Comparison and Contrast of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Collins

Mr. Collins was Mr. Darcy??™s foil character in the story Pride and Prejudice. A foil character is much like the twin character in class, rank, and background but has opposing characteristics that provide a mirror to those of the paired character. Both Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy were confident that Elizabeth would not refuse their hand in marriage, but they were wrong, Elizabeth turned them both down. Both of these two men had a side to their personality that prevented Elizabeth from agreeing to their proposals. She does not like the fact that Mr. Collins had a people pleaser personality, or the fact that Mr. Darcy had a proud personality. The presence of the insensible, flattering personality of Mr. Collins brings out Mr. Darcy??™s proud, honest personality.
Mr. Collins had a major people pleaser attitude. This attitude first showed when Mrs. De Bourgh said that he was in need of a wife. He immediately agreed with her and said he would start searching. Then, before he left she told him what she thought he should look for in a wife. Mrs. De Bourgh told him to ???chuse properly, choose a gentlewoman for my sake; let her be an active, useful sort of person, not brought up high, but able to make a small income go a good way.??? The way she acted was like she was going to be living with his wife. He was going to try and find a wife that pleased her. He acted like Mrs. De Bourgh was his mother and he had to get her approval for the things he did. I would not want to marry a man like this. This agreeableness showed up again when he made his first two choices for a wife. Collins is Mr. Bennett??™s cousin and the heir to his estate. He was heir because Mr. Bennett did not have any sons. He would like to marry one of Mr. Bennett??™s daughters to keep the estate in their family. He feels bad for being the heir because if Mr. Bennett dies, before his wife and kids, they would have no home or money to survive. Doing this would enable him to make amends with the Bennett??™s for being heir of the estate, and Mrs. De Bough??™s wishes of him having a wife. He would be ???killing two birds with one stone.??? He really did not have a mind of his own; everything he did was to gain the approval of others.
Mr. Collins people pleaser attitude brought out Darcy??™s honest personality. Darcy talked about people without giving any regard to their feelings. His honesty was what made everyone dislike him at the first ball. Bingley asked Darcy why he was not dancing with anyone. Darcy told him he did not see anyone at the ball that would not be a punishment for him to dance with. He was honest when saying this even though the people he was talking about was standing all around him. When Darcy proposed to Elizabeth he was very honest to her in telling his feelings. Darcy was deeply in love with Elizabeth and told her his love was not by choice. He could not help his self. He had to let out what he felt about her. Afterwards, he started telling her how he knew she was not equal to him in social class and that her parents were not very good people, but he would overlook all that. He was telling a girl he was proposing to all these things. He would not censor anything. Elizabeth refused his marriage proposal because she thought Mr. Darcy played a part in breaking up Mr. Bingley and Jane; she also thought that he did not give Mr. Wickham his rightful share in Mr. Darcy??™s fathers??™ estate.
Mr. Collins tried flattering Elizabeth throughout the story. When he proposed to her she refused and said that she ???could not make him happy???. Collins did not understand why she would refuse to marry him so he tried flattering her. He said his social connections with Mrs. De Bourgh??™s family and being the heir to her father??™s estate should have been enough for her to marry him. The connections Collins had with Mrs. De Bourgh would make Elizabeth reputation rise in social class. Also, getting married would secure a place for her sisters to live after their parents die. Collins told Elizabeth she should further consider her decision. He really thought he was everything she needed in a man when he told her this. Collins was too busy flattering her to realize she did not care about social connections or where her sisters would live if their father died. She did not want anything to do with him. She finally told him that he should respect her decision. Then, when she visited Charlotte in Hunsford, he tried to flatter her again. When Elizabeth arrived he started talking about the elegant furniture and pictures in his house. Collins acted like he was talking specifically to Elizabeth. Collins was trying to make Elizabeth see what her refusal has cost her; what she was missing out on. She still felt she had made the right decision about her refusal and his flattering did not change anything.
Mr. Collins was not a very sensible man. He showed this when he proposed marriage to a girl he knew for a day. There are not many people that will accept a marriage proposal from a complete stranger. He might have had a better chance if he would have got to know Elizabeth and the Bennett??™s first, and not been so pushy. He was also not very smart in thinking that his social connections were more than enough to get her to accept. Elizabeth does not care who Collins knows. She was not looking for someone high in social class. She was looking for someone that would make her happy. Collins never had a chance from the beginning. He should have got to know them before he asked her to marry him. Just asking her to marry him was not a very rational decision on his part.
Mr. Darcy??™s proud personality affected the way Elizabeth and the people of Merton viewed him. Andrew Wright said that ???the novel makes clear the fact that Darcy??™s pride leads to prejudice??? (97). At the ball, the people said Darcy was ???discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased.??? They did not like him. The reason they thought this way was because he did not dance with anyone at the ball nor did he talk with anyone outside the people he came to town with. There were more girls at the ball then men and some did not have partners. Darcy did not ask any of the girls if they wanted to dance. This made the people frown on him. Also, Elizabeth overheard a conversation at the ball between Bingley and Mr. Darcy. Bingley suggested to Darcy that Elizabeth is pretty and would be good for him to dance with and Darcy told him she was tolerable. Elizabeth was one of the most beautiful people at the ball and when he said this it hurt her feelings and caused her not to like him. This behavior was why Elizabeth was so quick to believe what Mr. Wickham said about Darcy. Andrew Wright was right in saying ???Then she meets Wickham, and finding him charming, very easily believes his allegations??? (100). Mr. Wickham??™s first impression showed a charming man and sociable person. He was willing to talk to her and they ended up talking about Darcy. Wickham told Elizabeth, Darcy did not give him his rightful share of his father??™s estate. Elizabeth was upset that Darcy would do this to a man his father admired so much. After thinking about the way Darcy acted at the ball; it was believable that he would do something along those lines.
Though they were different in all these ways, they were both confident that Elizabeth would take their hand in marriage and they would not be refused. Collins was confident because of his connections with her father??™s estate and because of his social connections with the De Bourgh family. He told her ???you must give me leave to flatter myself, my dear cousin, that your refusal of my address is merely words of course???. He did not believe her because her father??™s estate would not stay in the family unless they got married. Elizabeth did not care about the things he was saying and they did not change her mind about her decision. Darcy also did not think she would refuse because of the faults she had compared to him. Her family did not have as much money as his, and they were not equal in social status. Charles McCann said that he ???condemned Elizabeth??™s family to her face??? (86). Darcy said he was willing to deal or overlook all the problems because he loved her. He told her all this and still thought he had a chance. She did not want to marry him at this time because he interfered with her sister??™s relationship with her boyfriend.
Mr. Darcy??™s foil character is Mr. Collins in this story. They were both confident Elizabeth would marry them and both got refused. Mr. Darcy and Mr. Collins had flaws in their personalities that turned Elizabeth away from them. She did not like Mr. Collins people pleaser attitude are Darcy??™s proud personality. These to people showed the advantages and disadvantages of having the personality??™s they have. Mr. Collins insensible, flattering personality brought out Darcy??™s honest proud personality. WORKS CITED PAGE1. Wright, Andrew. ???Heroines, Heroes, and Villains in Pride and Prejudice.??? Twentieth Century Interpretations of Pride and Prejudice. Ed. E. Rubenstein. Eaglewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc., 1969. Pages 97-1002. McCann, Charles. ???Setting and character in Pride and Prejudice.??? Twentieth Century Interpretations of Pride and Prejudice. Ed. E. Rubenstein. Eaglewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc., 1969. Page 86


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