The Role of First Impressions in Pride and Prejudice

In the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, previously titled “First Impressions.” The dynamics of first impressions between characters play a major role throughout the story. Elizabeth Bennet’s first encounters. With both Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham immediately stick and create her lasting impression about each of the men. Unfortunately though, her stubbornness. And obliviousness prevents her from seeing their true colors throughout most of the book. That is until a letter arrives, and Elizabeth breaks. Through the barrier keeping her from perceiving their characters in a different light. Austen constructs multiple situations surrounding mistaken first impressions to relay. A crucial theme of the book which is to not judge a book by its cover, and to instead look a little deeper.

From very early on in the story is the primary impression of the novel. Between Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy; a successful, wealthy, and single man. Darcy is introduced at the ball in Meryton to all the neighbors, including the Bennets, and the narrator describes Darcy’s presence as “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 tuned the tide of his popularity; for he as discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased,” (Austen, 11).

He then proceeds to refuse to dance with Elizabeth describing her as, “tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me,” (Austen, 9) of coarse greatly offending her, leaving her, along with the rest of the guests, to decide that from then on he is profoundly disliked due to his arrogance and selfishness. While reviewing the evening the entire Bennet family agrees he is “such a disagreeable man that it would be quite a misfortune to be liked by him,” (Austen, 14) and that his cockiness is quite unattractive. Elizabeth chimes in exclaiming, “I may safely promise you never to dance with him!” (Austen, 15). For the majority of time following the ball, Elizabeth refuses to see anything but the Darcy that acted so rude at the ball the first time they met.

The character of Mr. Wickham enters the story at dinner one night, and the first impression of him is that “His appearance was greatly in his favor, he had all the best part of beauty, a fine countenance, a good figure, and a very pleasing address,” (Austen, 62) as he charmed all of the ladies. Again, he flattered at Mrs. Phillips party where he “was the happy man towards whom almost every female eye was turned,” (Austen, 65) including Elizabeth’s.

Although, at another ball, Miss Bingley frantically warns Elizabeth about Wickham recommending her to, “not to give implicit confidence to all his assertions,” (Austen, 82). Yet another warning came from none other than Elizabeth’s sister, Jane, as she says Mr. Bingley told her that Wickham, “is by no means a respectable man,” (Austen, 83). Elizabeth ignores these remarks until Wickham leaves Elizabeth for another girl, but only slightly wounded by his choice, she casually dismisses this betrayal, still holding onto that first impression of him.

Unexpectedly, Elizabeth receives a letter from Mr. Darcy about midway through the story revealing the truth about Darcy and Wickham’s long history together since childhood. This entails the incident in which Wickham made an attempt to elope with Darcy’s sister, but Mr. Darcy claims his “chief object was unquestionably my sister’s fortune,” (Austen, 174). After learning this information concerning Wickham, Elizabeth “overthrows every cherished opinion of his worth” (Austen, 175), and completely changes her mindset regarding Wickham exclaiming, “How different did everything now appear in which he was concerned!” (Austen, 178).

She also looks back and replays their time spent together realizing that in actuality, “She could remember no more substantial good than the general approbation of the neighbourhood, and the regard which his social powers had gained him in the mess” (Austen, 177) meaning that she didn’t ever see the real Wickham, just his fake flattery and looks that tricked her into liking him. Elizabeth was acting blind and confesses that when she cries, “On the very beginning of our acquaintance I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away” (Austen, 179).

As for Darcy, Elizabeth’s emotions change as well, “A change so sudden and so important” (Austen, 180), and she begins to develop feelings for him along with finally accepting his love. After this revelation, Elizabeth notices that “Neither Darcy nor Wickham could she think without feeling that she had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd” (Austen, 178) and comes to terms with the fact that the two men are not how she first thought them to be.

These two faulty impressions specifically tie into one of the novels main themes which proves to be to not rely on first impressions, but to get to know someone before making assumptions. Elizabeth clearly does this in the cases of meeting Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham early on. It wasn’t until much later did she become aware of her misinterpretations, and see the real people that Darcy and Wickham are. This occurrence of first impressions is repeated throughout Pride and Prejudice to make point of one of the great themes in the book.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyhomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Business and administrative studies
excellent work
Customer 452773, March 12th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Thank you for your hard work and help
Customer 452773, February 21st, 2023
Customer 452773, January 25th, 2024
Customer 452773, March 15th, 2024
I just need some minor alterations. Thanks.
Customer 452547, February 10th, 2021
Criminal Justice
The paper was not accused of plagiarism and was written very well. I will let you know the grade once it is graded. Thank you
Customer 452671, April 26th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Excellent work ,always done early
Customer 452773, February 21st, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Customer 452773, February 23rd, 2023
Data 564
excellent work
Customer 452773, April 11th, 2024
Thank you!
Customer 452545, February 6th, 2021
Customer 452591, March 18th, 2021
Great job
Customer 452773, February 13th, 2023
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp