Persuasion

Persuasion

by Jane Austen

Nikki’s Rating: 10 out of 10

Summary: Persuaded once to refuse the man she loved, Anne Elliot is haunted by the choice she made nearly eight years ago. Now as her family deals with a financial crisis, his relatives become their tenants and Captain Wentworth and Anne are thrown into each other’s company once more. As they navigate their emotions, social etiquette, and Anne’s snobbish family, they come to realize that their feelings may have not changed and that their love might have survived their long separation.

10 Piquant Things about Jane Austen’s Persuasion

(May Contain Spoilers)

1. Family Dynamics

One of my favorite things about Persuasion is the banter that captures the family dynamics. Poor Anne is constantly in the middle of multiple family members, each telling her to tell other family members to stop this or do that. All of them are secretly complaining and talking shit about each other and it is hilarious! Mirrors many real-life family dynamics.

2. Class System

As seen in her other novels, Jane Austen shows the ridiculousness of the class system. Anne’s father, Sir Walter Elliot is seen as a snobbish, superficial Baronet who is obsessed with class and being part of the gentry. Even when dealing with a financial crisis, due to his own frivolous spending, he balks at the idea of letting his house to a professional career man.

3. Anne Elliot

Like all of Austen’s heroines, Anne is a wonderful character. While not outspoken and bold like Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Anne Elliot has her own strength that is quiet and gentle. Anne is immensely kind and thoughtful to all she comes across, without regard to class or rank. Throughout the novel, she is constantly thinking of those around her, putting their own comfort and needs before her own.each other and slowly coming to terms with their attraction to one another.

4. Unrequited Love

Unrequited love is something that everyone can identify with, most of us have dealt with it in some capacity in our lives. And Austen captures this painful experience so well through the thoughts of Anne. Wanting to be around the person because you love them but also knowing that they do not feel the same is torture as Austen describes so eloquently:

“It was agitation, pain, pleasure, a something between delight and misery”

p. 165

5. Going Against Family/Friends

The factors that influenced Anne to reject Captain Wentworth’s first proposal were that her family and more importantly, her good friend Lady Russel, voiced their displeasure of the match. While there were various reasons for each side, some based simply on snobbery, it is always a difficult situation to go against the advice from the important people in our lives.

6. Lady Russell

While Lady Russell had told Anne to break off her first engagement to Captain Wentworth, it was not out of malice or snobbery. Rather it was done due to her belief that a long engagement with no foreseeable date for the wedding to be too trying on both parties. Lady Russell only ever wanted happiness for Anne and was trying to prevent her from heartache. I appreciated that Austen didn’t make Lady Russell into a villain. Austen could have easily made Lady Russell’s motivations about being a snobbish aristocrat but instead, preserved the friendship between Anne and Lady Russell, with Lady Russell portraying the very thoughts that Austen had of long engagements.

7. Love

All of Austen’s novels are love stories and this is probably the biggest reason why I’m a huge Jane Austen fan. The love story in Persuasion is unique from her other books as it is a story of two people finding love again with each other. Well, realizing that they never stopped loving each other and that they were in a place that they could finally marry without a long, drawn-out engagement.

8. Writing

Jane Austen is a wonderful author and her books are timeless. Persuasion has a colorful cast of characters that are charming, even with their faults, and thus totally realistic. Austen’s writing throughout the novel is impeccable and provides enough detail without the reader getting lost in descriptions. And while Persuasion is not a fast-paced action story, it is a story of the heart that is touching and utterly heartwarming.d”.

9. Jane Austen

The inspiration of Persuasion came from Jane Austen’s own experience in giving her beloved niece advice about whether to enter into a drawn-out engagement or to pass up on the opportunity. Probably why Austen is such an effective writer is that she draws upon her own life. She writes about what she knows, allowing her to paint that picture in words. And of course, her books reflect her own opinions which were ahead of her time such as the absurdity of the class system, the idea that marriage should be about love, and that women can be strong and independent.for the more sensible family members. Basically how all our families are!

10. The Ending

The ending of Persuasion doesn’t provide the reader with information about if Sir Walter Elliot succeeds in being able to return to Kellynch-hall or the fate of Mrs. Clay and Mr. Elliot but frankly, I couldn’t give a shit. Anne and Captain Wentworth end up happily married and that is all that matters. Love and goodness triumphed and the rest can keep company in their misery.


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