My A to Z of Pride and Prejudice – Letter I

A2Z-Pride-and-Prejudice

The April A to Z Blogging Challenge  is a month-long event where I, and more than 2000 other bloggers, will post every day of the month (except Sundays) using a different letter of the alphabet. The theme of my posts will be “What I Love About Pride and Prejudice.” Click the link above or the A to Z badge in my sidebar to visit other participants.

iI is for Inheritance

“I am, to inherit this estate after the death of your hounored father (who, however, may live many years longer), I could not satisfy myself without resolving to choose a wife from among his daughters, that the loss to them might be as little as possible, when the melancholy event takes place — which, however, as I have already said, may or may not be for several years.” –Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice

I wrote in a previous post that the Bennet family is considered landed gentry. Because Mr. Bennet inherited his property and doesn’t have to work to support himself, he and his daughters are in a higher social class than people who must have a job. Unfortunately for the girls, their father’s property comes with a Fee Entail. This means that only a male heir can inherit the estate. Since Mr. and Mrs. Bennet failed to have a son, the nearest male relative will get Longbourn when Mr. Bennet dies.

David-Bamber

David Bamber as Mr. Collins 1995 BBC Pride & Prejudice mini-series.

This is where Mr. Collins enters the picture. He is Mr. Bennet’s cousin and the man who will become the next owner of Longbourn. During the story Mr. Collins comes for a visit with the intention of choosing a wife from among the Bennet daughters. This he means as making amends for taking away their home.

The problem is, “Mr. Collins is not a sensible man…”

He really is quite the opposite. Elizabeth describes him to Jane by saying, “…Mr. Coliins is a conceited, pompous, narrow-minded, silly man;” His character is one of the most amusing in the story. Mr. Bennet eagerly anticipates his arrival, but grows tired of all the nonsense that spews from his cousin’s mouth. It is up to Mrs. Bennet and the girls to entertain him while putting up with his constant praise of his patroness and practiced compliments. His proposal to Elizabeth, complete with the pros and cons of marriage, is one of the most humorous points in the book.

Beyond comic relief, Mr. Collins is useful to the storyline because he helps establish Elizabeth’s attitude about marriage. She won’t have a man simply because he can keep her comfortably. There must be genuine feelings for her to even consider matrimony. This was not the usual thoughts on marriage during Jane Austen’s day.

GuyHenry

Guy Henry as Mr. Collins BBC Lost In Austen mini-series. He plays a Collins so vile, it’s amazing.

Because he immediately marries Elizabeth’s dear friend, Mr. Collins also is a catalyst in bringing Elizabeth to Rosings Park. She is on an extended visit with her friend when Elizabeth is introduced to Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Colonel Fitzwilliam. It is also during her time at the Collins’ home that Mr. Darcy botches his own marriage proposal to Elizabeth.

I love Mr. Collins character in Pride & Prejudice because he is a comedic fool. There, I said. I enjoy laughing at him. He is SO wrong, that at some point he becomes right. Thank you Jane Austen for giving us a silly man to stand next to Mr. Darcy. It just makes our hero look better.

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Categories: Book Recommendations, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “My A to Z of Pride and Prejudice – Letter I

  1. Mr Collins, just his name makes me shudder…but then, isn’t that what a great character should do? Make us have a reaction to them, even after we’ve finished the book?

    Great post 😀

    • I was going to write about Collins for letter C, but I just couldn’t bring myself to put him BEFORE Darcy or Elizabeth.

  2. Mr. Collins is the comic relief in P&P. The fact that Charlotte ends up marrying him also shows how marriage was viewed at the time. She is so desperate to get out of her parents’ house and not be a burden to them that she says yes. Charlotte’s view on marriage and love is opposite to Elizabeth’s, too, which adds depth to the story. Funny how Mr. Collins ends up bringing Elizabeth and Darcy together, too.

    • I love the part when Elizabeth is visiting them at Rosings and she notices how Charlotte blushes about the stupid things Mr. Collins says. She’s also encourages him to visit Lady Catherine and work in his garden. Sly.

  3. Since I haven’t read the book, I don’t have much to add to the conversation, but I will like and share your posts. Don’t want you to think I just dropped following you. 🙂

  4. Thank goodness times have changed and women can now inherit! What a crazy time that was.
    As for Mr Collins, he is the comic relief and the actor that played him in the Colin Firth version was perfect.
    There is a guy at work and his last name is Collins. Whenever we are in a meeting together and he is there before me, I walk in and say hi to everyone and leave him for last. It goes something like this: “Hi Sarah, Greg, Sam and MR COLLINS!” LOL I sound just like Elizabeth’s mom in the movie with an English accent.

  5. lonitownsend

    Mr. Collins set my teeth on edge at times. I’m glad Elizabeth didn’t get roped into marrying him!

  6. Mr. Collins makes me cringe. Between him and Mr. Darcy there really is no contest. 😉

  7. Liz Blocker

    Yes! What would a theme about P&P be without a classic Mr Collins post?? LOL, I love it. It;s ok that you laughed at him; we all do. And that scene is priceless!

  8. Johne433

    This is one awesome blog post. Keep writing. gekfeffdfacc

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