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Pride and Prejudice; Mr Collins proposes to both Elizabeth and Charlotte but their reactions are very different. What does the behaviour of all three characters during chapters 19, 20 & 22 tell us about the different attitudes to marriage in the early nin

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Introduction

Mr Collins proposes to both Elizabeth and Charlotte but their reactions are very different. What does the behaviour of all three characters during chapters 19, 20 & 22 tell us about the different attitudes to marriage in the early nineteenth century? Throughout the book Pride & Prejudice, there are many different views towards marriage expressed. For example, Elizabeth Bennet wishes to marry for love whereas Charlotte Lucas doesn't mind marrying someone she doesn't love just for the security of marriage. Mr Collins, on the other hand, wants to marry to set a good example as the vicar, and on the advice from Lady Catherine de Bough. These attitudes are different from ours today in that women today don't need the security of marriage and rarely marry without even liking their prospective partner. In chapter six, Elizabeth shows that she only wishes to marry for love and not for money or security. When Charlotte tells Lizzie her advice, that you should know as little as possible about your partner before you marry them, Lizzie says "You make me laugh Charlotte...you would never act this way yourself!" ...read more.

Middle

He has decided to marry now because he has a good house and a very sufficient income, therefore he has a better chance of getting a wife as he can offer financial security. He chooses one of the Bennet girls to make amends with the family as he is to inherit Longbourn. This is not a good reason for marrying. He originally wanted to propose to Jane, however Mrs Bennet informs Mr Collins that Jane is 'soon to be engaged', so he changes his mind to Lizzie instead. This shows that his 'love' for Lizzie cannot be true because she is his 'second choice'. Also it tell us that he is desperate to get married so won't give up that easily. When he proposes to Lizzie he states his reasons for marrying all in the wrong order. He mentions that "I think it a right thing for every clergyman in easy circumstances (like myself) to set the example of matrimony in his parish" and "I am convinced it will add greatly to my happiness" all before he mentions any love for Lizzie. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, she followed her own advice from previous chapters and sticks to her views, which is admirable. Elizabeth's attitude to marriage is closest to our views today; she believes in marrying for love and not for security like her good friend Charlotte. Charlotte's views reflect early nineteenth century attitudes to marriage. She believes in marrying purely for the security of marriage, and money. She accepts Mr Collins' proposal because he can offer her financial security and a good home, and this supports the views she expressed in earlier chapters. Mr Collins come to Longbourn to find a wife on the advice of Lady Catherine de Bough, whom he idolizes, and because he thinks it will set a good example in his parish. His attitude is quite different from today, as people today make their own choices about marriage and do not need to set a good example in their life and job by being married. I agree most with Lizzie's views on marriage because I think to be happy in marriage you should marry for love and not money or security. I do not agree with the early nineteenth century views on marriage because nowadays we do not need to marry for money or for a good home. Kellie Watts. ...read more.

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