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What Happened at the Netherfield Ball?

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Without any doubt, the Netherfield ball is one of the essential scenes in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. The reason for it is that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy dance together for the first time. Even though both are not satisfied with the dance, it is the first step in their complicated relationship.

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The Netherfield ball party is an event of extreme importance. Young women have the opportunity to get acquainted with gentlemen or even find future husbands. Elizabeth Bennet heads for the ball to meet Wickham, who appeals to her. But to her great regret, he was absent. She finds out that the man has not come because of Mr. Darcy, who confounds her expectations. Thus, she feels contempt for the latter. On the other hand, Mr. Darcy is amazed by Elizabeth’s charm, and he is still not aware of his feelings towards the young woman.

Further, Mr. Darcy asks her to dance, and she agrees without thinking. It indicates that Elizabeth may already be in love with the man, though she does not want to admit so. Nevertheless, after being asked to dance, she told her friend, “Heaven forbid! That would be the greatest misfortune of all! To find a man agreeable whom one is determined to hate! Do not wish me such an evil.” After the dance, both Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are dissatisfied, though they are deeply touched by each other.

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