Pride And Prejudice

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Question 1: Pride and Prejudice Chapter 19 concerns Mr Collins's proposal to Elizabeth. Read carefully the exchange between Elizabeth and Mr Collins beginning 'Believe me, my dear Miss Elizabeth' to 'not fail of being acceptable'. Discuss the passage in detail, commenting on its comic aspects, and what the chapter reveals about the characters and the social environment or world of the novel.

At first glance Chapter 19 is just another cog in the story of Pride and Prejudice, but upon closer inspection it reveals a great many details. Obviously the comical aspects of Mr Collins are what first strikes the reader when they come across this passage, he is very confident, very sure of himself, and completely off the mark. It is something that we as readers can see quite plainly, but it reveals many things about Mr Collins's personality, and its distinct lack of depth. He views his proposal as doing Elizabeth and indeed the whole Bennet family a favour, by allowing them to keep Longbourn Estate in the family so to speak.

While his proposal was comical in aspect it was also a looking glass into English society, through his long drawn out protests at Elizabeth's rejection of him he gives the reader an insight into English society and particularly the roles of women. Elizabeth Bennet's character is put to a test by Mr Collins' proposal in Chapter 19, and it passes with flying colours. With great many advantages to be had by marrying Mr Collins, such as security for her sisters and mother after their fathers' death, she still chooses to reject him rather then humble herself before him.

Mr Collins's manner in which he proposes to Elizabeth is very matter-of-fact; the proposal itself is more of a business proposition than a marriage proposal in...