At the first ball in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, what facts does the narrator give about Darcy to show what he is like and how others perceive him?

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Austen has fun with unreliable narration and with an observation about human nature she often returns to: we judge other people not objectively but based on how they treat us.

First, we are treated to wildly inaccurate rumors of who is coming to the assembly, which should make us distrust...

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Austen has fun with unreliable narration and with an observation about human nature she often returns to: we judge other people not objectively but based on how they treat us.

First, we are treated to wildly inaccurate rumors of who is coming to the assembly, which should make us distrust the narration:

a report soon followed that Mr. Bingley was to bring twelve ladies and seven gentlemen with him to the assembly. The girls grieved over such a number of ladies, but were comforted the day before the ball by hearing, that instead of twelve he brought only six with him from London—his five sisters and a cousin. And when the party entered the assembly room it consisted of only five altogether—Mr. Bingley, his two sisters, the husband of the eldest, and another young man

The other young man turns out to be Darcy. Darcy is at first admired because he is tall and handsome, and more importantly, rumored to be very wealthy, with an estate and ten thousand pounds a year in income. The women, at first decide he is more handsome than Bingley, and the men say that he cuts a fine figure.

However, when he becomes clear he is proud and scornful and doesn't think much of the people around him, the mood changes. Darcy's popularity plummets. He is now considered to be disagreeable looking and much less worthy of admiration than Bingley. We see how quickly people make snap judgments based on superficial characteristics.

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The first things we learn about Darcy at the Meryton ball described in the very beginning of the book is that he is very elegant, very tall, very handsome and has a very aristocratic bearing. We also learn that he his very wealthy, much wealthier than Bingley. At first, everyone in the room is very impressed with Darcy. Austen relays that the "gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, [and] the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley" (Ch. 3). However, the company at the ball soon decided that Darcy actually had very poor manners. Those at the ball soon decided that he was very proud and thought himself "to be above his company, and above being pleased" (Ch. 3).

Darcy's behavior at the ball certainly helped to prove the general opinion that he was proud and conceited. The company at Meryton found Bingley to be very friendly and lively, unlike Darcy. Bingley acted very sociably while Darcy did not. Bingley soon introduced himself to every important person in the room, "danced every dance," and even promised to hold a ball at Netherfield. Darcy, on the other hand, only danced with the ladies he already knew. He danced with Bingley's married sister, Mrs. Hust, once and then once with Bingley's second sister, Caroline Bingley. On top of that, when Bingley tried to encourage him to dance more, saying, "I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner," and tried to persuade him to dance with Elizabeth, Darcy delivers his famous insult. He says, "She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me." Hence we see that Darcy is certainly characterized as a proud, conceited, disagreeable man and that the other characters in the room were right, at first, to dislike him.

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