Essay Pride and Prejudice Minor Character - Charlotte

1140 Words Dec 20th, 2012 5 Pages
Who was that again?
The minor characters are important in a novel because they often represent an aspect of society or help develop the main characters. Charlotte Lucas represents the common regency woman who marries only for security and economy. She, unlike Elizabeth, got married just for the sake of being married. This is a completely unromantic decision that will affect her for the rest of her life. Charlotte eventually marries Mr. Collins, who is portrayed as “not a sensible man”(Austen 74) when he visits Longbourn. (Austen 74). Mr. Collins is described as a strange man, but Charlotte still marries him because he was a man of a small fortune. Elizabeth and Charlotte speak of happiness and marriage, and Charlotte believes that
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I ask only a comfortable home.” (Austen 134). Charlotte in marriage admits to Elizabeth that she does not love Mr. Collins, but she enjoys her comfortable home.
This type of marriage is very uncommon in contemporary culture, but it was the societal norm during the regency period. The author, in the earlier chapters of the story, describes Charlotte as “sensible, intelligent young woman.” (Austen 16). Charlotte is a sensible woman so her actions were typically frivolous. “Remember, Eliza, that he does not know Jane’s disposition as you do. ‘But if a woman is partial to man, and does not endeavor to conceal it, he must find it out’.” (Austen 20). Elizabeth and Charlotte are having a typical conversation about Jane and Mr. Bingley. The author describes Charlotte as being a kind and normal person. She is a great friend to Elizabeth and seems to converse easily. The portrayal of Charlotte being normal shows that her actions and thoughts were common of the women of the time period.
The importance of having a character that represents the norms of society is to show that Elizabeth is different than most women. Elizabeth believes that Charlotte’s ideas about marriage are not sound. “You make me laugh, Charlotte; but it is not sound. You know it is not sound, and that you would never act this way yourself.” (Austen 22). Elizabeth believes that Charlotte’s ideas of marriage are crazy and that she must be joking because her ideas are just absurd. Elizabeth
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