Persuasion by Jane Austen Defining the novel is a challenging prospect because the act of naming means to circumscribe a genre that defies rigid codes. The novel's elasticity and readiness to incorporate other genres makes it slippery and untidy; nevertheless, the novelness of a text allows us to recognize a novel and distinguish it from other genres. As readers, we approach the novel with the expectation that it will possess novelistic attributes and judge the novel on its ability to master these. With this focus in mind, this essay explores how the following features in Jane Austen's Persuasion contribute to (or persuade us as to) the novelness of the text: the extensive treatment of its characters, a sense of cohesion and continuity present in a work of long prose fiction, and a vivid portrayal of the social order on the micro-level of the domestic scenes of everyday.
In the early 1800s Jane Austen wrote what would be her last novel, Persuasion. Persuasion is set during the “Georgian Society” which greatly affects the character's views and actions throughout the novel. Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth quickly fell in love when Anne was just nineteen years old, but because he wasn't wealthy enough, Anne was not given the permission by her father, Sir Walter, to marry him. Eight years after this incident, the roles have reversed; Sir Walter has lost all of his money and Frederick Wentworth is now known as Captain Wentworth. Throughout the novel, Anne tries to overcome struggles with social class in order to fulfill her longing of being with Captain Wentworth. Therese Anderson's statement about the foundation of society in “The Importance of Class and Money” justifies the actions of those in Persuasion. “Marx argued that the real foundation of society was the economic structure, that political and legal superstructures rose from this... it is on the contrary their social existence which determines their consciousness” (1-2). Sir Walter focuses only on the economic factor which is what creates his narcissistic personality. Because of Captain Wentworth's lack of social class, Anne Elliot is unable to further her love and commitment for him. Jane Austen uses heavy irony throughout the plot line to show that there is no correlation between the amount of money one has and their quality of love.
Misjudgements in Austen’s Persuasion Persuasion, by Jane Austen is a story of a maturing heroine and her second chance at love. Eight years before Persuasion picked up the story, Anne Elliot let herself be persuaded to refuse the man she loved because her family and friends told her she was above him. He left, his heart broken, and resented her for the next eight years. She never loved anyone else, and at the start of this romance novel, she was twenty seven years old, and unmarried. In Persuasion, Austen provides a character study of Anne Elliot who transforms from an easily persuaded young girl to a strong, independent woman; and in doing so changes the lense through which her family, friends and the man she loves view her.
Menand, Louis. "What Jane Austen Doesn’t Tell Us." New York Review of Books 43.2 1 Feb. 1996: 13-15.
Southam, B.C., (ed.), Jane Austen: The Critical Heritage. Landon, NY: Routledge & Kegan Paul - Barres & Nobel Inc., 1968.
The short story Girl written by Jamaica Kincaid is a mother’s compilation of advice, skills, and life experience to her daughter. The mother believes that her offer of practical and helpful guidance will assist her daughter in becoming a proper woman, and gaining a fulfilling life and respectable status in the community. Posed against the mother’s sincere concern for her daughter’s future is Sir Walter’s superficial affection to his daughters in the novel Persuasion written by Jane Austen. Due to his detailed attention for appearance and social rank, Sir Walter has been negligent to his daughters’ interests and fails to fulfill his responsibility as a father. Throughout both literary works, the use of language and tone towards persuasive endeavors reveals the difference in family dynamics and the success of persuasion on the character’s transformation.
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The Life and Sensibility of Jane Austen Jane Austen has often been considered a woman who led a narrow, inhibited life and who rarely traveled. These assertions are far from the truth. Jane Austen traveled more than most women of her time and was quite involved in the lives of her brothers, so much that it often interfered with her writing. Like most writers, Jane drew on her experiences and her dreams for the future and incorporated them into her writing. Her characters reflect the people around her; the main characters reflect parts of herself.
Austen was a recondite writer with a new inside perspective with an outside view on life in the early 19th century. Born on December 16, 1775, Austen was a curious child given the unseal luxury of an education. Her father was a part of the gentry class and raised a family of ten, but was not well off by any means (Grochowski). Sense and Sensibility, written by Jane Austen, tells a dramatic story of three sisters and their emotional journey where they encounter love and betrayal. Because Jane Austen was raised in a liberal family and received a comprehensive education, her dramatic analysis of societal behavior in Sense and Sensibility was comparable to the hidden truths of social and class distinctions in 18th and 19th century Europe.