The author traces their respective journey of how they find the love Of their lives and describes the kind Of situations they faced during this. The men in the novel, Darcy, Bingley, Collins and Wickham are in want of a wife for the reasons that suit their perceptions. Darcy wishes for someone of his social standard as his partner; contrasting to that, Bingley simply desires for a wife whom he likes. On other side, Collins wants a wife for his happiness and also because his patroness Lady Catherine has told him to do so, and Wickham wants a partner who will provide him financial pleasure.
Fitzwilliam Darcy is the son of a well-established family and the master of Pemberley, and his behaviour depicts that he wants a wife who matches with the class he belongs to. Despite this attitude, he is attracted to Elizabeth (59), the daughter of a common household, at the first meeting, out of all women in the assembly. In an attempt to hide it, he states that she is merely tolerable, [but] not handsome enough to tempt him (13). It clearly shows that he is too proud to accept his infatuation at the first meeting. He rather projects himself to be considering her as someone below his “class”. As Leo
Rockas, the professor of University of Hatford, says in his article that his rejection at the first meeting is more of an effort. l He further states that Darcy has looked at Elizabeth till the catching of her eye, he withdrew his own (12). This reveals the inner conflict of Darcy’s heart which is beginning to fall for Elizabeth and his mind that is full of pride and is overpowering his feelings. His mind overpowers his feelings also because he has a tendency to make quick judgements about things, and this reflects in his nature. His pride over his social status highly influences his attitude towards courtship and arriage.
It further leads his first proposal for her to be a failed attempt. The narrator states about his proposal that he is not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride (185). Here it is clearly explained that his proposal seems more of him getting boycotted from his “high class” as he proposes her and not the fact that he loves her. As the story progresses, readers see a different side to him as he corrects his mistake Of not exposing William due to his pride by helping the Bennet family during the scenario of Lydia running away with Wickham.
At last he is determined to propose to Elizabeth again, for his aunt giving him hope (360). This time, he makes his lady love accept him as her companion because his final proposal is filled with tenderness and affection, and while he proposes to her, he has forgotten the difference of classes between them. Darcys friend Bingley is a complete contrast to him. Charles Bingley is a vague, ambiguous character in the novel, as sketched by the author. He seems to want a wife whom he simply likes, and Jane is the one. He meets her in an assembly and since then they enjoy nteracting and spending time with each other.
From Jane’s perspective, he is what a young man ought to be – sensible, good-humoured, lively (16), and that she never met such a person in her life before. Their relationship blossoms as days pass, but it is suddenly and unexpectedly paused as Bingley returns back to London with his friend Darcy. This incident shows that he is unable to stand for what he wants, which is why his sister and Darcy could succeed in persuading him to return back. Elizabeth mentions about it while confronting Darcy that he has been the means of ruining, perhaps for ever, he happiness of her most beloved sister (186).
At the end he is happily reunited with Jane as they continue to love each other till the climax of the novel. The other two men in this story, Collins and Wickham are again two different individuals having different perceptions about courtship and marriage as Collins wants a wife simply on Lady Catherine’s insistence and also for his own happiness, but Wickham wants a wife who will give him money. William Collins is someone who has no serious attitude and a say of his own. Just after few days of proposing Elizabeth, he is interested in
Charlotte Lucas and marries her because his patroness Lady Catherine tells him to do so. The narrator exclaims that Mr. Collins is neither sensible nor agreeable and his attachment with Charlotte is nothing by completely imagery (120). George Wickham, on the other hand, is nothing of how the rest three men are. According to Lynda Hall, an English professor in Chapman university exclaims that Wickham’s attractive feature to him and his quality of being a master of conversation cannot deny the fact that he is someone the women should be beware of. 2 In reality, he is selfish and money minded.
Darcy reveals in his letter to Elizabeth that Wickham persuaded his sister Georgia to elope for her wealth (196). His attitude towards marriage is influenced only by good fortune and financial status. Later he makes Lydia run away with him and then accepts her back when Darcy provided him with money, as mentioned by Mrs. Gardiner in her letter (306). In a nutshell, Wickham is capable to do anything – ruining a familys reputation as well – for money. Darcy, Bingley, Collins and Wickham wish for a wife for their respective reasons, which is gradually fulfilled as they face many situations in life.
While Darcy had to get over his pride and prejudice for Elizabeth in order to win her love, Bingleys journey is somewhere easier because he simply achieves his lady love Jane by the end of the novel even when he easily was persuaded by Darcy; as a result he distrusted Jane and returned back to Pemberley. Collins, on other side, has no opinion of his own. He follows what Lady Catherine says and on her insistence, he marries Charlotte. F-or Wickham, all it matters is money and for that, he runs away with Lydia and then blackmails the Bennets to give him money or else he will not marry their daughter.