In "Pride and Prejudice", to what extent does Darcy compare to Collins? Based on pp 196 –202 and pp  350-358

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although they have from a different social status, both Darcy and Collins are proud men. Collins is proud of his social connections, especially to Lady Catherine deBourgh and the fact that he is heir to Longbourne. But Collins is "not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society." Darcy, on the other hand, is well educated and , possibly too sensible.He " sometimes unconsciously assumes that a lack of money or social status are characteristics that disqualify people from marrying or loving each other." His pride comes from having been raised in a socially prominent family and his great wealth.

Collins needs to find a wife because Lady Catherine deBourgh has "suggested" that he marry. Darcy seems in no hurry to find any woman. What this means in practical terms is that Collins is willing to "settle" for whatever respectable woman he can get. At first, he is interested in Jane, but Jane is taken. Then Elizabeth, much to his dismay, turns him down. So he settles for Charlotte Lucas. Darcy, on the other hand, can afford to wait. When he finds himself attracted to Elizabeth, he waits until she is ready to accept his proposal. Unlike Collins, he is not put off when Elizabeth does not accept his first proposal. He is sensible enough to examine his life and find his flaws. This allows him to  wait until he has a chance to do something wonderful for Elizabeth's family and then successfully proposes again.

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Pride and Prejudice

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