What were Jane and Elizabeth's first impressions of Bingley and Darcy?  

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It was at the community ball given in the town of Meryton, where Jane and Elizabeth's Aunt Philips (sister of their mother) lived, that the girls first met Bingley and Darcy. The Meryton Assembly ball participants were all excited because of the promised appearance of the new group in town. While Jane and Elizabeth had every reason to approve of Mr. Bingley--he danced and he danced with Jane repeatedly--they had reason for a different opinion about Mr. Darcy.

Not only would Darcy not dance, he would not converse. He stood stupidly talking only occasionally to Miss Bingley of his own party.

"Come, Darcy," [Bingley] said "I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance."

Furthermore, Elizabeth had every reason to disapprove of Mr. Darcy because, not only did he declare all the young Meryton women beneath his notice for beauty, he declared Elizabeth slighted by other men and "not handsome" enough to tempt his fancy.

Jane, of course, with her angelic disposition, was sure that Darcy was not as bad as he at first appeared and she was willing to forgive him and judge him only after a greater acquaintance. Elizabeth was keen to make an ironic mockery of him immediately and to playfully foster a prejudiced dislike of him from that moment onward.

rahelb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jane and Elizabeth first meet Bingley and Darcy at a small ball in Netherfield when Bingley brings his sisters and Darcy to live for the summer. At the ball, Bingley is friendly with the local people and personable, making the people like him, especially Jane. Elizabeth finds him to be kind and Jane finds him handsome and becomes attracted to him.

On the other hand, they find Darcy to be cold, indifferent, and proud when they meet him as he doesn't seem to be interested in the people of Netherfield. Neither Jane nor Elizabeth are fond of him and Jane instantly assumes him to be proud because he is wealthier than the others.

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Pride and Prejudice

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