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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Simplest Explanation for Charlotte Lucas's Choice to Marry Mr. Collins: Occam's Razor Applied

I just read, this morning, an excellent piece in a blog at the New Yorker, in which Joshua Rothman, analyzes Charlotte Lucas's puzzling choice to marry Mr. Collins in Pride & Prejudice:

 I responded there a moment ago with the following comment:

Mr. Rothman, you do an excellent analysis of the complexities of Charlotte's choice to marry Mr. Collins, if you read the story as superficially presented. But there is a MUCH MUCH simpler and cleaner explanation for Charlotte's choice, if you apply Occam's Razor and start from a single powerful assumption which is strongly hinted at all over the place in the text of the novel, i.e., that Charlotte is a closeted lesbian, and she is in (unrequited) love with Elizabeth! But because Charlotte is very intelligent, she recognizes that the PREJUDICE against same-sex relationships requires her to swallow her PRIDE and marry Mr. Collins, Charlotte then schemes quietly behind the scenes, in order to end up with Mr. Collins getting that Kympton living near Pemberley, and thereby Charlotte gets once again to live in very close proximity to Elizabeth, while married to a asexual man with whom she will not have to have sex after the first days of their marriage.

Here's some details about those hints in the text:

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