“Pride and Prejudice” written by Jane Austen portrays the life of the upper-class in England. Written in the late nineties of the 18th century, it is a tale that holds true even in today’s modern world. The first version of the author’s work was titled: “First Impressions”, as reflected in the novel; and it is hard to determine which title is more adequate, but nevertheless, both are fitting and pertain to the main characters – Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Jane Austen in “Pride and Prejudice” presented important and deep aspects of our life describing our personal feelings stemming from interactions with other people. One of the most significant thesis included in her book states that interacting with another person could create the first impression which often can be misleading.
Only if we get to the depth of a character of the other person our thoughts and feelings could be fully mature and often prove that the first impression created by the other person could be wrong and misleading.
First impressions can easily fool a person. This can be observed as in the case with Fitzwilliam Darcy – upon meeting Elizabeth, he comes across as conceited and proud. He belittles and looks down upon people of lesser social class, and does not keep up appearances regarding the English provincial population, considering them as plain stupid and foolish. He is prejudiced against these people, and does not attempt to confirm his world view by trying to mingle and integrate with the local populations.
He keeps to himself and his closed-minded views of the world. Darcy, even before attending the ball, had always a cemented negative first impression of the Bennet family.
Before becoming acquainted with Elizabeth, he had already took to make fun of her and gossip about her with his friend. He had hurt her feelings by considering her as an unattractive girl. Darcy did not feel comfortable within the social group at the ball, due to him being a higher social class then the rest of the people present. Similar to Darcy, Elizabeth is also prejudiced. Upon hearing Darcy’s negative talk about her at the ball, she begins to consider him as an extremely arrogant individual. She is able to further reinforce her assumption when she meets Officer Wickham. The officer grew up alongside with Darcy, however, when the owner of Pemberly died, against the wishes of Darcy’s father, he does not receive his terms of Pemberly’s owner will. Elizabeth, having a negative first impression of Darcy, believes that Wickham did not receive his share of the will because of Darcy’s wicked and vicious personality. She does not try nor attempt to confirm Darcy’s side of the story, neither does she give him one more chance to prove himself. After analyzing all of the information Elizabeth supposedly knows about Darcy, she envisions a very negative portrayal of Darcy.
Both are prejudiced and proud, and their prejudice is a result of both of their misleading first impressions, and their stubborn close-mindedness of other people. Only after spending more time with Darcy, did Elizabeth change her stance and feelings regarding Darcy, and see his positive sides. Likewise, Darcy did not sympathize with Elizabeth at the beginning, and was extremely uninterested with her. Only with time did he mature enough to deepen his feelings and to be able to propose to Elizabeth – a women that came from a much lower social class then him and that wasn’t as rich and wealthy as him. Jane Austen in “Pride and Prejudice,” a one-of-a-kind novel, proved an incredibly important thesis, that our feelings towards the other person based on the first and superficial impression could damage or prevent deeper interpersonal relationships.