• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Mr. Collins' and Mr. Darcy's first proposals to Elizabeth. How do they style and the content of the proposals reflect on how these three characters are portrayed in the rest of the novel. In what ways are attitudes to marriage different from today?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Pride and Prejudice Compare and contrast of Mr. Collins' and Mr. Darcy's first proposals to Elizabeth. How do they style and the content of the proposals reflect on how these three characters are portrayed in the rest of the novel. In what ways are attitudes to marriage different from today? Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' reveals the importance of social status and how marriages affected women at that time. The book opens with the words, 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.' This implies that the chief interest in the book will be marriage. The main character is Elizabeth Bennet who, unlike Charlotte Lucas, does not want to marry only for a comfortable and to avoid the stigma of not being married, but also for love. There is a big contrast between Mr Collins' and Darcy's proposal and give us insight into these three character. Mr. Collins is a figure of comedy in this novel. He is described as 'not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society'. He speaks in a very formal way indeed. He is a picture of 'pride and obsequiousness, self-importance and humility' At Longbourn having been told that Jane was likely to marry Mr. ...read more.

Middle

The first reason is that he thinks it is right for a clergyman to marry. Secondly, it is for his own happiness. Thirdly, 'which perhaps (he) ought to have mentioned earlier' because it is his main motivation. Lady Catherine de Bourgh said a clergyman likes him 'must marry', which implies how sycophantic and snobbish he is and Lady Catherine's advice will become his motivation to do things, which shows his 'obsequiousness'. Lastly, he mentions the inheritance of the estate after the death of Elizabeth's father and says this has been the main 'motive' because he is aware that 'one thousand pounds in the four percent will not be (Elizabeth's) till after (her) mother's decease. It seems now he is offering Elizabeth a huge kindness. Mr. Collins' speech shows he is a really cold man and materialistic. He does not know what love is. The motivation is all about business and money, he is only concern about his future and job, but not Elizabeth's feelings, or perhaps what she wants. He sees marriage as a business transaction to talk about 'selecting a wife', neither feelings nor diffidence are involved. Before Mr. Collins has finished his proposal, Elizabeth interrupts and cries that he is being too 'hasty', more emotion is shown here but the emotion is Elizabeth's and it is nothing to do with love. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is because Jane's heart is 'not likely to be easily touched' and the other reason is about the Bennet's social state and Mrs Bennet's behaviour. When Elizabeth accuses Darcy of not behaving 'in a more gentlemen-like manner', she is being abusive and insulting. She accuses him is being 'arrogant', 'conceited' and having 'self disdain of the feeling of others'. Yet, after hearing all Elizabeth's comment, Darcy is still very polite and gentlemanly; he also ends by showing concern for Elizabeth's health. Although, he speaks calmly, his body language completely betrays him, 'he walked with quick steps', and this clearly shows his anger and disappointment. This proposal is quite different from Collins'. Both Darcy and Elizabeth are deeply involved emotionally and love is involved. We can clearly see how Darcy loves her although we are not given the actual words of his proposal, both from his body language and nervous actions and from his language. He begins by telling her 'how ardently (he) admires and loves' her. And Elizabeth 'cries for half and hour' after Darcy has left. She cannot control her emotion. Unlike Mr Collins, who thinks Elizabeth rejects him is the way of being modest and thinks 'it is usual'; Darcy accepts her refusal immediately. However, there are similarities between the two proposals. Certainly, Elizabeth refuses both of them, but neither of them is expecting the refusals from Elizabeth. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Jane Austen essays

  1. In what ways do public and private worlds affect our judgement of characters in ...

    Catherine is one of the most obnoxious characters in the book, and this feeling is conveyed by her complete obsession with rank and importance. On first visiting Longbourn she disregards all laws of etiquette, rudely telling Elizabeth that 'that lady I suppose is your mother.'

  2. Compare and Contrast the proposals of Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy

    When Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth he even says.... 'When we are married' Which must mean that he is assuming that Elizabeth will marry him. He also cannot believe it when Elizabeth says that she does not want to marry him...

  1. Discuss the relationship between Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins, taking account of their characters ...

    discussing Jane's relationship with Bingley, "happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance......it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life". Elizabeth's dismay is made evident by the narrator; "she had always felt that Charlotte's

  2. Charlotte Lucas says, "Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance." With close ...

    Elizabeth can be seen to represent a change of the conventional image of women in Regency England. She is witty, independent, and refuses to put marriage in the centre of everything. This can be seen by her refusal of two marriage proposals which would be very advantageous to her.

  1. In Pride and Prejudice, Mr Wickham and Mr Collins are unsuitable marriage partners for ...

    While Mr Wickham may not be morally gifted, he is certainly charming, and a very skilled speaker: "Elizabeth was the happy woman by whom he [Wickham] finally seated himself; and the agreeable manner in which he immediately fell into conversation...

  2. Discuss the proposal scenes in Pride and Prejudice showing how they relate to the ...

    Jane's character is very pretty, shy, gentle and good-natured. There are three proposals to Elizabeth: The first proposal in this novel used to illustrate the social attitudes is Mr Collins proposal to Elizabeth Bennet. Mr Collins is Elizabeth's cousin. He is entailed to Mr Bennet's estate, as he is the nearest male relative.

  1. Pride and Prejudice - Both Darcy and Mr Collins propose to Elizabeth. Compare and ...

    while Ms Jenkinson was arranging Miss de Bourgh foot stool" This shows that he seems to pay more attention at Lady Catherine de Bourgh than providing a focus on his reasons for marriage. Mr Collins uses many I's as in "I am, I think," showing marriage is about what he wants and nobody else's feeling or objections matter.

  2. The Proposals in Pride and Prejudice

    Just like a true hero, he learns from this. He storms out ashamed but from then on tries to overcome his pride and love Elizabeth completely. Elizabeth learns that she has faults too. This is the beginning of a long process by which she learns to return the love.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work