Pride and Prejudice (1819), written by Jane Austen is based on the middle class social life in England during the early nineteenth century. It is written around Elizabeth, who is a daughter of an estate owner and her family. Elizabeth and her elder sister have reached their age and their mother seeks suitable gentlemen as their husbands. Meanwhile Elizabeth receives marriage proposals from two distinctive persons, the foremost by Mr. Collins for whom Elizabeth’s family estate is entailed and shortly from one Mr. Darcy, a rich land owner from the city.
Both of the offers of marriage show their characteristic differences while sharing some aspects in common. The marriage proposals Elizabeth receive (in chapters 19 and 34) are similar in certain ways. First of all, by the time Elizabeth receives the proposals, she possesses a disliking towards both the gentlemen. The negative attitude towards Mr. Collins is due to his obvious insensibility and his serious obligations to Lady Lucas. She hates Mr. Darcy too, for several reasons like his extreme pride and breaking up the unity between her sister and Mr. Bignley.
But both the gentlemen, unaware of her mindset, expect that Elizabeth would readily accept the offers. For example, Mr. Collins states, “…and moreover for coming into Hertfordshire with the design of selecting a wife, as I certainly did. ” (Chapter 19) Mr. Darcy is described, “As he said this, she could easily see that he had no doubt of a favorable answer. ” (Chapter 34) Furthermore, both the gentlemen possess a high account of their social back ground and have a feeling that Elizabeth is much inferior in her status. For instance, Mr. Collins says recovering Lady Lucas’s words, “Let her be an active….. ot brought up high” justifying his choice. Elizabeth observes “His sense of her inferiority- of its being degradation…” in Mr. Darcy’s speech. Eventually both offers towards Elizabeth turn out to be unsuccessful. However, Mr. Collins’s proposal is based on different motives from Mr. Darcy’s. He starts in a conventional way by praising her as “….. Your modesty, so far from doing you any disservice, rather adds to your other perfections. ” Mr. Collins’s perspectives of marriage are to establish an example to his parish, for his happiness and also to please Lady Lucas.
He visits Hertfordshire with the consent of his patroness for a marriage with a Bennet girl. He also seeks for the consent of Elizabeth’s mother which he successfully achieves. Mr. Collins gives a lengthy explanation of the good life she would enjoy with the association of Lady Lucas and how could she be financially benefited by the marriage. Eventually when Elizabeth rejects his offer, he is flattered with the misconception that a lady generally rejects men when they really mean acceptance. He says “that it is usual with young ladies to reject the address of the man whom they secretly mean to accept”.
Hence he refuses to accept Elizabeth’s repeated rejections. Although Elizabeth has a sense of humor in the beginning, she gets wild when she is unable to convince Mr. Collins of her dislike and quits the company. Quite contrarily, Mr. Darcy expresses his will to take Elizabeth’s hand in the most unexpected manner. He suddenly appears in Elizabeth’s room and says “In vain have I struggled. It will not do…. You must allow me to tell how ardently I admire and love you. ” His inclination towards the marriage is solely due to love towards Elizabeth.
But he consumes a considerable time explaining why he shouldn’t marry her. Here he reveals that he doesn’t have the consent from his family and his proposal is against their will. First Elizabeth feels regretful to express her rejection but after hearing the condemning speech makes her rather angry. Unlike Mr. Collins, Mr. Darcy gets angry when he hears Elizabeth’s refusal. It is noted “His complexion became pale with anger and the disturbance of his mind was visible in every feature …” But he inquires after her rejection and Elizabeth is allowed to justify her unwillingness.
On hearing the details, Mr. Darcy admits his indecent behavior and takes a sudden farewell. In conclusion, it is obvious that both of above mentioned gentlemen are inclined into a marriage with Elizabeth because of her admirable possessing. They both assume that they should be successful due to their influential status. But unfortunately none of them are aware that Elizabeth is full of prejudices which are strong enough to reject them at once. Word Count 578 (Quotations Excluded)