Mr Collins: Character Review

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Mr Collins: Character Review

We first hear of Mr Collins, one of Mr Bennet’s distant cousins, in a letter addressed to the family living in the house which after Mr Bennet’s death will become his own. In this letter he sounds very pompous, irrelevantly reiterating and repeating the name of his patron, Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

Mr Collins is honest that he has an ulterior motive for wanting to stay at Longbourn: he wishes to take the hand of one of the Bennet sisters in a marriage which would ensure that at least one daughter of Mr Bennet would remain comfortable, living at Longbourn as ‘Mrs Collins’. He does not ask to stay at Longbourn, he expects his stay to be welcomed, and even desired, by the Bennet family. “I remain, dear sir, with respectful compliments to your lady and daughter”: this quote shows how ingratiating Mr Collins is: a side of his character which the reader sees more readily during the rest of the novel.

Having previously thought Mr Collins was an “odious man”, Mrs Bennet is quick to change her mind after Mr Collins made compliments towards her daughter (and herself) in the letter.

Upon arrival at Longbourn Mr Collins assures that “the young ladies I come prepared to admire”. The word ‘prepared’ in this quote gives the implication that Mr Collins does nothing in a rash manner and has everything planned in what appears to be quite a sly way. Once inside the house Mr Collins begins to commend each and every item of furniture within it. Mrs Bennet would on any other occasion have been delighted at this, but she knows that when Mr Collins entails the estate all that he admires will be his own. Mr Collins believes that by ingratiating Mrs Bennet about her house he will please her,

but this begins to vex her a fair deal. “The girls were not the only objects of Mr Collins desire”, here we can see that Mr Collins views the girls as nothing more than materialistic, as objects.

By the evening, Mr Collins is getting somewhat tiresome as he “eloquently praises” his patron, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, with great vivacity and unstoppable

determination. “Lady Catherine was reckoned proud by many people”; Mr Collins cannot see that Lady Catherine is proud because he is proud himself and rates Lady Catherine very highly: perhaps high enough to warrant a little, or is Lady Catherine’s case a lot, of pride.

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