Pride and Prejudice is an 1813 novel of manners written by Jane Austen. The novel follows the character development of Elizabeth Bennet, the dynamic protagonist of the book who learns about the repercussions of hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between superficial goodness and actual goodness.

In rural England in the early 19th century, Mrs. Bennet attempts to persuade Mr. Bennet to visit Mr. Bingley, a rich bachelor recently arrived in the neighbourhood. After some verbal sparring with her husband, Mrs. Bennet believes he will not call on Mr. Bingley. Shortly afterwards, he visits Netherfield, Mr. Bingley's rented residence, much to Mrs. Bennet's delight. The visit is followed by a ball at the local assembly rooms that the entire neighbourhood attends.

At the ball, the neighbourhood is introduced to the whole Netherfield party, which consists of Mr. Bingley, his two sisters, the husband of one of his sisters, and Mr. Darcy, his dearest friend. Mr. Bingley's friendly and cheerful manner earns him popularity among the guests. He appears attracted to Jane Bennet the eldest Bennet daughter, with whom he dances twice. Mr. Darcy, reputed to be twice as wealthy, is haughty and aloof, causing a decided dislike of him. He declines to dance with Elizabeth the second-eldest Bennet daughter, stating that she is not attractive enough to tempt him. Elizabeth finds this amusing and jokes about it with her friends.