First of all, Austen gives an example of how the social values of men can give people a bad first impression in the Meryton ball scene when Mr. Bingley shows up to the ball with his friend, Darcy. When the women first see Darcy, the narrator states that, “He [is] looked at with great admiration…”, but after he reveals his manners, he gives everyone a bad impression (Austen 11). The narrator says that Darcy feels as if he is “above his company” so he refuses to dance with anyone he does not know (Austen. 12). He confirms this when he is talking to Mr. Bingley and he says, “Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another women in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with” (Austen 13). This indicates that Darcy feels like the Bennets are beneath him and that it would be a horrible thing for someone of his social standing to be seen dancing with someone who is not on their level. This also shows the reader how Darcy’s social values will not allow him to dance with a woman who is not accomplished by society’s standards. The f...
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... her use of language and tone in her works, uses free indirect discourse to emphasize her use of intelligent language and to express her tone. There are few scenes in the story in which Austen uses her language, tone, and free indirect discourse to contribute to the work as a whole. The Meryton Ball scene is a great example of how Austen uses the social values of men, women, and marriage to contribute to the story’s theme of the dangers of first impressions. The social values of men, who are supposed to get married to accomplished women, can harm a man’s ability to make a good first impression on women who are not seen as being accomplished. The social values of women, who are supposed to find and marry a wealthy man, may ignore their emotions to fit in with society. This causes the social values of marriage to be seen as a business move instead of a sacred ceremony.
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