The plot is supported by almost a half a dozen letters, being written and despatched by various characters in the novel. They not only lessen the usage of dialogues, but also provide great amount of insight into the thought-processes of the characters and the shaping of the story-line, to a great extent.
In the novel, letters help in unravelling the plot and adding twists and turns, besides a dramatic and melodramatic element to it. The first letter we encounter in the course of the novel is that of Collins', written to Mr. Bennet. It announces the arrival of Mr. Collins in Longbourne, where the Bennets reside. It not only acts as a messenger, carrying forward the message of his arrival, but also gives us good amount if insight into the pompous and condescending nature of Mr. Collins.
It depicts him as conceited and snobbish, with his great attachment towards materialistic possessions. It also implies that due to the absence of a male heir in the Bennet family, Mr. Collins would be the receiver of property and wealth that the Bennets possess. The very fact the Mr. Collins talks about Lady Catherine De Bourgh in a highly respectable manner provides readers with the understanding of his nature. He was a social climber, who with the help of his rich aunt enjoys a considerable position of superiority in the class-based society of 18th and 19th century England. Thus, Jane Austen clearly establishes the character of Mr. Collins even before he makes his arrival in the novel, physically. It is due to this that the readers anticipate his arrival and contemplate over his position in and contribution to the novel.
This letter is answered by Mr. Bennet, who calls Mr. Collins a polite individual, who is "seems to be a most conscientious and polite young man". In addition to this, Mr. Collins also writes a second later towards the final stages of the novel, in the context of the elopement of Lydia and Wickham. He says that her death would have been better than this elopement scandal. He says, "the death of your daughter would have been a blessing in comparison to this". Thus, he is shown as a person with considerable amount of moralistic uprightness. He also goes on to advice the Bennets to never accept Lydia if she ever stages a comeback and to "close the doors" for her.
This, again helps us form an opinion about his religious nature and moral righteousness. Collins, in a great way helps further the 'pride' in the novel and his letters are a means to develop his character, without providing much space for it, in the dialogues and interactions of the novel!
As the plot furthers, we see Jane writing a letter to her sister, Elizabeth from London. She talks about her experiences in London and all the occurrences that have