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To Say or Not to Say Letters and Letter Writing As Seen in Pride and Prejudice Quite frequently in her novels Jane Austen uses letter writing between characters to explain past events and the exact nature of peoples roles in them It is these letters that always offer great insight into a characters true nature which often times is not what it appears to be It is this tactic that is consistently prevalent in her 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice Throughout the course of the novel Mr Darcy Mrs Gardiner and even Mr Collins all write letters and each reveal their personalities and sincere thoughts through them It is in fact the letter writing that initially contributes and ultimately results in the union of hero and heroine at the end of the story For each enlightens the reader to the truth about confused circumstances as well as hidden feelings toward other characters that would otherwise be left unsaid The first significant example of letter writing that allows for some conclusions to be made about a specific characters persona occurs when Mr Bennet receives a foolish letter from the Reverend Mr Collins who will inherit Longbourn after Mr Bennets death because he is the nearest male relative In his letter Mr Collins proposes a visit to Longbourn and hints at a further proposal of marriage to one of the Bennet daughters The reader quickly learns of this mans nature because of the contents of his letter as well as Mr Bennets reasoning behind his acceptance of the proposal Mr Bennet makes fun of his unusual writing style and pomposity and also makes snide remarks to his family about him Ultimately Mr Bennet agrees to the visit because he wants to laugh at Mr Bennets expectations Austens strategy of presenting the qualities of a person by way of indirection is clearly seen here The odious letter from Mr Collins prepares the reader to dislike him even
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