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How do the marriage proposals of Mr Collins and Mr Darcy reflect the attitudes of the day?

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Introduction

How do the marriage proposals of Mr Collins and Mr Darcy reflect the attitudes of the day? Our attitude to marriage is very different to that of the people in the 18th and 19th century. In the 21st century people in the United Kingdom mainly marry for love but in the 18th century love was a bonus! In the early 1800s you had to marry somebody from your own social class and people mainly married for money, status and to unite rich families because the only way to survive was to be part of a strong family. If you did not have family back up you could have starved and been very poor because if your family were not rich there would be no one else, as society would not help you. An example of this is Mr Collins and Charlotte's marriage as Charlotte knew she had to marry to stay in society and to have her own home. It proved to be a successful union as they both wanted the same thing. ...read more.

Middle

Darcy first met Elizabeth at a ball and became social acquaintances. They knew each other for about a year before the proposal and knew each other better than most other couples when they got married. Mr Collins proposed to Lizzy before Mr Darcy but neither thought they would be rejected as they had a lot to offer Lizzy and knew she wasn't wealthy. Mr Collins proposed at the family home and thought his proposal would be accepted but was shocked when he was rejected. Darcy proposed at Roslings and when he arrived he was clearly agitated "after a silence of several minutes he came towards her in an agitated manner." This shows Darcy was not happy despite that he loves Lizzy. Mr Darcy, when proposing, made Elizabeth very angry with the things he said, "Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? To congratulate myself on the hope of relations beneath my own?" Darcy implied to Lizzy that he was doing her a favour as her family were clearly beneath his and despite that he loves her he is not happy as she is not wealthy and has a lower status than him. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that he thinks Lizzy will marry him because of money and hes asking her to marry him but doesn't show much compassion and talks about the death of Lizzy's parents. You can tell this is from the 18th century because if somebody did talk about that now it would be considered very offensive. Mr Darcy also offended Lizzy when proposing his first words are "In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed." This shows he is not happy despite that he is in love with Elizabeth. Darcy also goes on to talk about Lizzy's family "could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? To congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose condition is clearly beneath my own?" This tells us that he is not happy about Elizabeth's family as they are clearly below his and he could never be happy about it. Neither proposal was typical of the 18th century. Mr Collins was proposing for money and wanted a pretty wife to share it with and although at first he wasn't sure Darcy proposed for love. By Louise Rich ...read more.

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