Ap English Exam Free Response

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Two Very Different Marriage Proposals

Both the first passage from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and the second from a novel

written by Charles Dickens are marriage proposals made by men. Even though the explicit

purpose of these proposals is to persuade, the two essays reveal two very different

assumptions each of the writers have on the subject of marriage. This major difference

separates the essay in terms of the approaches each of the writers took and this more than

anything is very likely to land one man in the happy seat of a bridegroom and the other in the

lonely seat of a bachelor. Mr. Collins, the writer of the first passage, is far from being

persuasive due to his failure in taking into consideration the lady’s interests while the

character from Charles Dickens’s novel revolves his essay around the interests of his loved

one so that she could be convinced of his love and affection toward her.

Mr. Collins’ absence of thoughtlessness that belies the whole purpose of a persuasive essay

comes from the selfish ideas that he had about marriage. The arguments that he brings up are

not about why she should marry him, but rather about why he should marry her instead. It is

as if the receiver, the lady in question, asked Mr. Collins to marry her first and he is writing a

response to the request. Also phrases such as, “and for your own, let her be an active, useful

sort of person, not brought up high, but able to make a small income go a good way,” reveal

that Mr. Collins thinks women are men’s subordinates when it comes to marriage. Because of

these self-interested assumptions, the tone of this proposal is condescending and superficial,

full of arrogance and logic, but devoid of feelings. In his arguments that he lists as reasons for

his marrying her, it is impossible to sense any sort of loving emotion and care. The words

such as, “right,” “example,” and “recommendation,”...
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