Pride and Prejudice

how do the four main characters' attitudes foreshadow their coming romances

pride and prejudice

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The Meryton ball introduces the reader to the two main couples in the novel, and also foreshadows the differences in how their relationships will develop. Jane and Bingley are attracted to each from the outset, and their simple, amiable, easy-going natures prevent internal difficulties from hindering their attachment. The fact that Bingley seems to wait for his sisters' approval before feeling "authorised" to like Jane demonstrates how easily influenced he is by others' opinions and foreshadows external difficulties in the development of his relationship with Jane. Elizabeth and Darcy, however, hardly have the most favorable first impressions of one another. Elizabeth's quickness to judge Darcy and her pride in the accuracy of her perceptions will prevent from seeing the good side of his character until extraordinary events make her realize her mistake. Because of his pride and extreme class-consciousness, Darcy refuses even to consider Elizabeth as a dancing partner. The original title of the novel was, in fact, First Impressions. Indeed, the characters' first impressions of each other serve to mark the course of their future relationships.

The ball reinforces what we have already begun to see about the characters of Jane and Elizabeth. Thus while Jane assures Elizabeth that Bingley's sisters are pleasant once they have been engaged in conversation, Elizabeth, judges them to be haughty and dislikes them immediately.