Essay about Little Friendship in Jane Austen's Persuasion

Essay about Little Friendship in Jane Austen's Persuasion

Length: 1444 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Little Friendship in Austen's Persuasion

Jane Austen's Persuasion is a dark novel. From the jolting breaks in the romantic drama--the falls of little Charles and Louisa Musgrove--to the heroine's depressing existence--Anne Elliot has a "great tendency to lowness" (Austen 66)-- to the overall autumnal mood, the work is at times a gloomy, though always interesting, read. Perhaps its darkest facet though is the ubiquitous presence of an antagonist. While Mr. Elliot appears, most blatantly, to be the villain, in actuality, it is Lady Russell, whose persuasions are both manipulative and, frighteningly, pervasive, who should truly bear that stigma.

Upon learning that Anne will not be marrying Mr. Elliot, Mrs. Smith very adamantly curses him as the worst of men. This is the first indication of his supposed villainy. She claims him to be "a man without heart or conscience; a designing, wary, cold-blooded being . . . [having] no feeling for others . . . black at heart, hollow and black!" (132). Indeed, these are strong words, spoken by no less than a good friend of Anne. However, they ring false in light of what has previously been presented concerning his character.

From their first meeting, Mr. Elliot is "genuinely attracted" to Anne (Magill 29). He is not merely using her to get what he wants. Yes, he wants to "safeguard the title" (DaDundo 26), but not just for himself, yet for the title, or family name, itself. After all, it is vulnerable to "the plague of Mrs. Clay" (Austen 97), "whose 'freckles' not only indicate a flawed and 'spotted' moral interior but may indeed suggest remnants or traces of syphilis[!]" (Tanner 255). His attraction to Anne then is motivated by good on two counts. He is intereste...

... middle of paper ...

...ove and friendship (Harmon 541). But, really, "There is so little real friendship in the world!" (Austen 101).


Works Cited

Austen, Jane. Persuasion. 1817. Ed. Patricia Meyers Spacks. New York: Norton and Co., 1995.

Craik, W. A. Jane Austen in her Time. London: Nelson, 1969.

DaDundo, Laura. "Jane Austen" Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography. Vol. III. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1992.

Harmon, William, and C. Hugh Holman. Handbook to Literature. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1986.

Magill, Frank N., ed. English Novel: Richardson to Hardy. Pasadena: Salem Softbacks, 1980.

Southam, Brian. "Jane Austen." British Writers. Vol. IV. Ed. Ian Scott-Kilvert. New York: Scribners, 1981.

Tanner, Tony. "In Between: Persuasion." Persuasion. By Jane Austen. Ed. Patricia Meyers Spacks. New York: Norton and Co., 1995.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Jane Austen 's `` Persuasion `` Essay

- In Jane Austen 's “Persuasion,” marriage is a reoccurring theme throughout the story that strengthens social standings, titles, and finances, but Austen creates tension in the plot as marriage prospects between sisters make them contend with one another. It seems that love has little influence in marriage, and has everything to do with title, privilege, and economy. Austen proves that the constant competition between women, specifically sisters, leaves spouses and families unsatisfied in marriage....   [tags: Marriage, Family, Wife, Husband]

Powerful Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)

Emma by Jane Austen Essay

- About the Author Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 at Steventon, England. She was the seventh child of the rector of the parish at Steventon, and lived with her family until they moved to Bath when her father retired in 1801. Her father, Reverend George Austen, was from Kent and attended the Tunbridge School before studying at Oxford and receiving a living as a rector at Steventon. Her mother, Cassandra Leigh Austen, was the daughter of a patrician family. Among her siblings she had but one sister, Cassandra, with whom she kept in close contact her entire life....   [tags: Emma Jane Austen]

Powerful Essays
2882 words (8.2 pages)

Essay on Jane Austen

- English author to Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion, was Jane Austen who was born on December 6th, 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire, England. Jane was the seventh child out of eight children of the Rev George Austen, a clergyman of the England Church, and Cassandra Austen. Austen was educated at home, but obtained a broader education then many women at her time, and never dwelled apart from her family. Jane lived quite a remarkably quiet and domestic childhood amid her brothers and other boys whom her father tutored....   [tags: Biography]

Powerful Essays
521 words (1.5 pages)

Manners in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Essay

- Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice not only established her historical importance among scholars and critics, but continues to remain popular. Pride and Prejudice, a comedy of manners, was published in 1813, and is a staple of the English literature. It recreates the social world of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England and embodies the theme that preconceptions and egotism can overcome true love. Pride and Prejudice is somewhat autobiographical; emphasizes the key elements of setting, characterization and theme; and has received extensive and thorough criticism....   [tags: elizabeth, lydia, love life]

Powerful Essays
3421 words (9.8 pages)

Music in Jane Austen's Persuasion Essays

- Music in Jane Austen's Persuasion       In Persuasion Jane Austen tells the story of Anne, a young woman who suffers terrible losses yet does not let these losses embitter her.  But the death of her mother during Anne's youth and the loss of her true love in her early adulthood certainly leave their mark on Anne.   She survives with great strength of character, yet she withdraws from life.  But Anne does not withdraw alone; she takes her music with her.  Music has been called the language of the heart.  It has an enduring quality, and it can cross barriers and build bridges.  Music moves us.  Words, too, can cross barriers, build bridges, and touch our hearts; and like beautiful music, a...   [tags: Austen Persuasion Essays]

Powerful Essays
1924 words (5.5 pages)

Essay about Persuasion by Jane Austen

- Persuasion by Jane Austen Silence and Signals Direct communication is impossible due to social rules and proprieties. The prose style becomes chaotic and troubled as it is reflects a tormented mind filled with repetitions ("Eight years, almost eight years had passed"), urgent rhetorical questions ("What might eight years not do?"), exclamations ("how natural, how certain too!"), and interjections ("Alas. With all her reasonings she found that to retentive feelings eight years may be little more than nothing")....   [tags: Papers Jane Austen Persuasion Essays]

Powerful Essays
682 words (1.9 pages)

Essay on Chapter One of Persuasion by Jane Austen

- Chapter One of Persuasion by Jane Austen Chapter one of Persuasion makes use of a highly economic narrative style, which celebrates Austen’s success as a novelist. Austen’s narrative style is so successful in chapter one of Persuasion as many of the characters are introduced to the reader along with the majority of the main themes which concern them in the novel. Austen clearly underlines that she is writing with a novelist’s voice, using traditional conventions of third person with past tense....   [tags: Persuasion Jane Austen Literature Essays]

Powerful Essays
1145 words (3.3 pages)

Subversion of Class and Gender Roles in Jane Austen's Persuasion Essay

- Subversion of Class and Gender Roles in Jane Austen's Persuasion         In Jane Austen's Persuasion, Mrs. Croft makes but few appearances and delivers little dialogue.  Nevertheless, Austen gives her significant narrative and thematic importance.  Mrs. Croft provides a foil for several of the Elliots, while developing a commonality with the frequently ostracized Anne.  This bond between Mrs. Croft and Austen's heroine valorizes Mrs. Croft's radical views concerning feminism and marriage.  Beyond signifying a paradigm shift in such social morals, though, the roles of Admiral and Mrs....   [tags: Austen Persuasion Essays]

Powerful Essays
1960 words (5.6 pages)

Essay about The Power of Sickness in Jane Austen's Persuasion

- The Power of Sickness in Persuasion     Throughout the course of her work, Persuasion, Jane Austen offers much insight into the social aspect of English life at the beginning of the 19th Century.  Austen’s characters, through their lives, demonstrate how the landed aristocracy has seen their dominant grasp on the social scene loosened.  In addition, through various degrees of personal illnesses, Austen’s characters portray the human body as fragile and delicate creation.  Yet as separate and distinct as these two themes may seem, Austen relates them to each other in the theme of sickness; the aristocracy has taken a turn for the worse in light of the successes of the navy in the war, whil...   [tags: Austen Persuasion Essays]

Powerful Essays
2642 words (7.5 pages)

Jane Austen's Persuasion Essay

- Jane Austen's Persuasion As the novel ‘persuasion’ progresses the romantic feelings towards Anne Elliot, Austen’s protagonist conveyed from the hero Captain Wentworth becomes more and more apparent. We start of with Kellynch hall, the former Elliot residents now being let to the Crofts. At Kellynch the feeling that are exposed towards Anne are of disinterest. ‘Cold politeness’ Captain Wentworth freely flirts with other young ladies of the manor and does not care to acknowledge Anne apart from the odd glance or look....   [tags: Jane Austen Persuasion Essays]

Powerful Essays
1721 words (4.9 pages)