top-rated free essay

Persuasion by Jane Austin

By McCann1 Apr 12, 2013 891 Words
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 frustrated the closer Anne and Wentworth get. Austen also uses the fairly modern technique of free indirect discourse. This technique reveals the thoughts and feelings of Anne as they happen by mixing direct speech with narration. This is a good way of subtly telling us how the character is behaving; this allows us to see the characters more clearly and with Anne shows the indecisiveness to her feelings towards Captain Wentworth but also her open heartedness to others. Throughout the novel Austen never seems to be critical of Anne as she is her heroine and portrays her as a victim of persuasion - taking into account that at the time the book was based written women had very little control over their own lives. Anne never shows off and takes centre stage in the novel even though she is the main character this is due to her father and sisters making her a ‘nobody’ within the family but during the course of the novel, Anne is slowly seen to become more confident, prominent and to an extent more beautiful as a result of being in love. This adds to our sympathy towards Anne and we are able to connect to her, we want Anne and Wentworth to get together. Austen also uses the plot to enhance our view and understanding of Anne. Fir example in Bath when Louisa’s reckless flirting causes her to fall of the Cobb, Anne keeps her head and manages the whole situation, sending Benwick to fetch a doctor rather than Wentworth as Benwick knows Lyme. Once in Bath, Anne suddenly finds she has two men casting their eyes over her, Wentworth and Mr Elliot. This causes a space for Anne to emerge as a beautiful young women rather than a tool for other peoples use. Austen uses Bath, a foreign place for Anne; this allows her to be able to start anew, she, step by step, gets closer to Wentworth and, a few times, almost tells him how she feels before being interrupted. This adds to our frustration as, by this point, we know exactly how both Anne and Wentworth are feeling and know that they love each other, but the failure of communication between the two prevent them from finding out how the other feels. We also learn a lot about Anne from other character’s views of her throughout the novel. These range from her father, Sir Walter, thinking that she is inferior to Elizabeth and himself, to Frederick’s view of her being the perfect woman for him. The techniques that Austen uses to develop Anne’s character enable us to connect to Anne. She invites us to feel sorry for her and to see her as an admirable figure that made a mistake, and has never forgiven herself. The use of free indirect discourse and her style of narration tell us how to feel towards the character. The level of relationship we form with Anne enables us to appreciate the novel and to learn from it. We learn not to make the same mistake as she did, and let ourselves be so easily persuaded against something we have our heart set on. Such an easy understanding of a novel written in 1817 is far from what I expected. But I ended up truly enjoying the text as a whole and appreciating the skill in which Jane Austen develops her characters.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Jane Austin

    ...Content Introduction 1. Theoretical part gives general notes on Jane Austen’s works 1.1 English novelist - Jane Austen 1.2 Artistic and genre peculiarities of J. Austen's works 2. Practical part II. J. Austen’s literary art and its role in English realism 2.1 The "Defense of the Novel" 2.2 Jane Austen's Limitations 2.3 Jane Austen's ...

    Read More
  • Jane Austen's Persuasion

    ...Persuasion, written by Jane Austen, is the story of a restored relationship between the characters Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth, and the influence of the other characters that surround their lives. As the name implies, persuasion is the main idea of the novel. Lady Elliot plays a key role in convincing Anne to follow her advice on who to ...

    Read More
  • Jane Austen Persuasion

    ...Matthew Elmasri Sam Arkin Humanities Core 1A Monday December 7, 2009 Obliging Compliance and Private Rapture Jane Austen weaves the theme of travel throughout her novel, Persuasion, to solidify the value she places on sincerity of character in relation to social decorum. However, travel in this context is more broadly defined as any ...

    Read More
  • Persuasion - Jane Austen

    ...2012 Persuasion In Persuasion, the last of Jane Austen’s works, the readers are immediately intrigued by the autumnal tone of the piece, and the mellowness of the main character, Anne Elliot. Anne, a twenty-seven year old upper middle class woman, met and fell in love with Captain Frederick Wentworth at the age of nineteen. She was however,...

    Read More

    ...– Evening Class Profª Drª Sandra G. T. Vasconcelos A SHORT ANALYSIS OF PERSUASION, BY JANE AUSTEN São Paulo 2010 “Anne Elliot, with all her claims of birth, beauty, and mind, to throw herself away at nineteen; involve herself at nineteen, in an engagement with a young man who had nothing but hims...

    Read More
  • Persuasion

    ...Discuss how the meaning of the term ‘Persuasion’ is explored by Austen. Persuasion: to persuade or of being persuaded to do or believe in something, is a term Austen has used in various ways within ‘Persuasion’. Through the robust characterisations of characters and the dynamics of their situations and relationships, Austen moulds con...

    Read More
  • Emma by Jane Austin

    ... Like all of Jane Austin's books, Emma is a story about women moving up on the social ladder through marriage. In that time, women in England were denied the possibility of improving their social status through hard work. In order for them to move up on the social ladder, they had to marry someone who was considered to be of a higher class....

    Read More
  • Jane Austen - Persuasion

    ...Persuasion 1 Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Persuasion by Jane Austen 2 by Jane Austen (1818) Chapt...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.