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|Is Charlotte right? & Lizzy’s views
Written by Robbin
(5/19/2007 5:05 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, To change the topic somewhat - Elizabeth's views, penned by Tracy W
Excluding Charlotte’s belief that she is right to marry Mr. Collins, your question, “whether she was right to marry Mr Collins” can still be taken several ways. First, do I think Charlotte is right to marry Mr. Collins? So far I think she has made the right choice for her. Second, does Lizzy think Charlotte is right to accept Mr. Collins? The answer to that is no but Lizzy is judging Charlotte by her own standards which is hardly fair to Charlotte. Third, because of your posts concerning children—are you asking if Charlotte is right to marry a man who is stupid and might make a terrible father. If that is the case then I have to ask you who should make such judgments other than the man and woman involved? There is no guarantee Mr. Collins' children will turn out to be as bad as him. They could be worse or they could be better; there are really so many factors involved in the shaping of character that it is something which cannot be foreseen. Lizzy and Jane turned out very well despite their flawed parents and the faulty marriage in which they were raised.
]Why do you think she has these principles? I know people say that Elizabeth is young, that she is romantic, but still a young, romantic person generally has reasons to hold a particular view.
I agree with Rachel G and Reeba that Lizzy has formed her principals by observing her parents, their marriage and I would add perhaps her Aunt Gardiner and her marriage. Lizzy’s aunt has obviously taken the time to treat Lizzy with sense and rational thought on her concerns about Wickham and probably other issues in the past; she does this without the amusements which accompany Mr. Bennet’s brand of wisdom. I explained in other posts why I do not think Charlotte is selfish or that she is not insensible to the danger (risks) of marrying Mr. Collins. Charlotte is only guilty of breaking with Lizzy’s principals and integrity of which she has never claimed as her own.
]But to change the topic, do you think you understand why Elizabeth was so disapproving of Charlotte's marriage?
I think Lizzy disapproves Charlotte’s choice because it is not the same as hers; Lizzy does not think Charlotte has chosen wisely and will be unhappy. Lizzy refused Mr. Collins and she believes Charlotte should have also because Lizzy unrealistically holds Charlotte to her own personal standards despite that fact Charlotte told Lizzy her views of marriage and men were different than hers in Chapter 6. Despite being told differently, Lizzy still insisted on believing Charlotte thought as she did. To expect her friend to feel and act the same as she does is a common enough misconception between friends but it is one that has to eventually give way to reality. The pursuit of happiness does not have to be the same for everyone.
]I am not asking now if you think Elizabeth was right, simply if you think you understand her reasoning.
Lizzy’s reasoning about Charlotte’s choice is based on her principals which are basically good ones IMO but she is unreasonable to believe everyone should live and be happy by her rules only so her reasoning is flawed. Lizzy judges Charlotte’s choice solely by her own standards. Lizzy criticizes Charlotte for not sharing all of her principals and values. In Chapter 24 Lizzy tells Jane Charlotte’s situation and temper and his respectability should not make a difference to her friend’s choice of husband and the only standard to measure Charlotte’s choice by is that Mr. Collins is a “conceited, pompous, narrow-minded, silly man.” This is obviously Lizzy’s standard not Charlotte’s. Lizzy discredits any arguments by Charlotte or Jane saying Charlotte does not have a proper way of thinking and Jane wants only to think well of people—only slightly condescending and pompous IMO. Lizzy thinks well of her own opinions and there is more than a bit of pride and conceit mixed in Lizzy’s judgment of Charlotte’s choice of Mr. Collins. ;D
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