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.
Throughout the novel, Anne realizes that she can make her own decisions about who she wants to marry; and her father and sister come to respect that. At the beginning of the novel, Austen went back in time and wrote about Anne’s father’s reaction to her choice of marrying Captain Wentworth, as seen on page 28, “ Sir Walter, on being applied to, without actually withholding his consent, or saying it should never be, gave it all the negative of great astonishment, great coldness, great silence,... He thought it a very degrading alliance,” (Austen 28). This shows what her father thought about her decision to marry Wentworth. He thought that she could do better, and shouldn’t marry him. Anne, being only 19, let herself be persuaded into believing this to be true herself. As the novel progresses, it was revealed that Anne was always looked down upon by her family. They thought they could push her around, and do whatever they wanted with her. Towards the end of the novel, however, they change their opinions of ...
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...least; that anger, resentment, avoidance, were no more; that they were succeeded, not merely by friendship and regard, but by the tenderness of the past, ... He must love her,” (Austen 167). By the end of the novel, he had fallen in love with the heroine, after realizing that she was a capable, grown up woman, who wouldn’t hurt him again.
In Persuasion, Jane Austen shows the transformation of a young girl into a grown woman, and this is seen by her family, friends, and the man she loves, who all change their opinions of her because of this. All the people around her realized that Anne could make her own decisions about her life, and her family and friends stopped trying to push her around, and Captain Wentworth fell back in love with a more mature version of the Anne he knew. In the end, this romance novel came to a close, and they all lived “happily ever after”.
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