Chapters 1-23
Personality Trait Passages:
  • "Mr. Collins was not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society, the greatest part of his life having been spent under the guidance of an illiterate and miserly father...The subjection in which his father had brought him up had given him originally great humility of manner; but it was now a good deal counteracted by the self-conceit of a weak head, living in retirement, and the consequential feelings of early and unexpected prosperity." (Chapter 15, page 71)

This description of Mr. Collins reveals his pride and snobbish attitude. He wants everyone to know the status he has achieved by earning a position at Lady Catherine De Bourgh's home, and he goes about doing this in a very annoying, conceited fashion While he was once a generous, compassionate man, his recent fortune changed him into being proud and strange, constantly bragging and centering the conversation on himself and Lady Catherine. He thinks everyone is as interested in his conversations as he is, while also being a flatterer; constantly showering people of higher rank with praises, particularly Lady Catherine.

  • "Mr. Collins, awkward and solemn, apologizing instead of attending, and often moving wrong without being aware of it, gave her all the shame and misery which a disagreeable partner for a couple of dances can give." (Chapter 18, page 88)

This quote shows the odd personality of Mr. Collins, one that many find difficult to relate to. In fact, many people, especially Elizabeth, think of Mr. Collins as a total pain, dreading the thought of having to deal with him. Conversations with Mr. Collins are painful and boring, and most dread talking to such a man they have nothing in common with.

  • "Mr. Collins, meanwhile, was meditating in solitude on what had passed. He thought too well of himself to comprehend on what motive his cousin could refuse him; and though his pride was hurt, he suffered in no other way. His regard for her was quite imaginary, and the possibility of her deserving her mother's reproach prevented his feeling any regret." (Chapter 20, page 105)

This scene in which Elizabeth constantly rebukes Mr. Collin's proposal is frustrating for both the character and the reader. The passage reveals Mr. Collin's stubborn and arrogant personality. Even after being denied several times, Mr. Collins has the audacity to continue asking! Very ignorant! He is selfish and does not care about anyone's happiness but his own.

  • "You must give me leave to flatter myself, my dear cousin, that your refusal of my addresses are merely words, of course. My reasons for believing it are briefly this: It does not appear that my hand is unworthy your acceptance, or that the establishment I can offer would be any other than highly desirable. My situation in life, my connections with the family of De Bourgh, and my relationship to your own, are circumstances highly in my favor; and you should take it into further consideration that, in spite of your manifold attractions, it is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made you." (Chapter 19, page 102)

Once again, Mr. Collins's pride is revealed. By trying to win the hand of Elizabeth, he is only pushing him further and further away from her. He shows great perseverence in his proposals to Elizabeth, but he is blind to Elizabeth's true feelings.

  • "Mr. Collins received and returned these felicitations with equal pleasure, and then proceeded to relate the particulars of their interview, with the result which he trusted he had every reason to be satisfied, since the refusal which his cousin had steadfastly given him would naturally flow from her bashful modesty and the genuine delicacy of her character." (103)

Collins is very optimistic, and he can only see hope and encouragement in Elizabeth's denials. He is prideful, and he will not admit that the reason she denied is because of his faults and imperfections, not because of her "bashful modesty" and "the genuine delicacy of her character" (103).

Chapters 24-41

  • "Mr. Collins' triumph, in consequence of this invitation, was complete. The power of displaying the grandeur of his patroness to his wondering visitors, and of letting them see her civility toward his wife, was exactly what he had wished for," (145)

Mr. Collins is very prideful of his relationship to Lady DeBourgh and he seeks every opportunity to "show off" her wealth and grandeur. His only desire is to show his friends Lady DeBourgh's estate, and his pride takes over and he can only boast about Rosings. He does not care for the feelings of others except for Lady DeBourgh.

  • "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." (Chapter 24, page 123).

Elizabeth "tells it like it is" in her description of Mr. Collins; the second reading does not show much change in Mr. Collins's character. He is still full of pride, constantly bragging, especially about his relationship with Lady DeBourgh.

  • "Elizabeth was prepared to see him in his glory, and she could not help fancying that in displaying the good proportion of the room, its aspect, and its furniture, he addressed himself particularly to her, as if wishing to make her feel what she had lost in refusing him" (Chapter 28, Page 142).

When Elizabeth goes to visit Mr. and Mrs. Collins, it is obvious that Mr. Collins has not changed a bit. He holds a grudge against Elizabeth but attempts to hide this by showing off his estate. He still, however, does not impress Elizabeth; she continues to see him as a silly, annoying man, and avoids him as much as possible.


  • "Very few days passed in which Mr. Collins did not walk to Rosings, and not many in which his wife did not think it necessary to go likewise." (Chapter 30, Page 152).
This quote exemplifies Mr. Collins's attachment to Lady DeBourgh; his entire world revolves around pleasing her. Poor Charlotte is now trapped visiting with the woman too and must put up with his obsession with her. This passage also shows that Mr. Collins is a rather needy man, constantly seeking attention of those superior to him.

Chapters 42-End
  • "...that this licentiousness of behavior in your daughter has proceeded from a faulty degree of indulgence; though, at the same time, for the consolation of yourself and Mrs. Bennet, I am inclined to think that her own disposition must be naturally bad...you are grievously to be pitied; in which opinion I am not only joined by Mrs. Collins, but likewise by Lady Catherine and her daughter..." (Page 251 Chapter 48
While Mr. Collins plays a small role in this last section of reading, his letter to the Bennet family is significant. It reminds readers what a snobby, judgmental character Mr. Collins is and shows that he is unchanging (static). He tries to use Mrs. Collins and Lady Catherine to back him up, but he doesn't realize that the Bennet family does not care what either of the two think about them! He condemns the parents for their bad parenting, but Mr. and Mrs. Bennet do not really care about his opinion. He is annoying and rude.


AUSTEN'S VIEW SAME AS ON P. 100?

Stereotypes
While Mr. Collins is a rather harmless man, his self-importance is a major turn-off. He is much too pompous, and after having just one conversation with him, many would resolve never to again. He is conceited and narrow-minded. Mr. Collins, therefore, would be stereotyped as the type of man who would be a selfish husband, one who only cares about his own happiness. Also, many would assume he is a silly, stupid man, just as Mr. Bennet does at his arrival:
"Mr. Bennet's expectations were fully answered. His cousin was as absurd as he had hoped; and he listened to him with the keenest enjoyment, maintaining at the same time the most absolute composure of countenance, and except in an occasional glance at Elizabeth, requiring no partner in his pleasure." (Chapter 14, page 68-9)
Austen uses Mr. Collins to attack the conventional attitudes of marriage. Mr. Collins sees marriage as a way to increase his social ranking, a "social necessity." He takes the meaning out of marriage. He wishes to marry not out of love, but of necessity, happiness, and to set an example of matrimony for his community to follow."My reasons for marrying are, first, that I think it a right thing for every clergy man in easy circumstances to set the example of matrimony in his parish; secondly, that I am convinced that it will add to greatly to my happiness; and, thirdly... that it is the particular advice and recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honor of calling patroness." (100)

SO DO YOU STILL THINK HE IS "RATHER HARMLESS"????
Chapters 24-41

Mr. Collins is the stereotypical man of good fortune of the time period because he views marriage as a necessity to keep his status in society. He sees a woman as a necessity rather than a life partner. People see him as a sort of "wannabe"; obsessed with pleasing people of higher rank and gaining wealth and status.

Sociogram
Mr. Bennet:
  • Mr. Collins's cousin;
  • finds Mr. Collins to be annoying and too proud, cannot take him seriously; when Mrs. Bennet tells him he must convince Elizabeth to accept Mr. Collins as her husband, he tells Elizabeth: "From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do." (Chapter 20, page 104);
  • Mr. Collins, on the other hand, respects Mr. Bennet; he feels bad that he will take the estate from the family when Mr. Bennet dies, and he wants one of his daughters for marriage
Elizabeth
  • Love interest of Mr. Collins. Cousin of Mr. Collins
  • finds Mr. Collins to be determined and hopeful, but annoying in his perseverence: "Your hope is rather an extraordinary one after my declaration...I am perfectly serious in my refusal. You could not make me happy," (101), "All praise of me will be unecessary. You must give me leave to judge for myself, and pay me compliment of believing what I say," (101). Elizabeth is puzzled by his finding hope and encouragement in her denial of his marriage proposal: "You puzzle me exceeingly. If what I have hitherto said can appear to you in the form of ecouragement, I know not how to express my refusal in such a way as may convince you of its being one," (102).
  • Mr. Collins finds Elizabeth to be an agreeable wife and refuses to believe her rejection to his marriage proposal is sincere:"I am not now to learn...that it is usual with young ladies to reject the addresses of the man whom they secretly mean to accept." (Chapter 19, page 101)
Mrs. Bennet
  • Mr. Collins's "cousin in law"
  • finds Mr. Collins to be an admirable man and worthy to marry one of her daughters: "She talked to ELizabeth again and again; coaxed and threatened her by turns. She endeavored to secure Jane in her interest...though her manner varied, however, her determination never did," (105). Mrs. Bennet tried every possible way of convincing Elizabeth to marry Collins. She deeply cared that her children be married to a man who was esatblished, and she felt that Mr. Collins was a good fit for one ofer her daughters.
  • Mutual feelings; Mr. Collins likes Mrs. Bennet's attention and compliments
Lady Catherine
* * Mr. Collins's Patroness
  • Thinks Mr. Collins is a favorable clergyman (according to what he says)
  • Mr. Collins is extremely fond of Lady Catherine; in fact, he is a bit too fond; carries on about her incessantly: "The subject elevated him to more usual solemnity of manner; and with a most important aspect he protested that 'he had never in his life witnessed such behavior in a person of rank, such affability and condescension, as he had himself experienced from Lady Catherine." (Chapter 14, page 67)
Miss Lucas/Mrs. Collins
  • Engaged to Mr. Collins after Elizabeth's refusal
  • Neither are in love with the other; Mr. Collins simply wants a wife and Miss Lucas confides in Elizabeth that: "I am not romantic, you know- I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins' character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state." (Chapter 22, page 116)
Maria Lucas
  • She is Mr. Collins' sister-in-law
  • She is in awe of his place in society and his connections to Lady DeBourgh
  • "Such formidable accounts of her ladyship and her manner of living quite frightened Maria" (146). Maria is not used to company, and her reaction to the descriptions of Lady DeBourgh reflect her attitude towards those in the high level of society.
Mr. Darcy
  • Thinks that Mr. Collins "appears very fortunate in his choice of a wife" (160)
  • Mr. Collins believes that Mr. Darcy is illustrious and noble: "the chosen partner of her fate may be reasonably looked up to as one of the most illustrious personages in the land... is blessed... with every thing the heart of a mortal can most deisre-- splendid property, noble indred, and expensive patronage" (303)


Neoclassic Characteristics
Mr. Collins shows no neoclassical characteristics in his character and actions. He defies these characteristics because he does not stress order or logic. He does whatever it takes to gain status; instead of finding a wealthy, beautiful young woman to marry, he simply picks out the first one that is willing to marry him. He does not earn wealth the way most would during his time, and his silly actions and characteristics defy the neoclassical era.


Character Similar to Mr. Collins

A character who is similar to Mr. Collins is Terry Benedict from Ocean's Eleven. Benedict is a casino owner who flaunts his power and wealth , and makes sure that he is repsected. He does everything in his power to ensure that his casino is the most prestigious on the strip. He is a snob who does not care for his wife's feelings and enjoys showing off his wealth and casino to all who are willing to admire. Mr. Collins enjoys flaunting his connections to Lady DeBourgh to anyone and everyone he meets. He is wealthy and when Elizabeth tours his home, he shows off his wealth in the only manner he knows how by flaunting it in a snobbish way. Mr. Collins thinks that he is among the top rungs of society and he is full of himself. Benedict, like Collins, is also full of himself and believes that he has the greatest casino anywhere in the world.


Mary Grace Antalovich
Kevin Mullinger