Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has emphases on how characters are perceived by the world they live in. Mr. Darcy is an unpopular and misunderstood character who is the symbol of pride throughout the novel. Mr. Wickham is a charismatic soldier who is perceptive of those around him and capitalizes on his knowledge. Throughout the novel similarities and differences between characters are highlighted. Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy grew up together, yet Mr. Darcy is known for having a disagreeable countenance and a large sense of pride and Mr. Wickham is more charming, charismatic, and socially well-versed. In the fourth chapter of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth says “It does not necessarily follow that a deep, intricate character is more or less estimable than such a one as yours” (Austen 28). The interactions between characters lead the audience to an understanding of the personal and societal identities of the individuals of Pride and Prejudice. Although Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham had very similar upbringings, their interactions with and views of the world highly contrast.
When Elizabeth first meets Mr. Darcy, it is a very different encounter than when she first meets Mr. Wickham. The disposition with which each character interacts with others is highly disparate. Mr. Darcy introduces himself with a sense of pride and disdain for those around him. When meeting Elizabeth for the first time, she determines that, “Mr. Darcy…had only looked at her to criticize…to her he was the only man who made himself agreeable no where, and who had not thought her handsome enough to dance with” (Austen 15). Elizabeth is offended by her perception of Darcy’s pride and dislike of her. Eliz...
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...re officially wed; he goes as far as standing at their wedding, to ensure Wickham follows through.
Perception is a major portion of characters’ interactions with their world. Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy, from Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, have many differences though they had similar upbringings. Mr. Wickham has charisma, is charming, and is socially accepted and approachable. Mr. Darcy is generally viewed as dark, unpopular, and, most notably, proud. The discernment of both characters does not accurately reflect either individual’s true temperament. Wickham’s likability does not show his vindictive or greedy sense of being that motivates most of his actions. Darcy’s representation of himself is somewhat accurate; he is proud, but the pride that is scrutinized keeps his moral standard concealed. Wickham and Darcy hold vastly dissimilar views of the world around them.
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