Warnings Offered by Jane Austen about the Moral Dangers of Persuasion

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What Warnings Does Jane Austen offer About the Moral Dangers of

Persuasion?

My essay will be exploring the different forms of persuasion, where it

occurs in the story and the effects that it has upon the characters in

the novel. In it's most basic form persuasion means 'Gaining power

over others'. Which means to influence others into acting in a way in

which you want them to via exploitation. The essay will therefore, be

looking at the different moral dangers faced by the characters and how

they act upon them.

Throughout the novel, persuasion is expressed in many different forms

with many different outcomes. One of the most obvious and most

powerful ways it is expressed is through family persuasion. Family

persuasion means simply to be influenced or affected by the attitudes

of the family. Over time Sir Walter has persuaded Mary and Elizabeth

to become like him and therefore they have taken on all of his bad

traits. Anne would also have become just like this if it weren't for

Lady Russell; she managed to balance Anne into becoming much more

lady-like and elegant. As Anne was not like him Sir Walter has

convinced Anne that she is ugly and old before her time. This has had

some very detrimental effects on Anne in her later years, because now

she has very little self-confidence and whenever she is told how good

she really does look she will not accept it because of Sir Walter's

years of put-downs. It is morally wrong for Sir Walter to do this

because of the after effects it has on Anne, it is not right for him

to make her feel like this. The book states; 'Anne, with elegance of

mind and sweetness of character, which must have placed her high with

any people of real understanding, was nobody with either f...

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...cases which ended up with negative outcomes the persuader

was selfish and was looking at only their own point of view without

taking into consideration the thoughts or opinions of the person they

are persuading. Just because someone trusts another person's opinion

it doesn't mean that they have to take their advice or be persuaded by

them. If Anne had gone on what she believed in rather than Lady

Russell she would have been much happier. The life of Jane Austen has

had a large part to play in the story of persuasion as she was

persuaded not to marry someone who she believed she loved and ended up

regretting it.

For my essay I have used references from the BBC documentary 'The Real

Jane Austen' with Claire Tomalin who wrote the book on Jane Austen

'Jane Austen - A Life'.

I have also used the introduction from the Penguin Classic edition of

Persuasion.

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