Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|Charlotte is a manipulator with a heart
Written by Robbin
(5/14/2007 12:49 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, JA's use of the word "scheme", penned by Geri-Lynn
"To oblige you, I would try to believe almost anything, but no one else could be benefited by such a belief as this; for were I persuaded that Charlotte had any regard for him, I should only think worse of her understanding than I now do of her heart. My dear Jane, Mr. Collins is a conceited, pompous, narrow-minded, silly man: you know he is, as well as I do; and you must feel, as well as I do, that the woman who marries him cannot have a proper way of thinking. You shall not defend her, though it is Charlotte Lucas. You shall not, for the sake of one individual, change the meaning of principle and integrity, nor endeavour to persuade yourself or me that selfishness is prudence, and insensibility of danger security for happiness." (Chapter 24)
Can you say what she does that you find shocking. Is it that she had a scheme—that she manipulates Mr. Collins into marrying her? Do you mean shocking as in disapproval or or just surprise? In what way are Charlotte’s activities selfish? Lizzy has been grateful for Charlotte’s good-natured relief in engaging Mr. Collins conservation and attentions to herself since Chapter 18 but is rather put out when she learns it has resulted in an engagement. I think Lizzy is quite shocked at Charlotte’s acceptance of him but is also disappointed and disapproves that her friend would marry a man she does not love for security—not only that but a stupid man, one well below her own abilities. Lizzy thinks Charlotte is acting selfishly but I do not.
Sir William and Lady Lucas were speedily applied to for their consent; and it was bestowed with a most joyful alacrity. Mr. Collins's present circumstances made it a most eligible match for their daughter, to whom they could give little fortune; and his prospects of future wealth were exceedingly fair. Lady Lucas began directly to calculate, with more interest than the matter had ever excited before, how many years longer Mr. Bennet was likely to live; and Sir William gave it as his decided opinion that, whenever Mr. Collins should be in possession of the Longbourn estate, it would be highly expedient that both he and his wife should make their appearance at St. James's. The whole family, in short, were properly overjoyed on the occasion. The younger girls formed hopes of coming out a year or two sooner than they might otherwise have done; and the boys were relieved from their apprehension of Charlotte's dying an old maid. (Chapter 22)
The only person I know for sure who suffers because she nabbed Mr. Collins is Mrs. Bennet who it seems was so focused on ensuring Bingley was never interested in Charlotte that she forgot the other fish in her net. Lizzy is certainly not sorry to escape his embrace. The rest of the Bennet clan, as far as I can tell, does not feel put upon or sorry at his switch of allegiance. Mr. Bennet in fact gets a laugh out of it at Charlotte’s expense in Chapter 23. Mr. Collins surely does not suffer for her actions. In Chapter 22 he is embarrassed by Lizzy’s refusal but finds relief in Charlotte’s acceptance with sudden love into the bargain. Mr. Collins is too stupid to understand he has been manipulated and Charlotte is too kind to let him know he was. Charlotte’s engagement is seen as a blessing by her family because her parents could give her little fortune, her brothers need no longer worry about maintaining her in later years and she gave her younger sisters hope of coming out a year or two sooner than had been planned. I cannot blame Charlotte for wanting security and she has already treated Mr. Collins with kindness which is probably more than he would get from other ladies when faced with the stupidity with which he was favored by nature. ;D
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.