The Character of Mr Collins in Pride and Prejudice

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Mr Collins is introduced to us for the first time in Chapter 13, possibly one of the most famous chapters of the novel. This is the chapter in which Mr. Bennet reads “the letter” out loud to his family. This letter gives us the most fundamental impression on Mr Collins’ character. The contents of this letter makes us judge him straight away and this judgement marks the image we have of this clergyman for the whole story. As soon as his name is mentioned by Mr Bennet at the start of Chapter 13, Mrs. Bennet’s reaction is: “Oh! My dear (...) pray do not talk of that odious man!”. This shows how Mr Collins is not particularly liked in the society and the word odious is particularly well-suited to the man as we understand further on. This is because he ways of gaining trust and building relationships with other people is not very agreeable as he does this through endless flat compliments which, as Mr Bennet later points out are often: “are the result of previous study “. Most of the impressions we get of Mr Collins are heavily subject, as I said before, to the words of the other characters. This is further emphasized as the characters that immediately criticize William have good credibility in this. Mrs Bennet is always the first to shine a good light on possible rich suitors for her daughter so if she decides to criticize a man that fits this description than it means that he is really disagreeable. Also Elizabeth comments his behaviour as being” an oddity” and as having “something very pompous in his style”. This is yet again a very good description of him from a very credible character. This is because Elizabeth is throughout the whole novel depicted as being the most intelligent and clever of the Bennet sisters and is therefore a reliable testimony. The first impressions we get which are an actual description by Jane Austen seemingly follow the assumptions we get about him: he is “heavy looking” and “very formal”. Both these traits are in great concordance with...
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