First Impressions in Pride and Prejudice
First impressions are very important in Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice. As the story develops, we discover how the prejudices and first impressions of each of the main characters change. The primary focus is on the character of Elizabeth Bennet.
Elizabeth's judgments about other characters' dispositions are accurate about half of the time. While she is correct about Mr. Collins and how absurdly self-serving he is and about Lady Catherine de Bourgh and how proud and snobbish she is, her first impressions of Wickham and Darcy steer her incorrectly. Wickham is first thought to be a gentleman by all. His good looks and his easy manner fool almost everyone, and Elizabeth believes without question all that he tells her of Darcy. Elizabeth's first impressions of him are contradicted when she realizes that he has lied about Darcy.
Elizabeth and many of the other characters see Darcy as proud, and it can be seen from this quote just how quickly this judgment of him is formed.
"The gentlemen pronounced him to be 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; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be...