Okay, we're gonna come out and say it: we like Charlotte Lucas. Sure, she might have married a total moron, but she had a pretty good reason to do it. She explains her reasoning to her friend Elizabeth:
"I am not romantic, you know; I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins's character, connection, 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—especially since, oh! Elizabeth, I beg you will not be angry with me or cut me down where I stand! But Elizabeth, I can have no secrets from you—I have been stricken." (22.19)
Yup, when you're a twenty-seven-year-old unmarried woman in the early 19th century and you've just been a bitten by a zombie, your options are limited. You might as well snag the first guy who shows an interest. Charlotte is no dummy: she's gonna be dead soon, so she figures she might as well live out her last days being annoyed by Mr. Collins.
The original Charlotte was practical, too. While being an unmarried woman in the 19th century wasn't quite a death sentence, it was pretty unpleasant. A woman like Charlotte Lucas would have spent the rest of her life living with her parents and then relying on her brothers for support. Yeah—not fun.
So Charlotte takes her chance. She seizes the day. And, in the end, she gets the beheading and Christian burial she always dreamed of.
Hey, sometimes it's the little things in life.