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Ader Bias Developed Through Character Exaggeration

1278 words - 6 pages

Throughout all texts, the personality and development of the characters is an art created by the author. How the reader perceives the characters plays a large role in the readers understanding and connection to the text. In Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen’s development of many characters draws certain emotions from the reader. The personalities of many characters in Pride and Prejudice become infuriating and bothersome as the novel progresses. Austen’s creation of ridiculous and exaggerated characters such as Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Collins, Miss Bingley, and Lady Catherine create negative reader bias towards the characters and their actions in the novel.
The ridiculous behavior of Mrs. Bennet is ...view middle of the document...

After Elizabeth rejects Mr. Collins due to her inability to love him Mrs. Bennet is greatly upset and threatens her daughter for her decision; “Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins” (111). Mrs. Bennet’s complete selfishness leaves the reader with a personal prejudice that slants their view about her actions in the novel due to her developed uncaring and partly negligent personality as a mother figure to the Bennets’.
Furthermore, another character that Austen exaggerates within the novel is Mr. Collins. When introduced to the Bennet family his pride is tremendously overflowing. Mr. Collins presents himself as a very accomplished businessman, who believes himself to be very popular with women due to his connections with high-class women in the society. As the evening progresses, Mr. Collins continues to speak with overwhelming politeness, and Mr. Bennet asks him if he plans his compliments. Collins replies,
“I sometimes amuse myself with suggesting and arranging such elegant compliments as may be adapted to ordinary occasions, I always wish to give them as unstudied an air as possible” (87).

This marks the beginning of Collins’s own stupidity, as he is completely unaware of how foolish he sounds to others. His oblivious pride filled personality forces the reader to perceive him as a joke allowing the reader to develop affection for the characters around him as they seem much more genuine. When Mr. Collins proposes to Elizabeth, his idiocy is revealed at an even greater extreme as he refuses to accept Elizabeth’s denial. “I am therefore, by no means discouraged by what you have just said, and I shall hope to lead you to the altar ere long” (107). This leaves the reader with the impression that Mr. Collins has no emotional depth. From this point forward the reader doesn’t take his comments seriously and his actions become buried beneath actions of characters with greater personality traits. Even after Collins is happily married to Charlotte Lucas, his prideful personality is still smothering to those that surround him,
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 married him cannot have a proper way of thinking” (135).

Mr. Collins conceited appearances to the reader leave the reader with a smothered and hesitant opinion of him, creating bias within the readers view. This bias forces the reader to develop dislike, as well as question the societal place for a man with such overflowing stupidity.
Lastly, selfish snobs take on a whole new name with Miss Bingley and Lady Catherine. Both ladies of high class believe the world is at their fingertips and everyone must honor their wishes. Miss Bingley is falsely introduced into the novel as a nice well-mannered women; this is quickly switched once she learns her desired love, Mr. Darcy, is interested in Elizabeth Bennet....

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