pride and prejudice characters 2

  • Created by: Ellie48
  • Created on: 27-11-17 13:23

Mr Collins

Mr. Collins is an important character in the story. He represents the eventual loss of Longbourn for the Bennet family, and the need for the Bennet sisters to marry as high up as they can, so they will be able to care for their unmarried sisters and widowed mother. Austen presented him as extremely ridiculous to show just how unfair entailment could be. Mr Collins can be an enjoyable chacter to read about as his pretenciousness is amusing. 

"Pompous" and self important "I consider the clerical office as equal in point of dignity with the highest rank in the kingdom" - this social pretence is extremely ridiculous.

"He was a tall, heavy looking young man of five and twenty. His air was grave and staley" Elizabeth and her father see through him immediately. Mr Bennet says "there is a mix of servility and self-importance in his letter which promises well."

Mr Collins says only what he thinks people want to hear making him sound fake and sycophantic. He admits that he spends time thinking up "little elegant compliments." The phrases he use are very over-the-top making him seem ridiculous. The narrators tone constantly seems to be mocking Mr Collins.

Austen uses Collins to satarise a practise that was common in Austen's day. Some landowners, such as Lady Catherine, could choose their own vicars meaning they were not always chosen for their moral or religious views, some were completely unsuitable for the role. Mr Collins is an example of this. His attitude is unchristian- he is snobby, un forgiving and materialistic. Collins is also used to satirise people who value social status very highly. Mr Collins is completely in awe of the rude Lady Catherine just because she is a rich arisocrat 

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Mr Collins 2

Mr Collins's proposal to Lizzy


"he set about it in a very orderly manner", Mr Collins sees the marriage as a sort of transaction - he does not love Lizzy. His language is stiff and formal with very little emotion. His reasons for marrying: Clergymen must set an example by being married, It will add to his happiness and Lady Catherine suggested it, don't have anything to do with Lizzy's happiness. 

"and now nothing remains for me but to assure you in the most animated language of the violence of my affection." - this is a very comedic line as he had failed to show any signs of love up until this point. His use of extravanant words us as "violence" is very funny. 

After Lizzy treats him  we see how Mr Collins treats females as an entirely different species referring to the "delicacy of the female character." This makes them sound meek, mild and unassertive. He clearly believes men are the dominant sex and that women should not be able to refuse them. 

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Lady Catherine de Bourgh

Rude and bossy

Lady Catherine is presented as exaggeratedly rude to satirise the outdated attitudes and snobbery of the aristocracy. She has an openly critical tone - she tells Lizzy she will "never play very well". Not only is this rude, but it is also ridiculous as she does not even play the piano herself.  Lady Catherine declared "I will not be interrupted. Hear me in scilence."

Proud and arrogant

Her pride in her own status means she feels no need to be pleasant to her guests, and she makes them uncomfortable with "the impertinence of her questions."  She boastfully assumes "If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient" Lady Catherine is obsessed with the purity of her blood line saying Anne and Darcy are "destined for each other." 


Lady Catherine encourages the "excessive admiration" of Mr Collins showing that she likes to remain superiour. It is also said that "she likes to have the distinction of rank preserved." This is extremely snobby as Austen points out that having a higher status does not make you a better person. 

Even though Lady C. is very superior to Mrs Bennet socially they both share some great similarities. Both of them embarrass their families with their poor behaviour. Elizabeth "blushed and blushed agian" when her mother was making a fool of herself, and Darcy "looked a little ashamed of his aunt's ill-breeding."

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The Gardiners

Contrast with Mr and Mrs Bennet

The Gardiners provide a strong contrast with the Bennet parents to emphasise their flaws and failings. Mrs Gardiner is seen to provide comfort to Lizzy when she needs it and advises her on how to be sensible with Wickham. When Jane is upset about Mr Bingey she is invited to stay with them as a comfort whilst Mr Bennet mockes her saying she is "crossed in love." 

Used to criticise class prejudice

The Gardiners are kind and sensible. Mr Gardiner is described as "gentlemanlike" and "well-educated" whilst Mrs Gardiner is "intelligent" and "amiable". Mr Gardiner is a business who lives "within view of his own warehouses." He aquires his money through trade meaning the snobbier characters, such as Miss Bingley, look down on him. Austen is showing that these class prejudices are wrong as the Gardiners are genuinely nice people and should not be overlooked due to their social status. 

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Charlotte Lucas

Charlotte is "a sensible, intelligent young woman" who is a very close friend of Elizabeth. 

View on marriage

"I am not romantic you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home". Charlotte's unromantical view contrasts that of Lizzy who belives you should marry for love. As Charlotte is 27 and described as "plain" she feels the pressure placed upon women by society to marry. Charlotte is willing to marry the dreadful Mr Collins just for financial security. 

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As Darcy's younger, sweet sister her main role in the novel is to reveal Darcy's affectionate side. Austen uses Georgiana to represent Darcy's emotional vulnerability. She shows he is kind, and has a capacity for love. Georgiana is also used to show how manipulative and vengeful Wickham can be as he tried to elope with her for her money, and to get revenge on Darcy.

Darcy is very close with Georgiana writing about her with "affectionate praise." 

Georgiana's positive qualities: "sense" and "good humour" are a testimant to Mr Darcy as he had predominantely raised her. Georgiana is very timid and not independent.

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The Bingley Sisters (Miss Bingley)

Miss Bingley is a static character who remains proud and snobby throught the novel. She is particularly cruel when writing a letter to Jane in which "boasted joyfully of their increasing intimacy" - about Bingley and Jane. Caroline knows how much this will hurt Jane and writes it out of spite.  Due to their wealth and fine appearance they “were therefore in every respect entitled to think well of themselves, and meanly of others”. Austen has written this line with her recurring satirical tone and clearly does not agree with the statement.


The Bingley sisters are very class-conscious and are "conceited." They are used by Austen to reveal the hypocracy of class prejudices. They ironically look down on the Bennet sisters for their middle-class connections when they hypocritcally "aquired (their fortune) by trade" themselves.They also show the superficical aspects of the  upper class. People see them as "very fine ladies" due to their status. In reality they are unkind and two-faced.

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Bingley sisters 2


Caroline belives she is in someway entitled to marrying Mr Darcy and so "suspected enough (of Mr Darcy liking Lizzy) to be jealous." This means she is particulary cruel to Lizzy. Elizabeth's cool and witty responses show Miss Bingley up even more. 

Miss Bingley announces “ I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” when previously the day before she had criticised Lizzy for choosing to read. Miss Bingley will attempt anything to ensnare Mr Darcy, a rich and powerful man, and will not refrain from blatant hypocrisy.

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Mr Wickham

First impression - used to highlight just how deceptive and dangerous these can be

Wickham is very charming and his appearance means everyone thinks he is a pleasant young man. "He had all the best part of beauty, a fine countenance, a good figure, and a very pleasing address." - Austen is already hinting at deception with this introduction as these are all external factors. We get no glance into his true personality. 


Mr Wickham uses very emotive language when spinning lies about Mr Darcy tell Lizzy he is "grieved to the soul by a thousand tender recollections" of Darcy's late father. He is trying to inspire sympathy for himself. It is also suspicious how he exposes Darcy's "scandalous" behaviour so soon after meeting Lizzy.


Mr Wickham "had neihter integrity nor honour". It is revealed that he wasted all of his inheritance and the attempted to seduce Gerogiana to get to her fortune. My Wickham is mercenary and his "chief object was unquestionably my sister's fortune." Mr Darcy says he has "vicious propensities" - this harsh language reveals his sadistic nature. The reader's opinion of Mr Wickham is solidified when he runs off with Lydia - a scandal which is very personal for Elizabeth.  

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