Comparing First Impressions In Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austen

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Pride and Prejudice is a novel written by the English author Jane Austen. It was first published in 1813 and is thought to be one of the most popular novels in English literature. The story focuses on Elizabeth Bennet, the second daughter of the Bennet family, and Fitzwilliam Darcy, her love interest. Following the plot, the reader can see how these two manage to overcome all the obstacles and achieve romantic happiness. An interesting – but not very known- fact about the book is that it was originally entitled First Impressions. Many assumptions have been made about that change and many opinions have been expressed as to whether it is justified or not.
On the one hand, it is unquestionable that First Impressions is an appropriate title for
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He is a charming man, whose good looks and interesting personality attract Elizabeth. Nevertheless, it does not take long for her first impression to alter completely. Despite her thoughts on him, Wickham is proven a dishonest opportunist, a fortune-hunting hypocrite.
On the other hand, we can justify the author’s choice to use Pride and Prejudice instead of First Impressions as a title. To start with, the former is more captivating and does not throw the reader immediately into the subject of the book. On the contrary, not only does it allow them to use their imagination for the story and the characters, but it also draws their attention to a particular idea that the author finds significant; the character development of the protagonists.
Another important reason that explains the title alteration is the fact that the idea of “pride and prejudice” is omnipresent in the novel. Both Darcy and Elizabeth are personalities with an equal amount of those traits. The former is a proud wealthy man, who comes from a noble family and has set some high standards when it comes to choosing his partner. As a result, he is thought to be narrow-minded and extremely selective and, at the same time, prejudiced against people from the lower or middle class, like Elizabeth. We should not forget that, in the beginning, he referred to her as just “tolerable” in appearance and even when he made his proposal, he kept pointing out their class
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As we can notice in the book, apart from Elizabeth and Darcy there are other characters, too, who display the above mentioned traits. For instance, Mr. Collins and his patroness Lady Catherine de Bourgh are people of a high social and economic status, who tend to look down on lower class people like the Bennets, just because of their position in society. Therefore, by changing the title of her novel, Austen wanted to criticize strongly this particular characteristic of the social

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