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Considerthe implications of the title, 'Persuasion'

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Introduction

Consider the implications of the title, 'Persuasion' "Something intended to induce belief or action" is how the Oxford Dictionary defines the term persuasion. To consider the implications of the title successfully, it is essential that we first understand the term persuasion within the context of the novel. The Oxford Dictionary also defines the term 'persuade' as "to successfully urge a person to do; to talk into or out of an action", "to attract, lure or entice" or as "to talk earnestly with a person to secure agreement or compliance." By these definitions we can notice that the concept of persuasion is ever-present throughout Austen's novel. One of Austen's traits is that her titles appear to offer some indication towards subject content; 'Sense and Sensibility',' Pride and Prejudice' and in this novel; 'Persuasion.' The first of these titles seems to suggest a tone of appraisal and the second, a tone of condemnation. ...read more.

Middle

Due to this reasoning, it can be concluded that persuasion can be seen as neither a good or bad thing, merely that it carries beneficial and unfavourable consequences. The nature of persuasion in the novel is another area of Austen's writing which we must consider when reading 'Persuasion'. In accordance with the definition of 'persuade' being; "to talk earnestly with a person to secure agreement or compliance" can we not see debate as a form of persuasion? We see debate in the guise of Anne and Harville when they discuss men and women's fidelity; "it would not be the nature of any woman who truly loved.' Captain Harville smiled, as much to say 'Do you claim that for your sex?'" We also see forms of self-persuasion in the novel as Anne listens to Mrs. Smith before forming her judgement of Mr. Elliot; "Mr. Elliot is a man without heart or conscience...He has no feeling for others...He is totally beyond the reach of any sentiment of justice or compassion. ...read more.

Conclusion

By being persuaded by someone she respects, Lady Russell was successful in persuading Anne that the marriage would be unwise. Anne's constancy in the novel, which assumes the air of authenticity, shows Lady Russell's moral inferiority as Anne "lost her bloom" due to the persuasion of Lady Russell. Idealised love is, in fact, performed away from the public in 'Persuasion' as we see that public interferences are able to turn relationships sour; "a short period of exquisite felicity followed, and but a short one. Troubles soon arose, Sir Walter on being applied to..." From Anne and Wentworth's lasting affection, we can see that most persuasion in the novel revolves around the concept of love. At the time of writing 'Persuasion', there had been a change in popular taste from Augustan values to Romanticism with its focus upon intense feelings. By carefully weaving between Romantic and Augustan values, Austen leaves it up to the reader to consider the case of romance between Anne and Wentworth, determining whether we find ourselves for or against persuasion. (1,015) Becky Harris ...read more.

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