Are First Impressions Accurate in Determining a Person's Character? Free Essay on Pride and Prejudice

Published: 2022-02-22 19:45:45
Are First Impressions Accurate in Determining a Person's Character? Free Essay on Pride and Prejudice
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories: Jane Austen
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1465 words
13 min read

The above topic is going to be discussed in line with the events that took place in the book Pride and Prejudice a book written by Jane Austen for there are several occasions that a person was judged based on first impression, some worked quite well while others did not as it is going to be discussed in the following paper. In the book, the setting is that of older Europe when there used to be balls that enabled people to mingle and get to know each other and if all went well at least get a spouse. It has been shown on the book several occasions that people were judged on first impression and it all worked out while on other occasions people misjudged and later came to be corrected in the book when all goes well.

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The events of the book took place in the old setting of European era when people were judged based on their wealth and families judged based on the families their daughters got married to. The paper is going to elaborate on the accuracy of first impressions using current 21st methodologies and designs used to determine on whether first impressions are accurate. The main focus will revolve around the main character and scrutinize on whether the use of first impression worked for or against them based on the fact on whether they were right or wrong based on these first impression (Austen).

Humans are a wonderful lot; they are the only beings that have mastered the use of their brain in judging on whether something is right or wrong. They are also able to judge a person on first impression on whether they will treat a person as friend or foe, judge a person on whether they are attractive or not, however the first impressions as stated by various psychologists can be either is right or wrong. 'Judging a book by its cover' is what nowadays is referred to first impression (Todorov,Alexander). This is the nature of humans in that they are bound to make idiosyncratic judgments about other people on regular basis.

The first case which approves the accuracy of first impression is the connection between Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley. Jane was the first born daughter of Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Bennet, according to her mother, Jane was the most beautiful girl in the area. Mr. Bingley who was single then was attracted to Jane on the first day of the ball where they were introduced and danced together most of the night. Elizabeth, Jane's sister was so proud that her sister had a connection with Mr. Bingley who then was considered to be very wealthy. From the moment they first met, the first impression of Mr. Bingley was that he was a sociable man and best suited to marry their first born daughter Jane. This was true since Charles Bingley was not at ease around Jane and was very jovial and happy when around her (Austen).

This could have been considered to be the Halo Effect, in psychology the Halo Effect occurs when a person grants another person positive effects even if they are not yet acquainted to each other. This mostly occurs to people that are attractive and in study it has shown that people that are attractive tend to live a happier life than those not considered to be attractive. Bingley could have had a Halo Effect with Jane which made Caroline, Mr. Bingley's sister wonder if his brother was serious at all about him having a like for Jane. Caroline's impression of Jane was not well received in that she forced her brother to move on and separated them with the help of Mr. Darcy. Caroline's impression of Jane was not well received in that she did not play any instrument, nor did she read or draw a trait that was meant to be possessed by women to be considered viable. Hence the first impression on Jane by Mr. Bingley was right which is shown towards the end of the book when he proposed to Jane. Based on these two characters the first impression they had on each other been right thus the reason as to why they got along quite well (Zebrowitz).

The second example from the same book will involve a set of people whose first impression was a miss judgment on both sides. The example is that of Elizabeth who is Jane's sister and Mr. Darcy. At the ball Lizzy overheard Darcy saying that she was not handsome enough to capture his attention and that she was only sociable. This made Lizzy have the attitude of a bogeyman concerning the character of Mr. Darcy who from the first ball was all quiet and non-social. Lizzy made up her mind concerning Mr. Darcy that he would be the last man she would ever think of marrying, however, this changed with time when Lizzy came to know the real character of Mr. Darcy, and made her realize that she was all wrong in the first place. The things that Mr. Darcy had done for the people, which included him looking for Lizzy's sister who had eloped with Mr. Wickham, arranging for their wedding, and bringing back Mr. Bingley to correct what he had participated in making wrong. The acts of kindness and generosity proved that Mr. Darcy was not the bogeyman Lizzy had first thought of and that all her first impressions concerning Mr. Darcy were all wrong (wood). Mr. Darcy also found out that he had the wrong first impressions of Lizzy and upon the realization asked her to marry him.

The second example of a bad first impression was the one Lizzy had for Mr. Wickham who appeared to be all charming and attractive but at the end they came to realize that he was not all genuine and had tricked her sister to elope with him, something that could have made the other unmarried sisters have a hard time getting a suitor for having a fallen sister. Mr. Wickham had also tricked Georgiana Darcy into marrying him however upon realizing that he would not touch any of her inheritance he dumped her and joined the force. It is acts like the ones explained above that bring into the question on whether it is accurate to determine a person's character by the use of first impression. The book has illustrated that first impressions can be both correct and incorrect at the same time for people do not always turn out as expected.

First impressions are not always accurate however, the following moderators make a have a personality accuracy when doing first impressions, and these will be shown with examples from the book. One should have a good target, these is mostly brought out by the personality of these person. In the book Mr. Bingley was easy to judge since he was social to everyone and appeared happy, hence it could have been easily summarized that the person was social and easy to talk to; his conversations were good which made him likable and acceptable in the presence of many (Todorov,Alexander). On the other hand Mr. Darcy appeared not sociable, which he clarified by saying he is not social to people that he does not know, however in the end he turned out to be a good guy.

It is easy to make a trait of a person whom trait is considered good, an example is Mr. Bingley whose trait is open and likable which has made him be a favorite to many. These is seen when Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Bennet say that Bingley has a big heart and will be cheated by his servants for that, and they said that his characteristic is a good one and there is no one who deserved their daughter rather than him.

In conclusion, it as it is evidenced from the above examples and explanations, it is not accurate to judge people based with the first impression as there is a probability of the person turning out the opposite of what he/she was thought of. The book has given forth examples of such scenarios hence it can be concluded that people should not determine a person's character based on the assumptions made with first impression, there is more of a person than the physical and behavioral ways, a case well presented by Darcy.

Works cited

Zebrowitz, Leslie. Reading faces: Window to the soul?. Routledge, 2018.Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice (International Student Edition)(Norton Critical Editions). WW Norton & Company, 2016.

Wood, Timothy J. "Exploring the role of first impressions in rater-based assessments." Advances in Health Sciences Education 19.3 (2014): 409-427.

Todorov, Alexander, and Jenny M. Porter. "Misleading first impressions: Different for different facial images of the same person." Psychological science 25.7 (2014): 1404-1417.

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