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"Firts impressions" about Pride and Prejudice: the inside story about its original title

In the realm of titling books, songs, poems, and various works of art, opinions often diverge. Some authors believe in crafting the title beforehand, using it as a guiding star to illuminate the creative process later on. Others prefer to shape the title after the work has taken form. It's a known fact that creative minds can be chaotic, and for many, having a few well-defined reference points serves as a compass in the intricate landscape of creation.

As I delved into (not without the occasional stumble) Jane Austen's masterpiece, I found myself persistently pondering a singular question. I had learned that the title of the work had shifted from "First Impressions" to "Pride and Prejudice." Thus, while I followed along, not entirely captivated, through Lizzy's encounter with Wickham, the reactions of the sisters, and the descriptions of Darcy that hinted at much more than was explicitly said about his character, I couldn't help but lean towards the original title as the superior choice.

"First impressions are the most lasting." - Jane Austen

How could one not prefer the implicit solution, tethered to "First Impressions"? These initial perceptions already encompass all the imperfections and complexities (sometimes, the absence of intention) inherent in forming a valid and coherent understanding of reality—especially when it comes to the people who enter our lives. How could one not acknowledge that within these initial impressions, one finds not only pride and prejudice, but also fear, jealousy, and the feeling of not quite measuring up? Indeed, these first impressions influence both judgment and bias.

However, it was precisely as the book gradually gained my interest that I came to appreciate the selection of the second title. It almost seemed as though the two qualities, Pride and Prejudice, were the very factors preventing Darcy and Lizzy from experiencing what an external reader might perceive as their destined connection—spoilers notwithstanding. Two traits initially seen as negative transformed into positives as their roots in the protagonists became evident. Darcy's pride, stemming from a proud (though austere) moral and ethical nobility, contrasted starkly with Elizabeth's prejudice, born of a profound ability to look beyond the surface without undue reverence. This duality allowed her moments of great insight and occasionally led her astray (as evident in her assessments of Wickham and Darcy, for instance). As these two aspects so aptly embodied the characters and were explicitly referenced in several instances, the logic of making them the core representation of the work became increasingly clear.

In retrospect, the novel doesn't seem solely centered on "First Impressions." Instead, it can be viewed through the lens of Elizabeth's vibrant yet often contradictory perspective as "Impressions on First Impressions." Here, these initial encounters are autonomously reshaped to align with the values and consciousness of an uncommon young woman.

While it may seem commonplace to say that Pride and Prejudice almost won me over, it's perhaps more accurate to specify that the "almost" hinges on not having fully illuminated the underlying reasons behind the Pride and Prejudice of the main characters. The final pages seemed to provide too little insight, particularly considering the inherent nature of the protagonists themselves, feeling more rational than emotionally resonant.

By the way, when I purchased the book, I also acquired Sense and Sensibility by the same author. I eagerly anticipate reading it, firmly convinced that books, much like people, at times, may not quite know how to explain themselves as well as others do.


·         Pride and Prejudice: The Dance of Perception

In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen orchestrates a delicate dance of perception. Like partners in a waltz, Elizabeth's prejudice and Darcy's pride twirl and collide. It's a dance that reveals the intricacies of human judgment.

·         The Power of First Impressions

First impressions are the canvas upon which we paint our understanding of the world. They hold the power to shape our relationships, our choices, and our lives. In Pride and Prejudice, they are the brushstrokes that create a masterpiece of storytelling.

·         The Transformation of Flaws into Virtues

Austen's genius lies in her ability to transform flaws into virtues. Darcy's pride is not simply arrogance; it's a manifestation of his moral principles. Elizabeth's prejudice is not mere close-mindedness; it's a reflection of her perceptive abilities.


·         Mr. Darcy: The Enigmatic Aristocrat

Mr. Darcy, the enigmatic aristocrat, stands as a testament to the complexity of human character. His pride, though often off-putting, conceals a deep sense of responsibility and honor. He challenges us to look beyond surface judgments.

·         Elizabeth Bennet: The Spirited Observer

Elizabeth Bennet, the spirited observer, teaches us the power of discernment. Her willingness to question societal norms and dig beneath appearances is a reminder that true understanding often requires a keen eye.

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Tags: #literature#romance#austen#opinion


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