A Short Analysis Of Persuasion, by Jane Austen Essay Sample

“Anne Elliot. with all her claims of birth. beauty. and head. to throw herself off at 19 ; affect herself at 19. in an battle with a immature adult male who had nil but himself to urge him. and no hopes of achieving richness. but in the opportunities of a most unsure profession. and no connections to procure even his farther rise in that profession. would be. so. a throwing off. which she grieved to believe of! Anne Elliot. so immature ; known to so few. to be snatched off by a alien without confederation or luck ; or instead sunk by him into a province of most have oning. dying. youth-killing dependance! It must non be. if by any just intervention of friendly relationship. any representations from one who had about a mother’s love and mother’s right. it would be prevented. “

( AUSTEN. 1818. p. 24-25 )

The extract above was extracted from the 4th chapter of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. and although it is early in the development of the secret plan and the narrative as a whole. much can be known and learned through its close observation. Signs and intimations on all the elements involved in the narrative. such as society organisation. relationships. moral and values. characters’ profiles and other issues are given already on the really first paragraphs. Persuasion is highly good organized in footings of secret plan. It follows what Ian Watt ( 1957 ) calls “principle of causality” . significance that one event that takes topographic point in the secret plan under determined conditions will do. or give possibility to something else to go on. It is besides a novel which has the narrative organized by the same rules. but in several different degrees. that will be discussed throughout this paper. The tone in Persuasion is darker. bitterer and more melancholy than in the old novels by Jane Austen.

In one of the letters she wrote to her sister. Austen talks about the tone in her another novel. Pride and Prejudice: “The work is instead excessively light. and bright. and scintillating ; it wants shade. ” ( AUSTEN. 1816 ) . Persuasion is non light. or bright or twinkle ; it has the shadiness Austen wrote about. it has unhappiness. Austen’s plants are by and large. and besides deep erroneously. considered mere love narratives wholly incognizant and distanced from societal and economic contexts. Raymond Williams. critic. says in his book The Country and the City that Austen does give the history of the state in her books. through the societal state of affairs of the characters ; and so. some valuable pieces of information about the English society values of the clip can be understood through the extract brought supra. Anne Elliot is an single 20 seven twelvemonth old adult female. state of affairs that is really much frowned upon in the society and clip she lives in. who has ab initio perfectly no power. voice or pick of her ain. and whose volitions have ever been suppressed by her household and close friend Lady Russell. people who have ever imposed her what to make or where to travel. ignoring her ain ideas.

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Anne is a rational immature adult female. possibly the lone rational individual in her household. which makes her wholly misplaced in her environment. Her younger sister Mary is an attention-seeking hypochondriac. and her male parent. Sir Walter Elliot. and older sister Elizabeth are selfish and conceited people. concerned merely with visual aspects and belongingss. Sir Elliot’s behaviour is the chief factor responsible for the societal comedy nowadays in the narrative: his neglect for his family’s personal and emotional issues. and his sole focal point on exterior facets such as name. book records and belongings. and his penchant of holding good “connexions” over existent relationships. In Austen’s novels. the characters are concerned about societal convention ; moral codification is something of utmost importance and inquiries of personal behavior and behaviour are important. In Persuasion. the societal comedy factor is combined with the subjective experience technique. new in the English novels. The subjective experienced is provided by Austen’s personal parts through free indirect discourse. through which the reader can hold close entree to Anne’s interior ideas.

It is indispensable that Austen relies on this method because so much of the secret plan happens internally. and it is the lone manner the reader can to the full understand non merely Anne’s state of affairs. since it is non something she can portion out loud with other characters. The presence of both societal comedy and subjective experience is considered a debatable combination by the critic Marilyn Butler ( 1975 ) . who believes that it is a failing. for there is no entire integrating between the two techniques. As it can be observed in the cited extract. it is expected that a adult female marries good and supply inheritors and award to their household name. Marriage is the centre of the secret plan. Not marriage in its loving and romantic sense. for Austen depicts a universe permeated by control. balance. reason and order. but matrimony as a possibility of societal rise or a manner to keep a current societal position. Sing the English society organisation. there are four easy identifiable beds: the nobility. the aristocracy. the new in-between categories and the on the job category. Austen’s universe comprehends the two intermediate 1s: the aristocracy and the new in-between categories. The distinctive feature that is present non merely in Persuasion. but besides in other Austen’s novel. is what Williams defines as “changes of fortune” :

“… so much of the involvement. and many of the beginnings of the action. in Jane Austen’s novels. prevarication in the alterations of luck – the facts of general alteration and of a certain mobility – which were impacting the landed households at this clip. ” ( WILLIAMS. 1973. p. 113 )

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Sir Walter Elliot. due to his debts and his refusal to compromise his self-respect through cutting off disbursals. found himself in the state of affairs of holding a belongings. nevertheless no longer being able to keep it. therefore holding to lease Kellynch Hall. At the same clip. Admiral Croft. who had made a luck during the war. was interested in the belongings. Peoples started traveling up and down between the two societal beds ( aristocracy and new in-between category ) . and that is one of the factors that. in the novel. represents alteration. In the clip. societal place. belongings. manners and household are beginnings of stableness. and all these values are undergoing a alteration of significance. Williams explains that as money. authorization and power alterations custodies in the existent English society by the clip the book is being written. the novel will reflect it. and cover with these alterations every bit good.

A new societal order is lifting. doing the ascription of new significances to bing constructs ; gentleman. for illustration. It is so a period of passage when Austen was composing the novel. and the work shows a alteration of old values into new values. into new ways of forming society. household and relationships ; one noticeable illustration of that procedure of alteration in the novel when Anne bit by bit becomes the cardinal authorization in her societal circle. as the universe she is building replaces Sir Walter Elliot’s. Along with the societal mobility. comes the thought that there is no connexion between societal rank and societal functions ; rubrics and words like rank. name. category and gentleman no longer intend what they used to intend before. and rank and virtue does non needfully co-occur. All these new societal constructs and mobility represent one of the several degrees in which the motions of stability and alteration organize the novel.

“The novel shows that English society is likewise ‘in between’ : in between an old societal order in a province of diminution and desuetude. and some new ‘modern’ society of every bit yet unsure values. hierarchies and principles” . ( TANNER. 1986. p. 249 )

Anne is the heroine of the novel. but she is rather different from the other female supporters of the other Austen’s novels. She finds herself stuck in a kind of oblivion between her father’s house and the husband’s house ; husband she does non even have yet. She is the supporter of the novel. and her name is non even in the rubric ; she is a misfit among her community and her societal circle. Normally. the female supporter of a Jane Austen’s novel falls in love and gets involved with a adult male. maturating as the secret plan develops and goes from the love affair to the prudence province. Anne goes on the other manner around ; she is already the prudent adult female who already went through that all. and has yet to larn love affair. At the point the novel starts. Anne has already experienced most of the traditional romantic “boy-meets-girl” ; she is already mature. Time plays non merely a chronological. but a cardinal and indirect function in the novel. Persuasion is about retrieving events that past – and detecting the important effects that this yesteryear has on the present.

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Anne reflects about how it was a error to hold let herself be persuaded by Lady Russell and her household to reject to get married her true love in her immature old ages. and how lonely. hopeless and sorry she is in the present clip because of the tragic past events on the clip that has elapsed even before the novel starts. Anne Elliot finds herself in a quite complex state of affairs refering her will to state Frederick Wentworth how she regretted her picks in the yesteryear and that she still loved him. There is a communicating issue. caused chiefly by the limitations she faces because of a gender restriction. Jane Austen’s portrayals in her novels the history of adult females: gentleman’s girl. who faces tonss of restraints and limited chances for development in life. There are certain conventions that must be followed. for case. a immature adult female must non turn to a adult male in private. to speak about these affairs.

The proficient job is the verbal prohibition and the coincident demand to pass on oneself. and Anne has to seek the balance between these two factor in order to deny rumours and allow Wentworth cognize the truth about her feelings. and the solution for the is the indirection. When her efforts in directing “meta-messages” during a conversation fail. she indirectly negotiations about their ain state of affairs through debating women’s stability and men’s alteration in general. therefore being able to direct her message to Wentworth. His response to that is a physical. metaphorical and extremely symbolical act ( dropping the pen ) . bespeaking his purpose of non merely acquiring back with Anne. but besides of set uping a new sort of relationship. based on gender equality. which is surely the biggest of all alterations that are dealt with in the novel.


AUSTEN. Jane. Persuasion. London. England: Penguin Books. 1994. [ 1818 ] . AUSTEN. Jane. Jane Austen’s Letter to Cassandra Austen. Chawton. 1813. BUTLER. Marilyn. Jane Austen and the War of Ideas. Oxford. England: Clarendon Press. 1975. TANNER. Tony. Jane Austen. Oxford. England: Oxford University Press. 1986. WATT. Ian. The Rise of the Novel. London. England: Chatto and Windus. 1957. WILLIAMS. Raymond. The State and the City. London. England: Oxford University Press. 1973.