Persuasion by Jane Austin

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If you heard Jane Austen mentioned you would probably think of “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility”, that is, exceedingly romantic novels written in a way that is completely obsolete in the modern world of literature, and at the prospect of reading “Persuasion” - Jane Austen’s last completed novel – that is exactly what I had anticipated. However, upon reading “Persuasion” I realised, to a large extent, that these preconceived ideas of a long-winded, irksome novel were untrue. The novel was witty, frustrating and engaging. “Persuasion” deals with how a lack of communication within a relationship can lead to heart-ache for those in it, which Anne Elliot finds out when her ex-fiancé re-appears when his sister and brother-in-law, the Crofts, rent Kellynch Hall. It follows Anne’s struggle to overcome the communication barrier and tell Frederick Wentworth, Anne’s former fiancé, exactly how she feels. Austen makes you aware of Anne’s personality through clever use of characterisation. An author has a number of choices when it comes to character development and characterisation. Austen uses some of these techniques to develop Anne. We first get introduced to her when the narrator is describing Sir Walter and Lady Russell, who we later learn persuaded Anne not to marry Frederick Wentworth. This is where Anne is flawed as she let herself be persuaded into not marrying the man she loved. The narrator gives a fairly balanced view of Lady Russell’s interfering in Anne’s love life and Anne’s malleability in allowing herself to be persuaded not to marry a man with no status or wealth. We are able to follow Anne’s development from a ‘faded’, shy housekeeper through an almost omniscient narrator who sporadically upbraids Anne for wavering in her decisions. Most of the time, the narrator uses subtle hints of humor as we follow the failure of communication within Anne and Wentworth’s relationship. As the novel unfolds the narrator welcomes us to feel more and more...
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