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Pride and Prejudice - Compare the proposals Elizabeth receives from Mr Collins and Darcy and her reaction to them.

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Introduction

Pride and Prejudice Compare the proposals Elizabeth receives from Mr Collins and Darcy and her reaction to them. The novel Pride and Prejudice opens with 'It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.' This hints to us that marriage is the main theme of the book. As we persist in the reading of the book we come to believe that this is the opinion of Mrs Bennet. This line of the novel is very ironic, because various characters in the book, believe this to be true but Jane Austin shows us that it can be incorrect. In the first few chapters, we learn of people's attitudes towards marriage. We know that Mrs Bennet is very keen to arrange all five of her daughters marriages and that she expects them to be of good wealth and manor. We know that both Elizabeth and Jane want to marry for love. We are led to believe that Mr Darcy is not a particularly pleasant character because the novel is written from Elizabeth's point of view, who is prejudice towards Darcy. Although we never establish Darcy's attitude towards marriage, because of his actions between Bingly and Jane, we believe he is not keen to marry. ...read more.

Middle

I think this also adds to why he presumes Elizabeth will accept because the Bennet's have accepted his letter and invited him into their home, Mrs Bennet knowing his intentions. I think that Mr Collins also assumes she will accept because she will think that she might not get another offer from anyone else. Elizabeth should not marry Mr Collins because it would go against her morals, of marrying for love. She is not even slightly attracted to him, which is clear in the book, because he is described as not very attractive. The main reason Elizabeth chooses not to accept is because she has already been aquainted with Mr Wickham, who she is attracted to. The proposal of Mr Collins is absurd and Jane Austin portrays it in a comic way. The reader gets the impression that Mr Collins is a stupid man, and has no idea how to treat a lady with respect. He comes across as selfish because he talks of no feelings of love for her. While asking Elizabeth for her hand in marriage, he also insults her (as does Mr Darcy). Mr Collins proposal is orderly and planned and is more like an act rather than spontaneous. This is told to us by Jane Austin; 'THE next day opened a new scene at Longbourne. Mr Collins made his declaration in form.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas after Mr Collins leaves it is pretty much forgotten because within a few days he is engaged to Charlotte Lucas. Mr Collins proposal we are sure does not affect Elizabeth in the slightest because at this point she is attracted to Wickham. The only thing concerning Darcy's proposal that suggests the later possibility of Elizabeth's acceptance of Darcy is that she knows that his insults are true and that Jane Austin shows us that after his departure, she is affected by this. Although there are many contrasting elements of the proposals there are also some similarities. The fact that they both insult Elizabeth is one, although they do it in completely different ways. In Mr Collins proposal he says ' My situation in life, my connections with the family of De Bourgh, and my relationship to your own, are circumstances highly in my favour; and you should take it into farther consideration that in spite of your manifold attractions, it is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made you.' This is another thing that shows he assumes she will accept and during the proposal of Mr Darcy his reactions are similar. ' This he considered sufficient, encouragement, and the avowal of all that he felt and had long felt for her, immediately followed.' In Mr Collins proposal he is deceiving Elizabeth because he does not love her, whereas in Mr Darcy's he is being honest. ...read more.

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