In "Pride and Prejudice", what does the formal letter addressed to Mr. Bennet by Mr. Collins tell us about Collin's character?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We know that there had been some tension between Mr. Bennet and his brother, Collin's father, earlier in their lives. This meant that the relationship between Mr. Collins and Mr. Bennet was not a close one. The formal letter is an indication of this lack of familiarity between the two men. However, it also shows that Collins is thinking about his future and we can imply from the letter that he is probably looking for a wife from among the Bennet daughters. Of course, the marriage would be arranged primarily for business purposes, and not for love, as Elizabeth desires. Thus Collins comes across as a practical, but not loving, man and one who fully expects to be treated well because he his the heir to the Bennet estate.He does not ask if his visit will be convenient, he simply assumes the Bennets will welcome him. Thus, he also does not seem to be the most sensitive of men,either.