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The First Title of Pride and Prejudice

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The original title for Pride and Prejudice was First Impressions; this may have been chosen by the author Austen as the title because this is what the novel is about and is the main theme that runs throughout the book. The novel deals with the incorrect judgements that often occur at the beginning of an acquaintance and how these misjudgements can change as individuals learn more about each other, like Elizabeth and Darcy. So therefore some people may say that the title first impression is better suited title for the novel.
Another reason to why first impressions is a more excellent suited title than pride and prejudice is because it’s what the novel is really about. This can be supported by Elizabeth character and how she relies on her first impressions of Wickham and Darcy and in the end, ends up being completely wrong about the assumptions she made. This can be shown in the following lines; ‘proud, above his company, and above being pleased,’.... ‘but Mr. Wickham was as far beyond them all in person, countenance, air and walk’...‘Of neither Darcy nor Wickham could she think, without feeling that she had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd.’ It can be deducted that Elizabeth made up her mind after her first meeting with both men and didn’t really get to know them before passing judgment but then later on in the novel learns she was wrong and changes her view and learns the true characteristics of Wickham and Darcy.
First impressions may also been a better suited title for the novel because it hints at the story’s concern for social appearances and the necessity of finding people’s true qualities beneath the surface. This can be shown through the character of Mrs Bennet who only lives to see her daughters been married of to rich, wealthy men. This obsession of marriage and securing husbands is the first impression readers get of Mrs Bennet, ‘A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!’ The first impression the reader gets of Mrs Bennet continues throughout the whole novel so therefore this supports the idea that First Impressions is a better suited title. An additional first impression of a character that continues throughout the novel is of Mr Collins, ‘Mr Collins was not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been little assisted by education or society.’ Mr Collins is a comic character and the readers find this from the first impression they are given of him and like Mrs Bennet the first impression on him stays the same.
Pride and Prejudice may be a better title for the novel because many characters are seen to portray these characteristics. Pride is a constant presence in the character’s attitudes and treatment of each other, coloring their judgments and leading to serious mistakes. For example pride between both Elizabeth and Darcy blinds them both of their true feelings for one another. Darcy’s pride about his status makes his frown upon those who are below him and Elizabeth’s pride is on refusing to change her opinions on others. Elizabeth is prejudice towards Darcy because when he refuses to dance with anyone at the ball she thinks he believes he is too good for all the women there. She hears rumours that Darcy is an unsociable and rude man and she chooses to believe then without really finding out for herself. He is prejudiced towards Elizabeth because he believes that she is like the rest of her family; her scheming and gossiping mother and her flirtatious and irreverent younger sisters (Kitty and Lydia). He does not believe that she could be a woman who has strong beliefs and presents herself as a respectable woman he wrongly believes that she is like the rest of her family particularly her mother and sisters.
Some people may also disagree with the original title first impressions because people’s opinions change, such as Lizzy’s and Darcy’s. Also first impressions are not always correct so therefore this title is not suitable because it does not flow through the novel where as the theme of pride and prejudice continues throughout the novel.
In conclusion i think that first impression is a suitable title for the novel because it’s the main theme that runs throughout the book and it’s based on this theme and setting that the love story of Elizabeth and Darcy develops. Also the characteristics of pride and prejudice are linked to the first impressions and meetings of the characters so without the first impressions characters are not able to judge other characters.

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