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By tennishenry Jan 24, 2013 659 Words
Henry Babcock
Period 3
Mr. Witt
Pride and Prejudice Essay
When getting to know someone, a person should never make assumptions prematurely without understanding the person to the full extent. First impressions are very powerful and can influence all future behavior and interaction. In Jane Austen’s fictional novel “Pride and Prejudice,” first impressions play a vital role in the town affairs as they influence the Bennet family’s relationships with their new neighbors. People should never rush towards harsh conclusions about someone without getting to know them. From the moment Elizabeth Bennet overhears Mr. Darcy say that: “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me…” (Austen 13), Elizabeth’s first impressions of Mr. Darcy are very important as they affect how she and the rest of the Bennet family treats Mr. Darcy and his family. Even after the Meryton ball, Mrs. Bennet says: “[Mr. Darcy]…for he is a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and so conceited that there was no enduring him! He walked here, and he walked there, fancying himself so very great! … I quite detest the man” (Austen 15). Austen’s fastidious writing about the characterization of Mr. Darcy leaves the reader to believe that Mr. Darcy is a very rude and selfish man. However after Mr. Darcy confesses his love to Elizabeth and tells her the truth about Wickham, a greedy man who had conflict with Mr. Darcy, she begins to realize that her first impressions of Mr. Darcy were inaccurate. “She grew absolutely ashamed of herself. – Of neither Darcy nor Wickham could she think, without feeling that she had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd” (Austen 201). Elizabeth was madly in love with Wickham and she was completely blinded by the fact that he was a bad, deceiving man. She desperately wanted him to be the perfect man for her and ignored her common sense, causing her to make foolish judgments towards Mr. Darcy. First impressions proved inaccurate, but influenced Elizabeth to realize that she was unjustified in believing Wickham’s lies about Mr. Darcy and it taught her a lesson to not let her pride take over her common sense. She was ignorant in being prejudice towards Mr. Darcy without taking the time to get to know him. First impressions can sometimes be accurate, as some people put their true self forward and their personalities and actions remain unchanged. The first impressions of Miss Bingley were accurate as she played a strong antagonist throughout the novel. Elizabeth’s sister, Jane, got sick when she arrived at the Bingley’s estate, Netherfield. Elizabeth decided to go to Netherfield to take care of her sister. Upon her arrival, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy welcomed Elizabeth to stay with her sister until she got better. “When dinner was over, she [Elizabeth] returned directly to Jane, and Miss Bingley began abusing her as soon as she was out of the room. Her manners were pronounced to be very bad indeed, a mixture of pride and impertinence…” (Austen 35). Jane Austen’s characterization of Miss Bingley, leave the reader to think of her as a jealous, greedy woman. The first impressions of Miss Bingley are important as they foreshadow her cruel intentions towards the relationships between Mr. Bingley and Jane, and Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth. Miss Bingley’s jealousy towards Elizabeth continued throughout the novel as she unsuccessfully tried to get Mr. Bingley and Miss Darcy together. Once she truly knew that Mr. Darcy loved Elizabeth, she continued to spread hate towards her. “Miss Bingley was venting her feelings in criticisms on Elizabeth’s person, behavior , and dress… How very ill Miss Eliza Bennet looks this morning… She is grown so brown and coarse! … I must confess that I never could see any beauty in her. Her face is too thin; her complexion has no brilliancy; and her features are not at all handsome” (Austen 257-258). Elizabeth and Jane’s first impressions of Miss Bingley remain accurate

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