Consider the implications of the title, Persuasion Essay

Consider the implications of the title, Persuasion Essay

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Consider the implications of the title, Persuasion

“Something intended to induce belief or action” is how the Oxford
Dictionary defines the term persuasion. To consider the implications
of the title successfully, it is essential that we first understand
the term persuasion within the context of the novel. The Oxford
Dictionary also defines the term ‘persuade’ as “to successfully urge a
person to do; to talk into or out of an action”, “to attract, lure or
entice” or as “to talk earnestly with a person to secure agreement or
compliance.” By these definitions we can notice that the concept of
persuasion is ever-present throughout Austen’s novel. One of Austen’s
traits is that her titles appear to offer some indication towards
subject content; ‘Sense and Sensibility’,’ Pride and Prejudice’ and in
this novel; ‘Persuasion.’ The first of these titles seems to suggest a
tone of appraisal and the second, a tone of condemnation. From this
recognition, we can also notice that Austen’s novels deal with the
concept of moral perameters. ‘Persuasion’ however, does not seem to
provide a clear indication of the nature of the subject matter. Yet
isn’t persuasion less of a moral concept than ‘Sense and Sensibility’
and ‘Pride and Prejudice’? It seems therefore, that ‘Persuasion’ can
be seen to challenge the idea of social class and position as opposed
to the large issues of morality which are seen in ‘Sense and
Sensibility’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

We must not consider the implications of the title with a closed mind.
When Jane Austen penned her last complete novel, ‘Persuasion’ could be
interpreted in two different ways; a strong belief in the process of
persuasion of one’s thinking and secondly, the act of being pers...

... middle of paper ...

... Lady Russell’s moral inferiority as Anne “lost her
bloom” due to the persuasion of Lady Russell. Idealised love is, in
fact, performed away from the public in ‘Persuasion’ as we see that
public interferences are able to turn relationships sour; “a short
period of exquisite felicity followed, and but a short one. Troubles
soon arose, Sir Walter on being applied to…” From Anne and Wentworth’s
lasting affection, we can see that most persuasion in the novel
revolves around the concept of love.

At the time of writing ‘Persuasion’, there had been a change in
popular taste from Augustan values to Romanticism with its focus upon
intense feelings. By carefully weaving between Romantic and Augustan
values, Austen leaves it up to the reader to consider the case of
romance between Anne and Wentworth, determining whether we find
ourselves for or against persuasion.

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