Characterisation in Pride and Prejudice

One of the great things about Jane Austen's work that has been recognized and acknowledged from their first publication dates through to the analysis of contemporary critics is that Jane Austen's body of work, beginning with the beloved Pride and Prejudice, does reflect the society that Jane Austen herself was a part of. She was herself a gentleman's daughter, making her part of the gentility, and she moved in social circles that included individuals in higher social ranks.

Sir Walter Scott was one of her greatest admirers and one comment he made was that she drew the picture of the individuals in her sphere of society so perfectly that he recognized many of them as identical to his own personal acquaintances. One thing Austen herself said was that she painted her world with a fine brush on a small piece of ivory, signifying that her writing represents a small but accurately described part of English society.
Jane Austen's art of characterization includes brief, often omitted, physical description; vocabulary; silence; tempo of talk; narrated dialogue; narratorial comment that touches on things like personality quirks such as sarcasm ("Is that his design in settling here?"), physical associations with things like aliments ("Ah! You don't know what I suffer!"), emotional denotations ("...cried his wife impatiently"); characters' attitudes, ideas, habits, feelings and mannerisms.
This art applies to Mr. Collins in a number of regards. First, since Jane Austen introduces him through a letter he has written, her first tool for characterization is vocabulary. You will find that Collins is full of fine phrases that themselves are excessively full of adjectives ("honoured father"), adverbs ("earnest endeavor") and elaborate nouns ("bounty and beneficence"). Austen next employs narratorial comment: "Elizabeth was chiefly struck with his extraordinary deference for Lady Catherine, and his kind intention of christening, marrying, and burying his parishioners whenever...