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Pride And Prejudice – Marriage

Jane Austen was born in 1775 in Hampshire. Her father was a vicar and she had six brothers and a sister. At the age of sixteen she started writing humorous novels. In 1813 she published Pride and Prejudice. She never got married and she died in 1817 at the age of forty-two. Jane Austen thought that the situation that should be written about is two or three families living together in a country village. She never wrote about environments she did not know about and only wrote about gentry like herself. That is why the characters in Pride and Prejudice are middle class people, like landowners, vicars, and officers.

She does not mention servants much. Marriage in Jane Austens society marriage is the status all the women strive to achieve. Money and looks are essential for a good marriage, youthfulness also counts. If a woman never got married, because of lacking money or looks, she would go and live with a married sister or brother. If she did not have any brothers or sisters to live with, she would become a governess. Pride and Prejudicesfirst sentence, It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife, introduces the theme of marriage, and money, in an ironic way.

Jane Austen starts off using intellectual sounding words to introduce the hunt for a rich husband. The sentence contains a mixture of comedy, humour and irony that will continue throughout the novel. In Pride and Prejudice we see two established marriages, the Bennets and the Gardiners. Throughout the novel four other marriages take place, Lydia with Wickham, Charlotte with Mr Collins, Elizabeth with Darcy, and Jane with Bingley. Mr and Mrs Bennet have been married for twenty-three years, but they do not really communicate with each other. They have five unmarried daughters. Mr Bennet has a good sense of humour and likes to tease his wife.

He pretends not to understand her. He makes outrageous statements that his wife believes. He does not demonstrate any affection towards his wife and is tired of the way she behaves. Mrs Bennet does not get upset when she is the object of her husbands sarcasm and is not intelligent enough to discriminate between important and trival information. When she is frustrated she complains about her nerves. Mrs Bennet does not understand Mr Bennet, and whilst Mrs Bennets aim in life is to get her daughters married to rich men, Mr Bennet is not interested in family affairs and does not seem to think much of his daughters, or girls in general.

They are all silly and ignorant like other girls. Jane Austen tells us his favourite daughter is Elizabeth. I must throw a good word for my Lizzy. Mr Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve and caprice. Mrs Bennet is a woman of mean understanding, little information and uncertain temper. Their marriage was based on an initial physical attraction. Mr Bennet was captivated by youth and beauty and the appearance of good humour that goes with these. The initial physical attraction dies quickly and all Mr Bennets views of domestic happiness were overthrown.

He lost all respect for his wife. Furthermore, Mrs Bennet has low connections and little money. She was beneath him socially. Therefore they were not well matched in character or social background. He made the wrong choice. At the end of the novel he confidentially admits his mistake to Elizabeth. Unlike the Bennets, the Gardiners are a sensible, lively and intelligent couple. They seem to love each other and work well together. Mr Gardiner is Mrs Bennets brother. He is a tradesman. The couple live in Gracechurch, a street in the City of London. Elizabeth looks up to Mrs Gardiner, not to Mrs Bennet.

Mr Collins is a distant cousin to the Bennets and he is the one to inherit Longbourn after Mr Bennets death. He is a clergyman who has recently been made vicar of a parish on the estate of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, in Kent. Charlotte is the eldest daughter of the Lucases. She is 27 years old and Elizabeths best friend. Mr Collins is introduced to Charlotte by the Bennets. They first talk at the Netherfield Ball. At that time Mr Collins was paying attention to Elizabeth. Charlotte helps her friend. She owed her greatest relief, Miss Lucas, who often joined them and good naturally engaged Mr Collins conversation to herself.

The day Mr Collins proposes Charlotte is there. She overhears all the conversation and how Mr Collins withdraws his offer of marriage. She deliberately stays in the room and is pretending to look out of the window. The Bennets are invited to dine at the Lucases. Elizabeth is grateful to Charlotte for keeping Mr Collins company. Charlotte is really out to get Mr Collins, its object was nothing less, tan to secure her from any return of Mr Collins addresses, by engaging them towards herself. The next day Mr Collins goes to Lucas Lodge.

Charlotte perceives him from an upper window and instantly sets out to meet him accidentally in the lane. Mr Collins proposes to Charlotte who immediately accepts. Charlotte knew how to delight Mr Collins, and after engaging him to herself, accepts his offer of marriage. Charlotte does not like Mr Collins; ‘his society was irksome’. She also knows he does not love her, his attachment to her must be imaginary. Charlotte just accepts the value society places her on. But he offers her the opportunity of marriage. Without thinking highly of men or matrimony, marriage had always been her object.

At twenty-seven, with little money, no beauty and younger brothers and sisters sees marriage as her best chance of securing a reasonable standard of living. I am not romantic you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home. After they are married Charlotte seems to be happy enough, she keeps a straight face and ignores her husbands silliness, in general Charlotte wisely did not hear. She tries to keep her husband out of the way, for example, by encouraging him to do the gardening, when Mr Collins was forgotten there was a great comfort throughout. But she is always loyal to him.

She never says anything bad about her husband. The marriage between Lydia and Wickham was the result of irresponsible behaviour. They met at a dance where the Malatia Regiment, to which Mr Wickham belongs, and the Bennets were invited. When Wickham is first introduced in the novel he pays attention to Elizabeth but he knows that Miss King had inherited a fortune draws his attention to her, and away from Elizabeth. When it is known that the regiment is moving to Brighton, Lydia and Kitty (as much as Mrs Bennet) want to go to Brighton with them but Mr Bennet wont allow it.

Mrs Forester, Lydias friend and the wife of the Colonel of the regiment, invites Lydia to accompany her to Brighton. Once there, Wickham invites Lydia to run away. Wickham did not mean to elope with Lydia, but he had to leave Brighton because he had many debts. He took advantage that Lydia wanted to go with him, and made believe he had run away to elope. Wickham finally married Lydia thanks to Darcy. He bribed Wickham and took care of all the financial arrangements. Lydia is an irresponsible, immature girl, who likes to flirt about, and is insensitive to other peoples feelings.

She had high animal spirits, which the attentions of the officers, had increased into assurance. She is described as being a stout, well grown girl of fifteen, with a fine complexion and good humoured countenance. Wickham is an ambitious man. He loves money. He first had tried to elope with Darcys sister, Georgina, who inherited 30000. Then he started paying much attention to Miss King, a young lady who had inherited a fortune. Their marriage was not a happy settled one. They were always in debt, and Lydia often writes to her sisters, Jane and Elizabeth, asking them for money.

They were always moving from house to house, and they stay for very long periods with the Bingleys, so much that even kind Mr Bingley thinks of telling them to move on. Bingleys and Janes marriage is based on love and rational respect. Jane is the handsomest of the Bennets daughters, which is why she is the daughter Mrs Bennet had the highest hopes for. She is humble and unassuming. She always sees good in other people. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in my life. In a partner, she looks for sensibility, good humour and liveliness. Bingley is rather impassive.

He has a pleasant countenance and easy affected manner. He is easygoing and much influenced by his best friend, Mr Darcy. This shows when he proposes to Jane, he does this after Darcy gives his consent. They both are kind, nice, and optimistic people. They always see the bright side of things. Mr Bennet thinks the couple is so nice and easy going that people might take advantage of them. We later see that the Wickhams do take advantage. They spend long periods of time in their house and Lydia often writes to Jane asking for money. They first meet at the Meryton Assembly.

Mr Bingley is a young man of large fortune, from the north of England, who is going to rent Netherfield Park. He goes to the Merryton Assembly to meet the people of town. The Bennets attend. Mr Bingley shows a lively interest in Jane and dances with her twice. Jane also likes Mr Bingley but does not show it much. This makes Darcy think that Jane is indifferent to Bingley, and is only interested on Bingleys fortune. He makes Bingley go away on a business trip and when Jane goes to stay with her aunt and uncle, the Gardiners, she goes and visits the Bingleys. She only see….. the Bingley sisters, who never tell Mr Bingley about her being in London, so she doesnt have any news from Bingley. After a long time the Bingleys, along with Darcy, return to Netherfield. They visit the Bennets and Mr Bingley still seems to be interested in Jane. Finally he proposes and is accepted. We are told it is a happy marriage. They have a happy and uncomplicated marriage, though sometimes complicated by other people. They live in Netherfield at first but after a year they want to get away from Mrs Bennet and other relations. So Bingley buys an estate in Derbyshire near Pemberley.

Just as Jane and Bingley, Elizabeth and Darcy also first meet at the Meryton Assembly. They dont feel attracted to each other initially and their relationship doesnt start as smoothly as theirs. Darcy offends Elizabeth. Bingley suggests that Darcy dances with Elizabeth, but Darcy thinks she is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt him. Furthermore, he says he is not going to dance with women that have been slighted by other men. Elizabeth overhears this and is not left with many cordial feelings towards him. This makes Elizabeth prejudiced against Darcy. Later on Darcy starts to feel attracted to her.

He admires the beautiful expression of her eyes, her figure and above all the playfulness of her character. The stay in Netherfield, when Jane gets sick, shows that Darcy is attracted to Elizabeth despite himself. He seems to enjoy talking to Elizabeth and is beginning to feel the danger of paying too much attention to her. Elizabeth still is prejudiced, but she seems to enjoy the challenge of talking to him. Wickhams story that Darcy refused to keep his fathers promise after his death affects her opinion on Darcy. At the Netherfield Ball Darcy asks Elizabeth to dance. They talk about heir respective characters.

They meet again in Kent when Elizabeth goes to visit Charlotte and are sometimes invited to dinner to Rosings. Mr Darcy is there, along with Colonel FitzWilliam, to visit their aunt. Here their relationship develops and Darcy starts to feel attracted to Elizabeth. He enjoys Elizabeths company and does not get annoyed when she teases him. He thinks they share a similarity. We neither of us perform to strangers. Darcy visits the parsonage when Elizabeth is alone and he makes to meet her in the Rosings Park when she goes for walks. Colonel FitzWilliam tells Elizabeth the Darcy had stopped Bingley from a most imprudent marriage.

Elizabeth is very angry indeed with Darcy and blames him for causing her sister great unhappiness. That same day Darcy proposes to her. He says that he has tried to suppress his feelings but cannot. In vain have I struggled. What made him try to stamp out his love was the inferiority of her family and it would be a degradation for him to marry her. Elizabeth is first astonished then flattered but most of all angry at his proposal. She refuses the proposal. Darcy is taken aback by her refusal. His countenance expressed real security. He wasnt expecting that. He thought Elizabeth would accept because of his rank and money.

She explains that she refuses because he has insulted her by saying her family is inferior, because he is responsible for the unhappiness of her sister, because he had behaved very badly towards Wickham, and because Darcys conduct had been ungentleman-like. The next morning Darcy waits for Elizabeth in the park and gives her a letter. The letter explains why he interfered in the relationship between Bingley and Jane, and the real story about Wickham. He also reveals that Wickham had tried to elope with Darcys sister, Georgina. When she re-reads the letter it is Wickhams story which starts to make Elizabeth doubt.

She then comes to the realisation that Darcy is saying the truth and that she has been mistaken. She had been blind, partial, prejudice, absurd. From now on Elizabeths attitude to Darcy starts to change. She now feels gratitude and respect for Darcy but does not love him or like him. When Elizabeth goes with the Gardiners to Derbyshire they visit Pemberley, Darcys house. The house impresses her. To Elizabeths acute embarrassment Darcy arrives whilst they are leaving. He is polite towards her. Elizabeth does not know what to think, her feeling towards him are changing rapidly.

Elizabeth admits to herself that she no longer hates him, that she is grateful to him and respects him. When Elizabeth receives the news about Lydias elopement, she is very upset. Coincidentally Darcy arrives immediately after, he is concerned for her and is protective. After Lydia and Wickham had finally got married, and they return to Longbourn before going to Newcastle, Lydia reveals that Darcy had been present at her wedding. It was supposed to have been a secret. Elizabeth writes to her aunt, Mrs Gardiner to find out about Darcys involvement. Mrs Gardiners letter confirms Darcys involvement in getting Lydia and Wickham married.

He found them, bribed Wickham into marrying Lydia, and convinced Mr Gardiner to allow him to take care of all financial arrangements. Mr Darcy told the Gardiners he was doing this because he felt responsible, because of his mistaken pride he had not let anybody know about Wickhams real character. Elizabeth feels very grateful. She now acknowledges that she loves him and is very proud of the way e has acted. She feels now that he will never marry her because he could not stand having Wickham for a brother-in-law. Every kind of pride must revolt from the connection.

Shortly after Lydia and Wickhams departure Mr Bingley arrives in Netherfield, and so visits the Bennets accompanied by Mr Darcy. Mr Darcys behaviour is more reserved. They are both invited to dine at Longbourn and Elizabeth is puzzled by Darcys behaviour, as he is polite but quite and distant. When Mr Darcy returns to London Elizabeths hopes fall, she feels he will not propose again. After Bingleys engagement to Jane, Lady Catherine visits the Bennets unexpectedly. She walks in uninvited and is very rude. She asks to speak to Elizabeth in private and they walk out to a copse in the park to talk.

Lady Catherine says she has come because she has heard rumours that Elizabeth is to be engaged to Mr Darcy and is alarmed. She has travelled from Kent to Hertfortshire to stop it. She says Darcy is to marry her daughter because she and the late Mrs Darcy arranged it so, and because that arrangement would be in accordance with the honour of the family. That Elizabeth is of inferior birth, has low connections and is not good enough for Darcy. Even worse her sister Lydia has just been involved in a scandal. Elizabeth picks up the weakness in Lady Catherines arguments.

If you believe it impossible to be true, I wonder you took the trouble of coming so far. She refuses to be intimidated and defends her right to privacy and to make her own decisions, You may ask questions which I may not choose to answer. She declares herself equal to Darcy. He is a gentleman; I am a gentlemans daughter; so far we are equal. She refuses to give Catherine an open promise about what she is going to do in the future. When Lady Catherine insults her by saying she will pollute the shades of Pemberly, Elizabeth firmly but politely terminates the conversation.

Now Elizabeth wonders what influence will Lady Catherine have on Darcys decision. When Darcy visits Longbourn, they go out on a walk and he and Elizabeth get to be on their own. Elizabeth thanks Darcy for saving Lydia. Darcy tells Elizabeth he did it all for her sake. But your family owe me nothing. Much as I respect them, I though only of you. This leads to the proposal. This second proposal is different to the first one. Darcy is less sure of himself, humble whereas before he was proud. He is considerate towards Elizabeth, anxious not to hurt her feelings. The proposal shows how Darcy has changed, improved, and shed his improper pride.

Elizabeth accepts. Both of them are ashamed of their behaviour in Kent when Darcy first proposed. Lady Catherines interference had the reverse effect of what she had intended. They talk about why Darcy wrote the letter and how it affected Elizabeth. Darcy says that Elizabeth has completed his education. You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you I was properly humbled. After the news of their engagement is broken to their families, Elizabeth and Darcy discuss their relationship. He admits I was in the middle before I knew that I had began. When they marry, they go to live in Pemberley.

We are told that it is also a happy marriage. Darcys sister, Georgiana, learns form the example of Elizabeth and Darcy what a happy marriage is and how a wife can speak to her husband, as an equal. Lady Catherine at first sort of freezes her relationship with the Darcys but then is eventually reconciled and visits Pemberly. Mr Bennet misses her favourite daughter so much, he often visits her unexpectedly. On the contrary to Jane and Bingleys relationship, Elizabeth and Darcys relationship is complicated by themselves. They have a complex relationship, they complement each other.

They both have enough independence of mind not to follow all social conventions but do have high moral values. They both are intelligent, honest and value the proper behaviour. Jane Austen says the ideal relationship is Elizabeth and Darcys relationship. They have similarities but also differences. They love but mostly respect each other. Pride and Prejudice is a love story but does not only reflect the romantic side. It gives you all kinds of relationships; none of them are the same. It shows that the ideal couple was not easy to get. They learned from each other. It makes you question if there will be many couples like that.

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Home » Pride And Prejudice – Marriage

Pride and Prejudice – Marriage

Pride and Prejudice – Marriage

Explore the social institution of marriage in Austen’s society in a comparison of the proposals of Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth Bennett

In this essay, I will attempt to answer the above question by going through a number of stages. I will firstly gather a detailed knowledge of what marriage was like in Austens society. From this I will be able to apply my findings to the proposals of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Collins. Whilst doing this, I will compare and contrast the two proposals and look at the reasons why they wanted marriage, their approaches to the matter and their reactions from the responses of Elizabeth Bennett.

In Jane Austens society, marriage was hugely different than that of today. This was evident in every aspect of marriage. Marriage was necessary for women in Austens society. Without it they would have no income and could not create one for themselves. Women were also unable to inherit property after the death of a previous landowner. These factors mean that women were keen to marry early and not for the reasons associated with marriage of today.

Nowadays, people wouldnt even consider marrying if love wasnt involved. During the time in question, however, love was somewhat irrelevant. Public perception of the couple was taken into consideration, however, regardless of the intentions of the couple. Marriage was seen as a status symbol and was closely linked to the class system.

Jane Austen knew this society well as she was the unmarried daughter of a clergyman which fell in the social class known as gentry. She had no income and therefore had to depend on her brothers for support.

All these factors must be considered when looking at the proposals of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Collins.

The Bennett family has five daughters ranging in age from fifteen to twenty-five. They have no sons. In Austens time, this would have been seen as a burden rather than an advantage. For each daughter that is married, a dowry has to be paid and in the case of the Bennetts, you are looking at a huge financial burden.

The Bennett family is relatively well off and own land  Longbourn House. As daughters cannot inherit, the land would pass on to Mr. Collins, a cousin of the family.

Mrs. Bennett is desperate to find husbands for her daughters. Because of this, she is somewhat rash in making decisions for her daughters futures.

Elizabeth Bennett, the daughter who is focused on in this essay, is the most independent and assertive and unlike most women in Austens time and society, will only marry for love. She presents a problem for the family as she is independent and thinks for herself and is likely to be the most difficult to get married off.

The Bennett family has five daughters ranging in age from fifteen up to twenty-five. They have no sons. At Jane Austens time, this would have been seen as somewhat of a burden. This is because, for each daughter that is married, a dowry has to be paid and in the case of the Bennetts, you are looking at a huge financial burden.

The Bennett family are quite well off and own areas of land, in this case, Longbourn house. As daughters cannot inherit, the land would pass to Mr. Collins, a cousin of the family. He will be focused on later in the essay.

Mrs. Bennett is desperate to find husbands for her daughters. She is somewhat rash in making her daughters decisions which will decide their future though you can see it from her point of view as she has five daughters to marry off.

Elizabeth Bennett, the daughter who is focused on during this essay, is the most independent and assertive and unlike most women of the time and society, will only marry for love. She presents a problem for the family and will undoubtedly be the most difficult to get married off.

Austens opening description of Mr. Collins approach to proposal tells us a lot about his character. Austen writes,

Mr. Collins made his declaration in form

This quotation tells us two things about the character of Mr. Collins.

Firstly, Austen uses the word declaration rather than proposal.

This tells us that Mr. Collins is extremely confident that he will receive a positive answer and even if he doesnt, he remains confident that he will marry Elizabeth.

Austen also writes form. This gives the implication that Mr. Collins is not talking about a subject which is close to his heart but is laying down his personal reasons for marriage. This fact is later proved correct.

So, before the proposal has even begun, from a one line description of Mr. Collins, we have learnt that he is extremely selfish and probably does not really love Elizabeth. Austen follows this line with,

Having resolved to do it without..business.

The first part of this quotation shows us that the only reason Mr. Collins is proposing at that particular time is because he does not want to miss another Sunday at church. These are not the actions of a man truly in love. Austen follows this up with a remark that Mr. Collins is proposing in a very orderly manner. This reiterates my first point surrounding the lack of love in the relationship. Austen finishes with the word business. This proves to be an operative word in the analysis of Mr. Collins and is to be discovered later on.

After asking to talk to Elizabeth, we see the perceptive side of her character as she begins to move away and refuse to talk to Mr. Collins. This shows us that she knows what is going on yet clearly is not interested in Mr. Collins. This alone would be considered enough to deter him. He is the opposite of perceptive, however, and continues with the proposal.

Mrs. Bennett insists upon Elizabeths staying and it is clear that neither her or Mr. Collins are concerned about Elizabeths feelings.

It is quite evident that she does not want to be in the position she has been forced into yet Mr. Collins perceives this quite differently,

Believe meperfections.

Rather than accepting the obvious refusal of Elizabeth, Mr. Collins follows this up with a compliment directed towards Elizabeth in a futile attempt to win her over. From a readers point of view, this seems pathetic and even humorous as Mr. Collins true character begins to surface. Even after this, he continues to have the audacity to compliment her further. He says,


This is not the complete truth, however, as he originally attempted to marry Jane yet was deterred by Mrs. Bennett.

In Mr. Collins finest moment, Austen writes,

before I run away with my feelings.

This appears not only humorous to the reader but also to Elizabeth who has realised the futility of Mr. Collins proposal,

The ideacontinued,

Mr. Collins now proceeds to list his reasons for marrying amongst which love is not mentioned once, he says,

My reasons..parish.

This line is fascinating in my opinion and has a certain edge of irony as Mr. Collins lacks perception yet is worried about the publics perception of him. This makes him appear all the more pompous and arrogant. He continues,


Note Mr. Collins says my happiness and again does not take Elizabeths feelings into consideration. Mr. Collins is overtly ignorant to Elizabeths attempted interruptions and continues to discuss the fact that his patroness, Mrs. Catherine De Bourgh also wishes him to marry. It seems that there is more reason for marriage between Mrs. Bennett and Lady Catherine De Bourgh than there is between the couple. This, in itself is ridiculously humorous.

Mr. Collins has humoured Elizabeth but not insulted her as of yet. This is to come, however,

The fact is.years.

The implications from this are that he wishes her father dead so that he can inherit the land. This is not only selfish and tactless but also hurtful towards Elizabeth. Mr. Collins then says,

And nowaffection.

Just as it seems that Mr. Collins is to finally discuss love and affection, he contradicts himself by going on to talk about the matter of the dowry and his inheritance. He continues his contradictory manner by saying,

To fortune..indifferent.

Although he says so, it is clear that he is not indifferent to the matter of the dowry as he brings it up and discusses it on a number of occasions. Elizabeth finally gets the chance to speak and shows strength of character and is polite yet firm. Mr. Collins now appears ridiculous as his naivet leads him to discuss the fact that Elizabeth secretly means to accept his proposal.

Elizabeth notices the fact that Mr. Collins wants to be rich and is selfish et cetera and finally succeeds in refusing but only by leaving the room.

From the proposal of Mr. Collins, a lot can be learnt about both his and Elizabeths characters.

Elizabeth is polite, firm and assertive and by far the most strong-minded character featured. She knows what she wants from life and takes the correct steps in achieving her aims.

Mr. Collins, however, is much less of a character. He is overtly arrogant, audacious and nave. He is selfish, pompous and arrogant. He lacks perception and is tactless. From the perspective of a non-reader of the novel, it would seem that I have simply listed all the negative words in the dictionary. This is Mr. Collins character, however, and it is in my opinion that Elizabeth was correct to turn down his proposal.

Elizabeth later receives another proposal from Mr. Darcy. Austen writes,

When theyKent.

So, from this quotation, we have learnt even before the arrival of Mr. Darcy, that Elizabeth bears a grudge towards him yet her cause for this is later proved incorrect. Austen continues to describe Elizabeths dislike for Mr. Darcy.

When Elizabeth first sees Mr. Darcy, it is described as being to her utter amazement.

This proves to the reader that Mr. Darcy is the last person Elizabeth expected and probably hoped to see.

Darcy proceeds to inquire after Elizabeths health and Austen writes that Elizabeth,

Answered him with cold civility.

This, in my opinion, is admirable on Elizabeths part as it is evident that she possesses a distinct hatred for this man yet still has the manners to be civil with him.

From the very beginning of Darcys proposal, it is clear that his differs substantially from Mr. Collins.

The opening line of Mr. Darcys proposal reads,

In vain.love you.

This quotation tells us two things about the character of Mr. Darcy.

His opening line is rather inconsiderate towards Elizabeths feelings as he is saying that he has struggled against loving her. The reasons for this become evident further on. He does, however, use the word vain, Which shows that his love for Elizabeth outweighed his reasons for not proposing. This proves that he really loves Elizabeth and is proposing solely for reasons of love.

Elizabeths reaction to Darcys proposal are very useful in analysing her character and looking at her feelings towards Mr. Darcy.

Austen writes,

Elizabeths astonishment.silent.

This, to me, proves Elizabeths complete and utter state of disbelief in hearing the beginning of a proposal by Mr. Darcy.

This was the last thing in the world she expected. She had assumed a hatred between herself and Mr. Darcy, one which did not feature on his behalf and this will surely influence her decision.

Although Mr. Darcy speaks less fluently than Mr. Collins, it is obvious that his speech is coming from the heart. This real love for Elizabeth is the eventual deciding factor in the marriage.

Even though Elizabeth is insulted when Mr. Darcy tells her that he is marrying someone of a lower class and he purposely put his friend off marrying Elizabeths sister, I feel that this is huge evidence of his love for Elizabeth. He accepts the fact that he broke up her sisters marriage yet goes on to say that his love is too strong to do likewise here. Although her anger prevents her from seeing this immediately, it is this which leads her to eventually marrying Mr. Darcy.

There are many great differences evident between Mr. Darcy and Mr. Collins. There are a few similarities, however. In both cases, it is definitely a case of unrequited love and Elizabeth is shocked by both proposals. There are more differences though.

After being rejected, Mr. Darcy, unlike Mr. Collins keeps his cool and remains gentleman-like in accepting it. As already mentioned, Mr. Darcy speaks more of love than the marriage merely being a business agreement and is reminiscent of modern proposals in terms of intent and purpose.

In todays society, marriage is a partnership between equals and done for love but in Austens society, women had to marry to survive financially and it was usually a business agreement. Social class was also an issue. With Mr. Darcys case as an exception, you did not usually marry out of your own class.

There are many numerous other factors which make marriage today significantly different to that in Austens society, which have been proven by my analysis of characters in the previous pages.

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