In "Pride and Prejudice", how would you analyze Mr. Collins' view of marriage when he decides to shun Elizabeth's refusal of his proposal? Was Mr. Collins absurd? chapter 20
Mr. Collins original motivation for visiting the Bennetts' was to find a wife. He had been urged to do this by his benefactor, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. His first choice was Jane, indicating he wanted to marry a physically attractive woman. Since he was told Jane was not available, he settled on Elizabeth. Believing marriage was largely a business transaction, he could not fathom why Elizabeth would turn him down. After all, he was the heir to the Bennett's land and by marrying Collins, she would assure that her family home would remain in her family and her mother and sisters would not be left destitute when Mr. Bennett died. When Elizabeth turned him down, it took several attempts for him to even contemplate why she would shun such a "fine" match. But Collins wastes little time. He had come to find a wife and soon after Elizabeth declined his proposal, he turned to Charlotte Lucas, who had no qualms in accepting his proposal. Charlotte told Elizabeth that she was not romantic and the chances for happiness in marriage depended more on fate than choice. So, it seems as if Collins felt that any respectable woman would do and since he could offer a home and the support of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, it was Elizabeth who made the poor choice, not him.