Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, contains many opinions given
by the narrator about the characters, but the true personalities are
shown in the way their feelings and words are portrayed. Austen uses
dramatic irony to allow the reader to appreciate the hidden feelings
of the characters. The unseen feelings of Elizabeth, Mr Darcy and Mr
Collins are revealed to others in the novel during the three proposals
There are a number of similarities between the first two proposals
that Elizabeth receives. When Mr Collins made his "declaration of
form" he expects Elizabeth to say yes, as did Mr Darcy. He "had no
doubt of a favourable answer." This shows that they are both bad
judges of character, because Elizabeth has no intention of marrying
either of them. In fact, at the point in the novel when Mr Darcy
proposes, she holds the biggest grudge against him.
In both proposals they do not respect Elizabeth's feelings and insult
her and her family. Mr Collins believes that "it is by no means
certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made to her". He
thinks this will make her want to marry him, but it has the opposite
affect. Austen uses irony to make what Mr Collins says more effective.
He emphasizes the fact that she is poor and that nobody else will want
to marry her because of it, when actually he has said previously that
he will be "uniformly silent" about how much money she will inherit.
Mr Collins reminds her that he is "to inherit her estate after the
death of her honourable father." He tries to make what he is saying ...
... middle of paper ...
resulting in the acceptance from Elizabeth.
Austen uses irony throughout the novel but it is very clearly
noticeable during Mr Collins' proposal to Elizabeth. Austen satirizes
Mr Collins during the novel, and informs the reader of his character
prior to the proposal to let the reader appreciate his language and
actions. On the other hand when Mr Darcy proposes for the second time
Austen uses the way in which Mr Darcy and Elizabeth act to let the
reader be aware of his, and Elizabeth's feelings. After the proposals
the reader is not made to feel sorry for Mr Collins, but is made to
feel pleased for Mr Darcy. Throughout the novel Austen satirizes the
characters that marry for money, and uses the marriage of Elizabeth
and Mr Darcy to show that she thinks the most successful marriage is
when they marry for love.
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