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

Should the heroine of Pride and Prejudice have accepted the marriage proposals from Mr Collins and from Mr Darcy? Discuss with reference to the proposal scenes in Pride and Prejudice

Extracts from this document...


Sara Tinkler Should the heroine of Pride and Prejudice have accepted the marriage proposals from Mr Collins and from Mr Darcy? Discuss with reference to the proposal scenes in Pride and Prejudice Elizabeth Bennet is the heroine of Pride and Prejudice, she is at the centre of the novel and through her eyes we see and judge what happens throughout the novel. The Bennet family were not a wealthy family, although they were of good social standing. Elizabeth was the second eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Bennet. It was Mrs Bennet's greatest desire for her daughters to marry well. At the time when Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice women were expected to be modest, submissive and incapable of independent thought. Many of Jane Austen's female characters in Pride and Prejudice portray this traditional role. Elizabeth's character is modest she is not submissive and certainly not incapable of independent thought. The central focus of this novel is Elizabeth. Elizabeth did not see marriage the same way as her mother. Mrs Bennet wished her daughters to marry a wealthy man however Elizabeth disagreed as she informed her sister Jane only, "The deepest love will ever induce me into matrimony." She will not place marriage at the centre of her ambitions without regard for feelings and circumstance. ...read more.


Elizabeth was also aware that her father, whom she was very close to, would not force her to do anything, which would make her unhappy. Mr Bennet refuses to intervene on Mr Collins behalf as he amuses him, and like his daughter he questions his sincerity. We feel he shares Elizabeth's thoughts about Mr Collins, "Can he be a sensible man, sir?" The reader cannot help but feel that Elizabeth and her father find Mr Collins absurd. Therefore an acceptance of his proposal would be beyond belief. Eventually Mr Collins realises that Elizabeth will not change her mind. Mr Collins implies that marriage was an arrangement, which did not necessarily include love. Love was however, important to Elizabeth. The reader can not help feel it is also what Jane Austen believed. Marriage to Mr Collins would have been loveless; Elizabeth was therefore right to refuse him. At the time when Jane Austen wrote this novel, social gatherings were very important, these gatherings were an opportunity for matchmaking. At such gatherings Elizabeth meets Darcy. The first gathering in the novel is the Netherfield ball. Here we learn that Elizabeth finds Darcy, 'arrogant' and 'intolerant.' "I could easily forgive his pride if he had not mortified mine." ...read more.


I am well aware that it could not be complied with." Darcy tells Elizabeth that his passion has fought with his awareness of her low social standing. Elizabeth's reply to Darcy is honest. She regards his account of how he had overcome his natural prejudice towards her social position as 'uncivil.' The reader can not help at this stage, but to agree with Elizabeth. Elizabeth was quite right to refuse to marry Mr Collins, Elizabeth had values and moral standards and she was right to remain faithful to these beliefs. Jane Austen portrayed Mr Collins in such a way that the reader would have been pleased that Elizabeth refused him. At the point in the novel when Mr Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, it is understandable from Elizabeth's point of view why she refused him to. She is not aware of certain facts regarding Darcy's behaviour. Wickham has influenced her opinion of Mr Darcy, and she also blames Darcy for her sister's unhappiness. At this point in the novel Elizabeth has misjudged Darcy. Fortunately Jane Austen allows her heroine to discover the truth about Mr Darcy, but this is not until the latter part of the novel, when fortunately Darcy and Elizabeth are able to reveal their true feelings to each other. Their eventual marriage is fulfilling because they have learned to know why they love each other and because it is hard won. ...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. Comic Characters in Pride and Prejudice

    Mrs Bennet is a comic character whose lack of social etiquette and stupidity add a humorous side to the novel. Mrs Bennet lacks good breeding, intelligence or a sense of humour, which makes her an easy victim for her husband's sarcastic wit.

  2. How do Darcy and Elizabeth Change and Develop in Pride and Prejudice?

    Elizabeth's prejudice is highlighted even further at the Netherfield Ball, which Wickham has chosen not to attend. In spite of the fact that Mr. Darcy is quite cordial to her and even invites her to dance, she is barely civil to him and even brings up the topic of Wickham,

  1. How does Jane Austen reflect the social and historical context of her time in ...

    Once or twice she could discern a faint blush; but in general Charlotte wisely did not hear." Charlotte wishes a short courtship and a speedy marriage as she has no respect for Mr Collins and distances herself from him whenever possible, such as when she encourages him to take up gardening so as to free herself from his nuisances indoors.

  2. Jane Austen's presentation of Emma as an unlikeable heroine

    We can see that by putting Emma in this situation, Austen likes Emma because she given her an easy lifestyle and made her different to every other woman at that time. Emma's as a person, her qualities, make her a heroine.

  1. "How does Jane Austen portray marriage in her novel Pride and Prejudice?"

    However, Mrs Bennet's insensitivity and pride in her daughters and towards her neighbours is seen as embarrassing, which creates problems in the lives of her daughters, especially the eldest, Jane, who is deceived by Mr Bingley's two haughty sisters. They see her as much beneath their brother and unsuitable for

  2. How does Jane Austen present love and marriage in " Pride and Prejudice"

    The last chapter of "Pride and Prejudice" opens with a quote on marriage: " Happy for all her maternal feelings was the day on which Mrs Bennet got rid of her two most deserving daughters." In the end, Mrs Bennet had fulfilled her role in life, simply to " get

  1. Portrayal of Marriage in Pride and Prejudice.

    For example, Miss Bingley states that 'Miss Eliza Bennet... is a great reader...' p34. While in a conversation between Darcy and Miss Bingley, it is stated, 'What a delightful library you have at Pemberly,...' p34. This illustrates to the readers that the two share the same interest of reading.

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

    One wonders if indeed, any happiness can be found once the "novelty" is lost, and here, Austen warns that romances straying too far from expectations are not likely to be romances at all. (But they can be "comfortable".) Although Elizabeth comprehends Charlotte's reasoning in her union with Collins, she is

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