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first impression pride and prejudice

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Jose Villa
Mr. Ayres
Honors World Literature 0
2 May 2014
Pride and Prejudice: First Impressions
Pride and Prejudice, a love story that has many obstacles in the way, first impressions being one of those obstacles. According to psychology, a first impression is the mental image that one creates of the person they encountered for the first time. Throughout the novel, first impressions, good or bad, are being introduced with all kinds of characters, but the characters who impacts the plot and relations the most in result to their first impressions of each other are Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Both had their own first impression on one another. Their interpretations of each other were negative and also were completely different then who they truly are.
In the late eighteenth century, women depended on marriage for survival. “In the late eighteenth century, English conceptions of family and the role of women began to change, as British culture became increasingly focused on the accumulation and concentration of wealth within the family. One way for families to rapidly accumulate capital was through advantageous marriages[…] Familial aspirations, coupled with women’s increased dependence on marriage for financial survival, made courtship a central focus of women’s lives” (Sheehan). Austen contributed this concept into her work, especially in Pride and Prejudice. There are some issues in love, some of these issues being explained as Teachman states, “retain their relevance as we move into the twenty-first century, still trying to determine how best to deal with issues of love, money (or the lack of it), and proper behavior in a world that resists simple solutions to complicated issues” (Teachman 1). Teachman also goes on and says, “The traditional view of marriage as a joining of families (and family fortunes) through the physical joining of two people continued to have much support. Viewing marriage as a business venture between families, therefore, continued to be widely accepted” (53). Teachman explains that back then in the eighteenth century marriage was just business, nothing personal. Several characters within this novel are prime examples of this. Charlotte Lucas being among those several as she says to Elizabeth, “I am not romantic you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins’s character, connections, and situations in life, I am convinced that my happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state” (Austen 96). Charlotte knows that her marriage isn’t going to be the “marriage of the year”, but she knows that she will possess the material objects she wants because she married into wealth. In contrast, Elizabeth goes against the grain and says, “I am determined that nothing but the very deepest love will induce me into matrimony” (38). Elizabeth does not want to marry to possess fortune, she actually wants to marry someone that she will truly love. Both are pretty different, “Even women linked by their intelligence, such as Charlotte and Elizabeth, differ in terms of practicality and adherence to social norms” (Alfaireet).
Elizabeth first met Darcy at a ball. Elizabeth’s first impression of Fitzwilliam Darcy was that she thought of him as a rude and arrogant man. The refusal of a dance that Elizabeth requested to Darcy made her get this impression and also overhearing a conversation between Darcy and Mr. Bingley, Darcy’s best friend, with Darcy talking about Elizabeth saying, “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no honour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me” (9). Darcy thinks she is cute, but Elizabeth is not his type. Darcy has expectations and if there is a woman who does not meet those expectations, he will basically kick her to the curb. Wickham, the godson of Darcy’s father, informed Elizabeth nothing but nice compliments about Darcy but Elizabeth soon realized the truth as she says, “The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he as discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend” (3).
It was not long thought for one to break. “But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she hardly had a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye for more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness” (6). Seems like Darcy likes Elizabeth, all her features. "In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman 's daughter; so far we are equal” (356), says by Elizabeth talking about Darcy. The Bennet family worried about Darcy and his reputation if he chose to marry Elizabeth considering that they are not on the same level of social class. Elizabeth then said that quote defending her and her family.
“Elizabeth was much too embarrassed to say a word. After a short pause, her companion added, ‘You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject forever.’ Elizabeth feeling all the more than common awkwardness and anxiety of his situation, now forced herself to speak; and immediately, though not very fluently, gave him to understand, that her sentiments had undergone so material a change, since the period to which he alluded, as to make her receive with gratitude and pleasure, his present assurances” (362). This quote from the novel is the proposal of marriage of Darcy and Elizabeth. The book ends with Elizabeth Bennet accepting the proposal that was proposed by Fitzwilliam Darcy. How ironic though because these two individuals had nothing but rude remarks to say about one another and now they are engaged.
Elizabeth stayed true to herself throughout the novel. She did not want to marry into wealth, and she did not. Elizabeth married Darcy because deep in her heart she truly loved him. Same with Darcy, he loved her even though things got on the right foot earlier in the novel. Even though first impressions were very negative toward one another, both, Darcy and Elizabeth had a connection that made them fall in love. Maybe if their first impression were not negative, they might of got married very earlier in the book. Meeting someone new can take a toll on people because first impressions are being introduced and it is always good to show a great first impression. Showing a good first impression can result to individuals actually liking you and it can actually affect you in a positive way.

Work Cited

Alafaireet, Lamia. "Charlotte and Elizabeth: Guardians of the Female Mind in Pride and Prejudice ? Artifacts Journal - University of Missouri." Artifacts Journal RSS. The Campus Writing Program, n.d. Web. 11 May 2014. http://artifactsjournal.missouri.edu/2012/03/charlotte-and-elizabeth-guardians-of-the-female-mind-in-pride-and-prejudice/.

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Century, 1813. Print.

Sheehan, Lucy. "Historical Context for Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen." Columbia College. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2014. http://www.college.columbia.edu/core/node/1765.

Teachman, Debra. Understanding Pride and Prejudice: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1997. Print.

Villa3

Cited: Alafaireet, Lamia. "Charlotte and Elizabeth: Guardians of the Female Mind in Pride and Prejudice ? Artifacts Journal - University of Missouri." Artifacts Journal RSS. The Campus Writing Program, n.d. Web. 11 May 2014. http://artifactsjournal.missouri.edu/2012/03/charlotte-and-elizabeth-guardians-of-the-female-mind-in-pride-and-prejudice/. Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Century, 1813. Print. Sheehan, Lucy. "Historical Context for Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen." Columbia College. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 May 2014. http://www.college.columbia.edu/core/node/1765. Teachman, Debra. Understanding Pride and Prejudice: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1997. Print. Villa3

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