Erica Yu
Exploratory Essay
FIQWS: Jane Austen, Adaptation, and the Pop Culture Imagination
Oct 17, 2016
See Through the Letters
In Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice, Pride was represented by the majority of characters such as Mr. Darcy's pride that brought him hard to communicate with others. On the other hand, prejudice was reflected the most in Elizabeth to Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham. Back in the time where the story took place, characters communicated to each other by mailing letters. These letters created significant conflicts and leading to a resolution between Elizabeth with other characters, and had also influenced Elizabeth to gain her maturity through knowing her weakness and having the capability to self-reflect. Mr. Collins's letter arrived to inform the Bennet family his interest on marrying one of Bennet's daughters, and this letter had brought the plot of the story to be highlighted. At the same time, the letter caused conflicts between characters. After Mr. Bennet received the letter, Mr. Collins had arrived and he mentioned that it was first Lady De Bourgh's idea that it was time for him to have a wife. (Vol. I, Chapter XIV, Page 50) Here it had pointed out that Mr. Collins was a man whom determined his life on social norms. Jane was the first person Mr. Collin was planning to marry, but according to the close relationship between Jane and Mr. Bingley he had turned his attention to the second Ms. Bennet; Elizabeth. In addition, the intelligent from Elizabeth had made her rejected Mr. Collin rather than considered about sacrificing her fortune to protect the inheriting of her family's possessions from him. (Vol. I. Chapter XIX, Page 83) Thus, it shows that Elizabeth had the pride to not ease to accept the proposal from a man without loving her but marry her only to fulfill his loyalty to social traditions. After Elizabeth's rejection, Mr. Collins saw Charlotte and made the next proposal to her. Notably, Charlotte did not reject him, and their marriage was soon announced with astonishment. The curiosity from Elizabeth had raised until the explanation from Charlotte where she said, "I am not romantic you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable homeā€¦" (Vol. I, Chapter XXII, Page 96) According to Charlotte's words, it made Elizabeth know her friend better by realizing charlotte's lack of self-worth. Furthermore, Charlotte and Mr. Collins's marriage led Mrs. Bennet to have argument with Elizabeth because Elizabeth had rejected Mr. Collins' proposal. (Vol. I, Chapter XX, Page 87) Without a doubt, the conflict between Elizabeth and her mother showed how selfish Mrs. Bennet instead of minding her daughter's happiness, she chose to marry Mr. Collins so the family would not lose its properties. As a result, the arrival of Mr. Collins's letter first slowed down the story by letting Elizabeth know the personality of each character better. Later the letter highlighted the plot of the story by having Mr. Collins marry Charlotte. Last caused the argument between Mrs. Bennet and Elizabeth.The second significant letter that accelerated the story and changed the development between characters was the letter from Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth. This letter was received by Elizabeth after Elizabeth rejected Mr. Darcy's proposal. From the letter was where Mr. Darcy explained about the reason that he thought Jane and Mr. Bingley's relationship will not be as fortunate as Elizabeth and the majority of others thought. At the same time, he explained the relationship between Mr. Wickham and himself. (Vol. II, Chapter XII, Page 151) According to Mr. Darcy's letter, through the tone he used, it showed that Mr. Darcy had unloaded most of his pride and also showed his expectation and eagerness hoping Elizabeth would understand him better. After reading the letter, it reminded Elizabeth of Charlotte's words about Jane and Mr. Bingley's relationship, "She felt that Jane's feelings, through fervent, were little displayed, and that there was a constant complacency in her air and manner, not often united with great sensibility." (Vol. II, Chapter XIII, Page 160) Mr. Darcy's letter reminded Elizabeth of her friend's words, which made her able to self-reflect and think of the foolishness of her prejudice towards Mr. Darcy. After reading the letter, she discovered that she was caring for