Pride and Prejudice Questions and Answers
by Jane Austen

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What do we learn about Charlotte's life with Mr. Collins at Hunsford Parsonage?

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Charlotte's first report of her new life as Mrs. William Collins was, "Mr. Collins's picture of Hunsford and Rosings rationally softened."

When the narrator takes us with Elizabeth to Hunsford Parsonage in Rosings Park, Kent, we are able to see for ourselves, along with Elizabeth, what kind of life Charlotte has found for herself. The probable negative aspects that we might wonder about, (1) Miss de Bourgh, (2) Lady de Bourgh and (3) Mr. Collins himself, are shown early as Charlotte experiences them.

Charlotte encourages Mr. Collins to pursue his exercise of gardening as much as possible: "Charlotte talked of the healthfulness of the exercise, and owned she encouraged it as much as possible."

We see that this gives Charlotte the double advantage of solitary hours indoors and a husband who has the emotional vigor and good humor resulting from fresh air and sunshine. From this we learn right off that Charlotte has influence over Mr. Collins and uses it to both their advantages. She also discloses that she has taken a back room, away from the lane, as her day room.

This adds another layer of distance and solitary activity to Charlotte's new life. We recognize that Charlotte is wisely buffering herself, in the most gentle and acceptable way possible, from potential aggravation by her husband's vain silliness. Charlotte has acknowledged Collins' deficits and used them to their mutual advantage thus gaining peace and content for herself along with esteem and increased dignity for her husband.

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