• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Impact of First Impressions - Pride and Prejudice

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Impact of First Impressions Prior to publication, Jane Austen titled her novel Pride and Prejudice as First Impressions. Interestingly, first impressions are not the most important aspect of this influential piece of literature. Rather, the concept that these first impressions were entirely incorrect, and the damage they caused in the novel, is. Within the lines of Pride and Prejudice, first impressions teach the characters, mainly Elizabeth Bennet, to learn before judging. The wrongdoings of first impressions are most obvious within the relationships of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, George Wickham and Elizabeth Bennet, Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Elizabeth Bennet, and the reader and Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Unlike many other tales of love, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet did not look into each other's eyes and fall deeply in love. On the contrary, Darcy looked into Elizabeth's eyes and told Charles Bingley, "She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me" (Austen, 7). The distaste between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy derived from the ball at Meryton. Without an introduction or conversation, Elizabeth also judged Darcy early and decided "[Darcy] was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world..." (Austen, 6). Later Elizabeth would find out, though, that Mr. ...read more.

Middle

You have withheld the advantages, which you must know to have been designed for him. You have deprived him the best years of his life, of that independence which was no less in his due than his desert. You have done all this! and yet you can treat the mention of his misfortunes with contempt and ridicule'" (Austen, 131). Elizabeth fumed at Darcy; she was enraged how nonchalantly Darcy threw Wickham to the streets. In Darcy's letter to Elizabeth, though, the truth once again freed itself from a tangle of lies. Darcy shined light on Wickham's trickery, and the devastation he brought to the Darcy family. Shocked, Elizabeth lost all love and respect for the fake Wickham, knowing once again she misjudged. Once more, first impressions fooled Elizabeth - a mistake that nearly jeopardized her and Darcy's relationship. Similar to the Wickham fiasco, Elizabeth thought too highly of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Mr. Collins, an asinine, garrulous man of no significant societal status, but a "name-dropper" nevertheless, described Lady de Bourgh as a bighearted, wealthy, generous and compassionate woman who accepted him into her social clique, for which he was extremely grateful. Upon meeting Lady Catherine de Bourgh, though, Elizabeth decided, "Her air was not conciliating, nor was her manner of receiving them, such as to make her visitors forget their inferior rank. ...read more.

Conclusion

These outlooks are much different from the beginning Elizabeth, who found social standing frivolous and silly, and Darcy an arrogant pig. Similarly, the relationship between the reader and Darcy changed and grew, as did his character. Mr. Darcy lived up to Elizabeth's description of him while at the Meryton ball. Up until exclaiming his zealous love for her, Darcy came off as an arrogant and proud snob. However, after realizing the emotional pain he caused Elizabeth, Darcy set their differences aside and did anything and everything in his power to win her over, including risking his social stature to assist in the marriage of Mary Bennet and George Wickham. Clearly, Darcy set his pride and prejudices aside for the woman he loved. From the first page, the characters of Pride and Prejudice judged others based on their first impressions. This includes Mrs. Bennet, who wanted one of her daughters to marry Charles Bingley purely because of his wealth and social stature. Proven by the relationships Elizabeth Bennet has with Fitzwilliam Darcy, George Wickham, and Lady Catherine de Bourgh, as well as the relationship the reader has with Elizabeth and Darcy, first impressions are not always, if ever, correct. Essentially, one must base his or her opinions of another based upon that other's actions. After all, actions speak louder than words. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alexis Sachdev English 11 Honors 8/31/2008 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Jane Austen section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Jane Austen essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Plot-Construction of Pride and Prejudice

    4 star(s)

    This was one of the very important reasons of Elizabeth's strong prejudice, and thus it is connected with the main theme. The Wickham-Lydia eprisode and the Collins-Charolette relationship is equally well connected with it. While Elizabeth has developed a prejudice against Darcy, she is strongly attracted towards Wickham--- and it

  2. How does Jane Austen present the themes of love and marriage in the novel ...

    Harriet finally finds out about Emma and Mr Knightly, and takes the news quite well. Emma visits the Bates in order to see Jane Fairfax. Mrs Elton is also there, and tells Emma that she knows the good news about her and Mr Knightly.

  1. Discuss the Importance of Letters in 'Pride and Prejudice'.

    "But I am willing to hope the best, and that his character has been misunderstood." Lizzy on the other hand, is quite the opposite. Where as Jane would hope for the best, Lizzy would be ready to expect the worse, "She is lost forever."

  2. Do you believe that Austen's final title; Pride and Prejudice is a more appropriate ...

    Later, the actions of each man demonstrate how wrong Elizabeth's initial judgments have been. In these two contrasting situations, Austen has contradicted both Elizabeth's and our first opinions to show that first impressions are not always correct and in this case very much not so.

  1. Irony in "Pride and Prejudice"

    very moment doing so herself, for the remark was "chiefly addressed" to Darcy. His ironic response, "there is meanness in all the arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for captivation. Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable" is a retort cleverly veiled as an agreement.

  2. Contextual Factors in Pride and Prejudice(TM) influence the characters. Do you agree?

    This reveals the final twist in which Charlotte's thoughts move from the outcome that might suit her friend best, to that which would serve her own purposes through the advancement and enrichment of Mr Collins, which would undoubtedly earn her more money.

  1. The presentation of speech and thought in Pride and Prejudice

    The other one is that the following sentence states that Elizabeth inquires Darcy?s sister, indicating Darcy must have stood close enough to Elizabeth so that he could hear her question. In this case, these words would not been spoken aloud because they are not aimed at being heard by anyone.

  2. Timeless Love in 'Pride and Prejudice'.

    must be waived for the present, the lady felt no inclination to trifle with his happiness. The stupidity with which he was favored by nature must guard his courtship from any charm that could make a woman wish for its continuance; and Miss Lucas, who accepted him solely from the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work