Due to the generalizations that society has long been dictating in previous years, it is a fair statement to say that the superficiality of individuals is what says the most about them when meeting new individuals. In the novel Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, it is proven time and again how individuals judge each other by the manner in which they dress, act, and look. This is the kind of superficiality that has been aforementioned by which individuals are constantly judged nowadays. In the novel, two of the protagonists, Elizabeth and Darcy portray the manner in which individuals are judged by the manner in which they carry themselves out to be at first sight. Throughout the beginning of the novel, Elizabeth Bennet portrays herself as a very opinionated individual who speaks her mind even if it is not her turn to speak at an event. In addition to that, she gives off the vibe of a very intelligent woman, something that was considered taboo in the time period in which the novel was written. Fitzwilliam Darcy, on the other hand, is characterized as a wealthy man who believes that he is better than everyone else who is not of his social class. In other words, he often times looks down on those individuals who do not have as much money as he does and is rude to mostly everyone. Throughout the course of the novel, however, these two individuals are able to change significantly. Elizabeth, for example, learns to be more accepting of other people’s beliefs and opinions. She is also able to become more self-aware about what the things that are going on around her. Darcy experiences great change in the way he treats other individuals. Whereas he was once seen as a cold-blooded individual, towards the end of the novel he is portrayed as a gentlemen who does not mind with dealing with individuals outside of his social class. This goes to prove how the superficiality of individuals is not always what should be relied on. Through the changes in Elizabeth and Darcy, Austen is able to effectively identify the manner in which humans have grown to judge other individuals on first impressions and appearances.
Throughout the novel, it is proven time and again how societal standards are set. At the beginning, Darcy gives off a very negative vibe through the manner in which he only chooses to associate with those individuals who are within his social group. At the very first pages of the novel, for example, Darcy refuses to dance with anyone who is not part of his group. Of course, this says a lot about his character and the manner in which he must treat other individuals who do not meet up to his standards. Clearly, at no point throughout the novel is Elizabeth part of Darcy’s social class. The fact that he chooses to associate with her throughout the novel, however, indicates that Darcy slowly comes to become cognizant of the actuality that he should stop judging individuals based on their appearances and their first impressions. However, through this example, it is shown that Darcy judged too harshly on Elizabeth’s superficiality at the beginning of the novel. It is therefore a fair statement to say that Austen was attempting to prove the fact that people much too often judge others on external factors as opposed to what really matters.
Perhaps Austen believed in judging individuals for their emotions and the kind of personality that they have. In this case, Elizabeth is used as an example throughout the course of the novel. This is due to the fact that Elizabeth is able to emotionally change about the manner in which she comports herself in the face of society. As stated before, Elizabeth is at first very opinionated about everything that runs through her mind, but as the story unfolds, she learns to be nicer to empathize with other individual’s situations. In theory, it could be said that Austen was putting in his best efforts in order to show how society has become so degenerated that individuals have now decided to compartmentalize inner beauty in order to only look at the superficiality of an individual. This simply goes to prove the idea that appearances and first impressions have become far too important in society to this day. Because of this, it would not be a bad idea if individuals stopped paying so much attention to the kind of impression that an individual was able to make at first glance and that individuals start to pay more attention to the kind of person that the individual truly is. If and when this protocol were to be followed, there would be many more genuine individuals in the world today because of the fact that everyone would like each other for who they truly are not and not for whom they pretend to be in order to fill with a certain group.
Through the changes in Elizabeth and Darcy, Austen is able to effectively identify the manner in which humans have grown to judge other individuals on first impressions and appearances. Pride and Prejudice is about what the title entails. It talks about two individuals who at first are overwhelmed with both pride and prejudice to notice the fact that they are perfect for each other. After these individuals put their differences aside, however, they are able to come to terms with the actuality that they are meant to be together. The fact that these individuals are able to get married towards the end of the novel indicates the fact that if other individuals were to do the same thing and put their differences aside, a lot of other real-life problems could be put aside in the world today.
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