Pride and Prejudice Minor Character - Charlotte

1138 words 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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She then turns down Mr. Collins because she did not love him, which many regency women would not have done. Without Charlotte representing the normal regency woman, it is possible that that Elizabeth's views on marriage could be the common philosophy. The author has the mindset of Elizabeth. Jane Austen believes that an important decision such as marriage should be emotional and based on love. This is why Elizabeth is the main character, and Charlotte is a minor character. Charlotte ends up somewhat happy; she is happy with her security but she does not love her husband. Elizabeth ends up very happy; she is very rich and she loves her husband. Jane Austen is trying to use the comparison between these two characters to persuade the readers to marry for love instead of security and economy.
Charlotte is also a counterpoint to Jane. Jane is not as loud and is shyer than Charlotte. “Since Jane united, with great strength of feeling, a composure of temper and a uniform cheerfulness of manner which would guard her from the suspicions of the impertinent.” (Austen 20). Jane’s general manner hides the fact that she has feelings for Bingley. Jane is not very direct and she believes Bingley will figure out her feelings. “Bingley and Jane meet tolerably often, it is never for many hours together; and as they always see each other in large mixed parties… Jane should therefore make the most of every half-hour in which she can command his attention.”