And Prejudice Essay, Research Paper
Jane Austen s novel about the upper-middle class of English society, Pride and Prejudice, was originally entitled First Impressions. The aptness of this original title is accentuated by the appreciation of how Jane Austen makes the reader aware of the temperaments and personalities of each of the characters. She does this by using each character s external social behavior as an indication of the internal moral and psychological condition of that character. At the introduction of every character, she allows us to see their true temperament through the way they interact with their company. At each first impression we are immediately given a keen insight into the personality of the character.
The first time we meet Fitzwilliam Darcy we are immediately made aware of his nature through his external behavior, which includes dialogue. We first meet him at a ball at Meryton, where he haughtily refuses to dance with or even be introduced to any of the townspeople. His reasoning for this, as he explains to his friend, Charles Bingley, is because he obviously feels socially superior to the people present. He is perceived, understandably, as harsh, conceited, unpleasant, and as the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world . His social behavior clearly show his internal condition because Austen, in keeping with her first impression approach, clearly makes no pretenses about what kind of a person he is.
Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley are both static characters who share amiable, cheerful and good-natured dispositions throughout the novel. Bingley, like Darcy, is first introduced as a major character at the Merton ball, where he proves himself a thorough gentleman with a completely likable nature. In the conversation between he and Darcy, he urges his aloof friend to be friendlier toward the other guests. Though he is unsuccessful, he nevertheless exhibits to the reader his caring persona and his general contrast to Darcy. In terms of personality everything that Darcy is, Bingley is not.
Jane s true disposition is not learned until after the ball during the conversation between she and her sister, Elizabeth Bennet. They are discussing the events of the ball. We see Jane s sweet and modest personality. She comes off as very sweet-tempered, slow to judge, and always seeking for the best in every one she meets. Despite Darcy s obvious and blatant ill humor at the ball, she refuses to dislike him.
Elizabeth Bennet, the protagonist of the novel, is also introduced in this conversation. She is the foil for her sister s blind admiration of everyone around her, judging people logically and with very little objectivity. She is an intelligent and lively person, who is confident and clear in what her opinions are. She is quick to judge, but is neither harsh nor overly compassionate in her conclusions; a middling between Darcy s harshness and Jane s clemency.
The personalities in this novel are developed quickly and decisively. As soon as each character is introduced, he is explained, providing a smooth and rapidly paced structure that carries the reader logically yet subtly through the exposition. Austen does not include any facades or pretenses as to who each person truly is.