Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, Austen's best-known novel, was published in 1813 and tells the story of the Bennet family.

"Pride and Prejudice," Austen's best-known novel, was published in 1813 and tells the story of the Bennet family. Mr. Bennet is the father of five daughters - major bad luck since his estate must pass to a male heir. The family suffers from financial problems, and unfortunately to solve the family's financial problems, the only thing to do is marry off the girls well. So Mrs. Bennet's antennae go up when a well-to-do bachelor, Mr. Bingley moves into the neighborhood. Bingley is cheerful and easygoing, perfect for the sweet and lovely eldest daughter, Jane. However Bingley is accompanied not only by two snobbish shrews of sisters, but also by his sullen best friend, Mr. Darcy. Darcy is destined to be matched with second sister Elizabeth. But at an introductory ball, Darcy instantly offends everyone. He thinks he is too good for their society, and Elizabeth thinks he's a big jerk. Thus, the obstacles to true love: his pride and her prejudice.

Enter Mr. Collins a disatnce relative and the male heir to the Bennet family, if the daugthers do not marry. Mr.Collins is a unique character, and is as a much more likeable character compared to Mr. Bingley. Except for Mrs. Bennet, the majority of the characters in the novel like him. He is a gentleman with excellent qualities. Mrs. Bennet resents Mr.Collins, a distant cousin, because she wants him to marry Lizzy, and fears being removed from the household if he marries a different woman.

When Mrs. Bennet first hears the news of the proposed marriage between Mr. Collins and Elizabeth at the beginning of chapter 23, we see Mrs. Bennet's anger in her actions and the tone of her voice, "Mrs. Bennet, with more perseverance than politeness, protested he must be entirely mistaken" P. 110). Sir William, Elizabeth, and Jane counter Mrs. Bennet's arguments, "by the earnestness of their congratulations to Sir William" and "by a variety of remarks on the happiness that might be expected from the match, the excellent character of Mr. Collins, and the convenient distance of Hunsford from London (P.11). However, Mrs. Bennet's anger at the upcoming marriage to the daughter of Sir William Lucas:

Mrs. Bennett was in fact too much overpowered to say a great deal while Sir William remained; but no sooner had he left them than her feelings found a rapid vent. In the first place, she persisted in disbelieving the whole matter; secondly, she was very sure that Mr. Collins had been taken in; thirdly, she trusted that they would never be happy together; and fourthly, that the match might be broken off. (P. 111)

Mrs. Bennet is angry, because he is not marrying Elizabeth. She even blames Elizabeth. However, her anger at Mr. Collins is not limited to her desire to see him marry her daughter.

Near the end of the chapter, it becomes clear Mrs. Bennet's concerns are more self-centered than just anger at Mr. Collins for marrying Ms. Lucas. She is extremely jelaous of Ms. Lucas and fears the loss of her household:

Mrs. Bennet was really in a most pitiable state. The very mention of anything concerning the match threw her into an agony of ill humour, and wherever she went she was sure of hearing it talked of. The sight of Miss Lucas was odious to her. As her successor in that house, she regarded her with jealous abhorrence. Whenever Charlotte came to see them she concluded her to be anticipating the hour of possession; and whenever she spoke in a low voice to Mr. Collins, was convinced that they were talking of the Longbourn estate, and resolving to turn herself and her daughters out of the house as soon as Mr. Bennet were dead. (P. 114)

The source of Mrs. Bennet's anger is actually her Pride and Prejudice. She is afraid of losing her social status and is proud of her current position. In chapter 23, we do not get a clear picture of Mr. Collins. He is off-stage or not present in this chapter, except through the words and opinions of other's, and a short letter he writes to Mr. Bennet. In the letter he shows why he is well liked, his love is sincere and honest,

He proceeded to inform them, with many rapturous expressions, of his happiness in having obtained the affection of their amiable neighbor, Miss Lucas. . .for Lady catherine, he added, so heartily approved his marriage that she wished it to take place as soon as possible, which he trusted would be an unanswerable argument with his amiable Charlotte to name an early day for making him the happiest of men. (P. 112)

Contrasting Mrs. Bennet's complete and bitter anger, with the indifference of the other characters, it makes Mr. Collins more likeable. Mrs. Bennet is despicable, and it is natural for the reader to develop a bond with ridiculed. The thing that makes Mr. Bennet important, is that he is the only character who does not allow his Pride and Prejudice dictate his love, and therefore he is the only character that has a happy relationship.

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