Friday, August 12, 2011

Pride and Prejudice - Mr. Collins

This summer I decided that I was going to read a few of the classics. So, far I have really enjoyed my summer reading. At any rate I decided to write a book report, my 6th grade reading/english teacher would be so proud!

Let me note that I have been reading this book on my commute to and from my internship everyday. Pride and Prejudice induced me to laugh out loud as I read it. Probably the funniest parts are the attempts by Mr. Collins to engage Miss. Elizabeth Bennet. Although, I do admire his bold, unflappable, and practical method of searching for a wife. Perhaps I could learn a thing or two from Mr. Collins. I took some serious liberties, but I more or less transcribed/translated a favorite part of the book.

Mr. Collins: Mrs. Bennet may I have a word with Elizabeth in private?

Mrs. Bennet: She would LOVE to! (and whispers to Lydia, "get it? LOVE to! I crack myself up.")

Elizabeth: MOM!!! Do not leave me with this psychopath! (Mr. Collins shoots the first of several winks in Elizabeth's direction.) I mean, don't leave me with this fine cousin of mine… Mr. Collins anything that you have to say to me can be said in front of my friends and family.

Mrs. Bennet: Bye Lizzy! (Mrs. Bennet and Lydia vacate the room.)

Mr. Collins: That was awkward, don't fight it Lizzy, your mom approves of our future marriage. Before I start getting all emotional on you, I should tell you first of my objective reasons for our marriage. I think I should be married for a few reasons: Number one, I am pretty awesome, and the only way to be more awesome would be to have a wife. Number two, I will be happier married. Third, my Lady Catherine told me I should get married. My patron is perfect, who can question her Highness? Besides, once your Dad dies, your house is mine. So, if you like your house… you should probably take me seriously.

Okay now,  I am going to get emotional: I am violently in love with you. Interpret that how you will… I don't care about money, so don't worry about your poverty. I won't ask your father for money to marry you, because I know that he doesn't have the money anyway. And when we are married, I promise I will not complain about your previous socio-economic status.

Elizabeth: Whoa! Whoa! Not so fast, I never said yes. Let me take the opportunity now to tell you that I am flattered but I cannot marry you.

Mr. Collins: I know how the game "hard to get works". I've been playing this game a long time. Woman always say no, but what they are really saying is keep trying. Don't worry Elizabeth, I understand I will keep trying, I am not discouraged, I look forward to our marriage even more than ever.

Elizabeth: No sir, no really means no. I am not playing any games. We are not compatible, besides your Lady Catherine would hate me.

Mr. Collins: I disagree, she will like you. Don't worry though, I will start talking you up the next time I see her.

Elizabeth: Please don't do that! I wish you the best though, and don't worry about our house or my family.

Mr. Collins: I can't wait till for round two! We are so in love. I know women just love to play hard to get and I know you really couldn't have accepted my proposal the first time. After all you have your woman rules to honor.

Elizabeth: I am not mincing words. Trust me when I say it, we have no future together!

Mr. Collins: Don't worry Elizabeth I get it. (Collins begins winking again, with a knowing expression beaming on his face. Elizabeth, would have believed his winks a nervous twitch at this juncture had she been less acquainted with her cousin and his intentions.) You can't really mean no, considering who we are talking about. (Mr. Collins dusts his shoulders off.) I mean I am practically famous because I know Lady Catherine... You could do a lot worse than me. (He begins to silently congratulate himself on this last point.) Besides you may never have another shot at getting married. So, settle if you have to, settle on me. Take a chance on me!

Elizabeth: We are not a good match for each other! Believe me when I say it. I would never marry you.

Mr. Collins: Again silently he considers this: She didn't say she "will" never marry me. She only said "would", would is conditional. Win!

Mr. Collins says with finality, "You sure are cute! We will see what your mommy and daddy say. I'm sure when I tell on you, they will ground you to my side for the rest of your life!"

Besides this being a very entertaining read, I have gleaned a few worth while insights. Although, I would never have claimed to believe in a soul mates. I think really I always expected that when I met the person I should marry that I would just know it. I do not expect this any more. I believe that if you come to love someone, you are compatible, and they do not have any serious issues, you probably don't need much more than that.

One direct quote from the book:
"She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her. His understanding and temper, though unlike her own, would have answered all her wishes. It was an union that must have been to the advantage of both by her ease and liviness, his mind might have been softened, his manners improved; and from his judgement, information, and knowledge of the world, she must have received benefit of greater importance."

This is of course talking about Elizabeth's feelings towards Mr. Darcy. She goes through this total revolution in thought and feelings about him. As she comes to understand who he really is. Her prejudices melt away. This is a good case study for our relationships in some ways. Even though, this case is fictional, as I have considered Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's revolution it has given me pause to considering application in my own life. I could use to remove both my pride and my prejudice, and allow for revolutions to occur in my own feelings about people.

But that story is for a different blog post.

I got this book for free here


NessaAnn said...

This made me laugh out loud. Good for you to "get" P&P. It IS hilarious and I think really lets you see how a woman's mind works. Love you Britty - VJZ&Z

Britton Stanfill said...

I'm glad you laughed, I did get a bit silly with this post! I think Pride and Prejudice has quite a bit to offer both valuable insights and entertainment value. I definitely feel like it does help a man get a better sense of how a woman's mind works.

Mike and Emily said...

You nailed it. I laughed out loud too. Especially when I pictured Mr. Collins winking. Too much!

Britton Stanfill said...

Emily, I'm so glad that you liked it. I laughed quite a bit as I read through that part of the book.

ClarkStanfill said...

Literally laughed out loud as well (and I work in a place that makes a cemetery look like a raging party.... You should track down a copy of the LDS version of this on DVD... Your depiction of Collins is 100% accurate!