Joe Pona, Udhay Joshi, Matthew Dwyer

Charlotte Lucas
Charlotte Lucas

Charlotte's PersonaCharlotte is Elizabeth Bennet’s best friend. The oldest of several children in the Lucas family, Charlotte introduced as a sensible, intelligent young woman, at about twenty-seven years of age. So Charlotte’s principle characteristics are that she is sensible (having a lack of romance) and intelligent. She gives Elizabeth sensible advice on marriage and firmly believes that happiness in marriage present by choice, not an automatic trait. After Elizabeth rejects Mr. Collins, Charlotte accepts him, even knowing that she’s only his second choice. Her acceptance of Collins represents the kind of desperation that Elizabeth can’t understand, but is an apparent flaw of Charlotte.

Quote #1
"Happiness in marriage in entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life." (Austen, 21)

Explanation: In this quote, Charlotte attempts giving her good friend Elizabeth marital advice. Charlotte is not very concerned with the amount of love in her marriage. She is convinced that knowing someone well before marriage does not help the marriage at all. Both persons will grow in a marriage at the same rate, regardless of if they know much about each other before the marriage. Charlotte seems to be more focused on happiness in her marriage rather than love.

Quote #2
"But when you (Elizabeth) have had the time to think it over, I (Charlotte) hope you will be satisfied with what I have done. I am not a romantic, you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins's character, connections, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state." (Austen, 108)

Explanation: At age 27, Charlotte's desperation for marriage has increased significantly. Her options are growing slim as Charlotte must choose between living with her parents or marrying an arrogant fool in Mr. Collins. In a male-dominated society, a woman without a husband would have no chance of a successful future. Charlotte displays her desperation for societal power and material wealth when she discards her romantic ideals to marry Mr. Collins, a less than compassionate character. Charlotte understands that Mr. Collins can provide her with a stable future with a steady income and a comfortable home even though she does not love him. Charlotte was even third on Mr. Collins's list of women that he wished to engage, after Elizabeth and Jane.

Discussion​ & Questions

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Question 2 massiveuds massiveuds 2 175 Mar 25, 2010 by megalbright megalbright
Question #4 ponajo ponajo 3 158 Mar 25, 2010 by bianca.misiti bianca.misiti
Question #1 dwyguy dwyguy 2 170 Mar 25, 2010 by Brazof Brazof
Question #3 ponajo ponajo 2 119 Mar 25, 2010 by adempsey6 adempsey6

Character Comparison
Gretchen Rossi
Gretchen Rossi is one of the major characters on the show The Real Desperate Housewives of Orange County. She is currently 32 years of age and unmarried. She used to be a real estate agent, until she became engaged to Jeff Beitezel (54). At the time Jeff suffered from leukemia, he was making over one million dollars a year working as the COO of Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide. He left Gretchen 2.5 million dollars in his will, after losing his battle with leukemia.

The first comparison between Charlotte Lucas and Gretchen Rossi is that they both fit the "old maid" stereotype. Charlotte, at the age of 27, is far past the typical year of engagement, being 6 years older than Elizabeth. As she grows older, her options for finding financial stability in a husband is greatly reduced and if she does not marry she will be a burden to her parents. Likewise, Gretchen is 32 years old, which is slightly over the average marriage age of 26. The second comparison is their romantically null mentality. Charlotte says, "I am not romantic, you know. I never was." hinting at a lack of concern for love in marriage. Gretchen, comparatively, states that Jeff was not her "type" and that she was never physically attracted to him. Additionally, both of them use marriage as assurance of financial stability. Charlotte knows that Collins is of a higher financial and social status, being a clergyman of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Se understands that marriage with him is an easy way to escape financial disparity. Similarly, Gretchen took note of Jeff's successful life style. As he was nearing death, Gretchen was insured a large inheritance very soon. Finally, both women suffer from unhappiness after their marriages or engagements. Charlotte is stuck in a marriage with an arrogant and foolish man who she does not particularly love, while Gretchen is left without love and is accused of being a "gold digger."