Date: April 24, 2013
Mr. Collins is a character in the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. He is the cousin of Mr. Bennet and is the clergyman at the Hunsford parsonage near Rosing’s Park, the estate of his patroness Lady Catherine De Bourgh. Because Mr. Bennet has no sons, Mr. Collins is the heir to the Bennet estate, Longbourn. Mr. Collins is twenty five years old and is described simply as being tall and heavy. An insensible man, he was raised by “an illiterate and miserly father” (47). The way in which his father raised him, “had given him originally great humility of manner” (47). However, this was replaced by arrogance and vanity, caused by “early and expected prosperity” (47). He is arrogant and vain with an air of superiority. Mr. Collins worships Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her daughter Anne, and is always singing their praise. His vanity is due to the fact that he has found favor with Lady de Bourgh and by his position as a rector. He is described as being “a mixture of pride, obsequiousness, self-importance and humility” (47). He always acts with blunder and exaggerated humility, which gives the story some comedy. Mr. Collins leaves the reader feeling quite superior to him as his behavior is quite stupid and idiotic. In an analysis, Deidre Le Faye wrote, “What does make Mr. Collins a figure of fun and rightful mockery is his lack of sense, of taste, and of generosity of spirit contrasted to his own supreme unawares of his shortcomings in these respects”. Mr. Collins was not liked by the Bennet household even before they received his letter that informed them of his impending visit. His letter spoke of the fact that he wanted to make amends for past disagreement between Mr. Bennet and his father. The reading of Mr. Collins letter also gave the Bennets some insight into his character. “Elizabeth was chiefly struck with his extraordinary deference for Lady Catherine, and his kind intention of...