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|How does it being typical make it any better?
Written by Tracy W
(6/12/2007 5:27 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, You are right.., penned by Rachel G
If Mr Collins had never encountered another viewpoint, then that could be excused. But there seems to be a general expectation that a girl like Lydia would not be abandoned to her fate, so Mr Collins is therefore thoroughly responsible for his own ideas.
Colonel Forster comes searching for Lydia when he learns that the elopement may not lead to marriage, and so does Mr Bennet and Mr Gardiner. Surely those men are at least as typical of their time as Mr Collins?
And Mr Gardiner speaks in terms that indicate that it was taken as normal that a girl's friends would step in to protect her. He argues at one stage that Wickham should be planning to marry Lydia because:
Remember Mr Collins is advocating abandoning Lydia, not merely expressing disapproval of her behaviour. We can I think safely assume that Wickham would have abandoned Lydia when she became too much of a financial problem for him. What skills does a fifteen-year old girl like Lydia have? Unless she had the wit to turn to the Gardiners, she'd almost certainly wind up in prostitution and/or crime, with dire results from either STDs or the justice system.
I think Mr Collins deserves to be disliked for that attitude. He must have run into other, nicer, views. A culture only stops having misogynistic views if the individuals in that culture stop having them so it hardly excuses anyone to say that their views are part of that culture.
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