How Does Jane Austen Present the Character of Mr Darcy in the Opening Section of Pride and Prejudice

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How does Jane Austen present the character of Mr Darcy in the opening section of Pride and Prejudice, and is he really the “most proud and disagreeable man in the world” Pride and Prejudice was a book written by Jane Austin originally published in 1813. Originally named First Impressions the book was controversial in its day not only because it was written by a woman but because it brought up the issue of what women’s role was in the male dominated society of the time. It questioned the class system that was of great importance to the people of the time and the book also asked the question is money and security more important than happiness? A touchy subject when women were expected to marry whoever could provide well for them and their families, happiness in marriage was considered a bonus not a necessity. A key character in the story is Mr. Darcy, both a source of conflict and a love interest for the character who may well have been based on Jane Austin herself Elizabeth Bennet. In this prose study I will be answering the question is Mr. Darcy really the “most proud and disagreeable man in the world” and if he is as he first appears, appropriate given the original name of the book “First Impressions”. In the opening section Mr Darcy is presented as an arrogant and shallow person. This is made clear in such instances as “she is tolerable but not handsome enough to temp me”. This shows Darcy as an uncaring, that he holds himself in high regard and seems insensitive. Especially so given that Elizabeth is close enough to hear what he has said. What he has said insults Jane and we tend to see the story through her eyes the most, because of this we see Darcy portrayed as ‘bad’ more often than good in this opening section. Although he is at least brutally honest, which he proves to be throughout the book. Even other characters seem to think he will act in such a
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