Elizabeth’s from Elizabeth’s point of view. The plot follows

quick judgment of Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham causes her and her family pain, Mr.
Wickham’s villainous actions and their effects on Elizabeth Bennet reveal how
faulty first impressions can be, and how she could have prevented some
heartache if she had been less judgmental.

Pride and
Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her family of four sisters
and two rather different parents in nineteenth century rural England. Set
during the Napoleonic wars the novel is primarily told from Elizabeth’s point
of view. The plot follows mainly Elizabeth and her sister Jane in their journey
to find true happiness. Jane falls in love with Mr. Bingley, a wealthy man she
meets at the ball but his family and friends believe that the class difference
is too large; they get separated as a result of this and Mr. Darcy convinces his
friend Mr. Bingley that Jane does not truly love him. Mr. Darcy is introduced
in the novel as a wealthy man with a cold demeanor and proud manners; Elizabeth
dislikes him immediately at first sight and her dislike deepens as she meets
George Wickham, a British officer that has a bad past with Mr. Darcy. This
meeting sets the start for the continuous misjudgments and errors Elizabeth makes
throughout the novel because of Mr. Wickham.

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Elizabeth’s relationship with Mr. Wickham only deepens her disdain for the
proud Mr. Darcy. When Elizabeth meets Wickham he portrays himself as a soldier
of poor background, who, if it were not for the actions of Mr. Darcy would be
working in the church, for instance he mentions that “The church ought to have
been my profession –I was brought up for the church.” (pg. 80) Elizabeth’s
impression of him are positive and she feels an immediate attraction to the soldier
and finds the idea of a relationship with him pleasing because this allows her
to discover more reasons to hate Mr. Darcy, a man she has sworn to hate for the
rest of her life. Elizabeth learns from Mr. Wickham that he lived with the
Darcy family and that everything changed after the death of Mr. Darcy’s father.
She learns that Mr. Darcy kept Wickham’s inheritance from him and drove him
away. Elizabeth comes to view him as just another person whose pride has been
berated by Mr. Darcy.

As the
relationship with Mr. Wickham develops, Elizabeth comes to question his stories
and his motives, ultimately realizing her faults in judgment. At the second
ball, more known as the Netherfield Ball in the story, Mrs. Gardiner along with
Caroline Bingley and Jane warns her against Mr. Wickham and his deceitful ways.
Elizabeth slowly detaches herself from Mr. Wickham and ignores him and while
doing so she finds herself becoming closer to Mr. Darcy, particularly when she
visits Charlotte and Mr. Collins at Pemberley. Elizabeth and Wickham’s
relationship fails and instead he approaches the wealthy Miss King but is
unsuccessful in his attempt to marry her after she inherits money. After receiving
a letter from Mr. Darcy Elizabeth has come to the realization of Wickham’s
deceitful nature and how successful he has been in shaping her judgment towards
Mr. Darcy. Her prejudices have proven to be completely false and she regrets
how she let herself be so influenced and laments over her prejudice “How
despicably have I acted!…But vanity not love has been my folly”(205). Here, Jane
Austen uses internal discoveries to elucidate the fact that first impressions
are often flawed. Elizabeth allowed herself to be deceived by such a man as
Wickham and she sees how hurtful she has been to Mr. Darcy. Furthermore,
Elizabeth realizes that Mr. Wickham only despised Mr. Darcy because of
misconceptions in their past and not because Mr. Darcy was an evil man.

Even after
Elizabeth uncovers the truth of Wickham, he continues to attack her family.  Her perception of Wickham changes and she
feels a desire to be with Mr. Darcy more as she visits Pemberley. Austen
intentionally uses this place a symbol to show Elizabeth and Darcy’s increasing
affection towards each other. Despite Wickham’s actions, Elizabeth does not
want to ruin his reputations as she did with Darcy’s and says that “but to
expose the former faults of any person, without knowing what their present
feelings were seemed unjustifiable.” (281). The breaking point is when Wickham
takes her sister Lydia and elopes with her, this villainous action causes
Elizabeth to further recognize her misjudgments of Mr. Darcy and realizes the
extent to which Wickham has affected her judgment of Darcy. Mr. Darcy saves her
family’s reputations by paying the marriage of Wickham and Lydia, despite all
that Mr. Wickham has done to him. Elizabeth ceases of all her perceptions and
discovers in the end that Mr. Darcy is truly a loving man with a good heart and
one that is really shy and misunderstood in his demeanor. Elizabeth sees him
different from others in his class and that he unintentionally hurts the pride
of others without menace.

In conclusion,
Mr. Wickham villainous actions fuels Elizabeth’s ill judgments and prejudice
towards Mr. Darcy and eventually through epiphanies such as internal events
does she discover her rash thinking and how it has resulted in misjudging certain
characters. Elizabeth’s prejudice is quite ironic due to the fact that it is
the very same reason why she despises Mr. Darcy in the first place, because of
his judgment of her social class. (Luhaib, pp.71)