In Jane Austen's novel, Pride and Prejudice, a majority of the scenes took place at some type of social gathering where the characters were all brought together. It was at these balls, parties, and dinners, that the characters" personalities were observed and developed. It was also during these gatherings that relationships were formed among characters, particularly between Jane and Bingley, and Elizabeth and Darcy. These developing relationships can be analyzed by looking at the various social get togethers that occurred throughout the novel, beginning with the Meryton Ball. Each party in some way or another affected each character. The reader learns more and more about Jane, Elizabeth, Bingley, and Darcy through these social interactions. It is at these parties that the reader gains knowledge of some of the most important information about the novel through the characters. These parties provided the basis for the social context in the novel.
The first time that the characters of Bingley and Darcy were introduced was at the Meryton Ball. This party is very important to the novel as a whole. It is at this ball that Elizabeth's prejudices are formed towards Darcy. It is also during the course of this evening that Bingley develops a strong attraction towards Jane, which seems to be reciprocated by Jane. It is very clear that the two relationships that are introduced during this party vary drastically. This seems to be true because of the drastic differing personalities of Bingley, and his friend, Darcy. Throughout the evening, Bingley is extremely social and friendly to everyone who is present. He goes out of his way to dance with Jane twice. Bingley appears to be a very outgoing and successful man who would be an excellent husband. Darcy, on the other hand, is not well liked at the Meryton Ball. Although Darcy was at first viewed as a striking, handsome man, his true colors eventually reveal that his looks are not enough to make him a desirable man.