First Impressions was the original title of Jane Austen’s novel, Pride and Prejudice. It would have been a fitting title, as first impressions are a major influence in the
story. Because of first impressions, the characters in Pride and Prejudice interact based on
what they assume about others, and undoing these misconceptions is the main concern of
The main character, Elizabeth Bennet, makes many important first impressions,
but the primary focus of her judgments is the seemingly arrogant and scornful Mr. Darcy.
When she first encounters him, she is informed of his wealth, class, and prestige. However, Elizabeth soon observes that he seems quite haughty, ill-mannered, prideful, and
unwilling to associate with those below his social status. She is subject to Darcy's arrogance herself, when he says in her presence that "she is tolerable, but not handsome
enough to tempt me” (13). Elizabeth quickly concludes that he is a very disagreeable
man, though that does not stop her from making witty comments and observations to him
in a civil manner. Her initial impression makes her totally unaware that Darcy is showing
some partiality to her. For a long time, Elizabeth’s negative impressions about him prevent the two from coming to any sort of understanding, and any relationship between
them is doubtful--if not impossible. She finds more common ground with an acquaintance of Darcy’s, Mr. Wickham.Elizabeth’s first impressions of Mr. Wickham are that he is an agreeable and ideal
man worthy of her attention and trust. He appears to be a civil, friendly, and honorable
man, seemingly all of what Darcy is not. Elizabeth befriends him, and carries on a good
relationship with him. Additionally, Wickham knows Darcy, and tells Elizabeth of his
past history with him. He says Darcy is as prideful as he seems, and did him wrong.
However, he claims a deep respect for the Darcy family (76-81), which keeps his intentions honorable. Because of these factors,...