How Does Jane Austen Create Negative Feelings Towards Mr. Darcy in the First Few Chapters of Pride and Prejudice?

2676 Words Dec 2nd, 2005 11 Pages
How does Jane Austen create negative feelings towards Mr. Darcy in the first few chapters of Pride and Prejudice?

Jane Austen wrote her book about life for women in the nineteenth century; the Regency period. For women in this period, life was very unbalanced, women were not perceived as equals and men were superior and had full authority in every aspect of life. There was a clear segregation among men and women and the values they were expected to maintain.

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife".

Men received greater respect; an ascribed dominant identity. Their ideas and needs were considered a necessity; they were entitled to decide their own destiny.
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"What a contrast between him and his friend".

Through the obvious comparison between the two men, Mr. Darcy's lack of enthusiasm and clear lack of interest becomes more and more powerful. It shows he intentionally disapproves of being in such company and in return, creates severe disapproval among everyone in the room. His character has been decided for the second time in the evening, only this time it is confirmed and this time it is intentional. (The first time people judged him was based on his physical appearance and he could do nothing to prevent these thoughts but the second time his character was decided, he decided how to behave and it was his own choice to be perceived in the way he was). Austen provides one statement that applies to everyone who witnessed his behaviour.

"He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped that he would never come there again".

Mr Bingley says to Mr. Darcy,
"Come Darcy, I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner".

Mr. Bingley appears to express concern; afterall, Mr. Darcy and himself are friends. But he also says ‘in this stupid manner' as an indication of his personal disapproval. However, Darcy doesn't attempt to correct his wrong behaviour, instead, he refuses and insults the women there.

"There is not another woman in the room, whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with".

When describing the way in which

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