Romanticism in Persuasion

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Haley Danna
Engl 1302
Professor Armstrong
4/25/13

Haley Danna
Engl 1302
Professor Armstrong
4/25/13

Romanticism in Persuasion
In the Romantic Era, women thought to not make rational decisions and instead go by their emotions. Jane Austen uses her writing in Persuasion and many other novels to prove that society is wrong and women can and do make rational decisions. For example, Anne in Persuasion, she starts as a meek girl who is easily persuaded by her family, but she eventually grows into herself and decides what is best for her.

When discussing the Romanticism is Persuasion, critics usually compare it to the Romantic lyric in one way or another. For example, Anne’s speech on constancy is noted on its lyrical quality resembling an elegiac ode. Her speech “exemplifies the definition of Romanticism” (Tarlson, 2006): “A spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings recollected in tranquility” (Wordsworth). Anne experienced a tremendous amount of suffering and regret from dismisssing Captain Wentworth’s proposal; she recalls those feelings and “elaborat[es] with passionate intensity the theme of surviving devastating lost in solitude…”(Thomas, 917). By speaking her feelings, Anne is able to clearly see her own ideas about the world and is also able to reject the ideology of the aristocratic class and create happiness for herself on her own terms.

Anne is in pursuit to make her own happiness. She recognizes her moral capabilities, the regret of refusing Wentworth, has a passionate presence, and is self-critical. With each meeting with Fredrick, Anne grasps a better understanding of their relationship no matter how little or small, despite restrictive social relations. Anne “achieves an insight, faces up to a tragic loss, comes to a moral decision, or resolves and emotional problem” with every encounter (Thomas, 900). However, this eye-opener usually occurs in solitude. Such as when Wentworth removes her nephew from Anne states: “she was ashamed of...
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