What character in Pride and Prejudice do you dislike?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I dislike Mr. Collins, as do the majority of the characters (at least, most of the intelligent ones) in the novel.  The narrator tells us that he "was not a sensible man" and that he is "a mixture of pride and obsequiousness, self-importance and humility." What makes his stupidity and obnoxiousness so much more difficult to bear is the fact that he thinks so highly of himself, his abilities, and his station in life that one could scarcely ignore him if one tried. He insists on claiming dances with Elizabeth at the Netherfield ball and then treading on her feet and ruining the dance because he doesn't know the steps. He insists on personally addressing Mr. Darcy about Darcy's own family when he has not been formally introduced. He insists on expounding publicly on the virtues of music, at a party, for a lengthy period of time. He is a nightmare.

Furthermore, his opinions about female reading are directly opposed to Elizabeth's and Mr. Darcy's, characters with whom we are obviously meant to agree and identify. Mr. Collins protests "that he never read novels" and discusses his observation of "how little young ladies are interested by books of a serious stamp, though written solely for their benefit. It amazes [him] [...]—for certainly, there can be nothing so advantageous to them as instruction." So, this ridiculous man finds himself to be such an expert on female behavior—mind you, a man who falls for and proposes to a woman who cannot possibly have any interest in him whatsoever and then proposes to another woman within days, a woman who accepts him only because she desires to be married—that he insists on the female need for instruction in the world? No, we are not supposed to like him, and I do not.

Miquelle Radich | Student

Probably every reader of Pride and Prejudice dislikes Mr. Collins, not only because he is the reason that the Bennet daughters must find financial support through marriage, but also because he is an incredibly ridiculous character. He spends time constructing compliments to bestow on young women and then delivers them in the most awkward manner; he insists on making himself seen and heard where he is not wanted; and he refuses to understand that Elizabeth does not want to marry him.

I also dislike Mrs. Bennet, if only because she, too, can be somewhat silly in her ideas. Although I'd like to add her lack of concern for her daughters' marital happiness as a reason, I have to understand that she was worried that they would be left penniless upon her husband's death. Finding a husband--any husband--was of extreme importance. 

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Pride and Prejudice

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