by the lack by his persistence still behaved as a young lady and had to remain polite and assure him that he could only leave Longbourn feeling he has done his duty. 'In making me the offer, you must satisfied the delicacy of your feelings with regard to my family.' She then went to leave the room, thinking he had finally understood her, but Mr.Collins was persistent and had not understand why she refused such a great and wonderful proposal, as he thought himself eligible and worthy husband. He tried once again to change her mind, 'My situation in life, my connection with the family of de Bourgh and my relationship to your own, are circumstances of high favour'. Mr.Collins the greatly insulted her, as she was just to leave the room, 'it is by no means certain, that another offer of marriage may be ever be made to you' , but as a reader we know that that is certainly not true. Natalie Best 10R ...read more.

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