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|If Charlotte had married a sensible man...
Written by Connie
(4/27/2010 10:45 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Charlotte, Spinsterhood and Society (Long), penned by BarbaraB
even if she was not "in love with" him, I agree she would not get the censure she does by marrying Mr. Collins. With Mr. Collins, she can only be marrying for security. With a sensible man, we could at least hope she had affection for him or would grow to love him through their daily life together. We could have a hope of her really being happy, instead of just being saved from possible poverty and the other ills attending unmarried women.
I think JA was realistic in her outlook. As you saw in her letters, she tried to find the balance among romantic love, sensible companionship, and financial security. Charlotte misses 2 of the 3 elements. We will have to see how Lizzy fairs.
Austen knows what an "old maid" has to suffer--although she was quite young when she first wrote P&P. I think she had the rare ability of being able to criticize (and laugh at) her characters' and real people's shortcomings, at the same time as having compassion for them. We really see this in her portrayal of Miss Bates. Charlotte is a complex character, and her situation is complex as well. JA did not idealize either marriage of convenience or "spinsterhood."
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