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Essay on Persuasion

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Discuss the significance of the passage in your reading of the novel. Eight years have passed since Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth's failed relationship. On his return to Kellynch, now successful and distinguished in his career, Captain Wentworth is the talk of the town and the cause of several changes in the lives of the main characters. Through this passage, we learn largely about some of these changes and we are engaged in an exploration of several issues of thematic importance to the plot of the novel such as social stratification, the concern with wealth and fortune, persuasion and influence, relationships, among others. Persuasion and influence are a motif in Jane Austen's novel Persuasion and are brought up in this passage. Although Captain Wentworth had intended to stay only a short while in Kellynch, the passage says, "...the attractions of Uppercross induced him to put this off." Austen employs the use of lists to detail these attractions of Uppercross that persuaded Captain Wentworth to remain in Kellynch in "...of friendliness, of flattery, and of everything ..." ...read more.


She says, "If he should rise to any very great honours!" and further states "...baronet!" and "Lady Wentworth!" This concern with status and rank is also evident in the use of italics at certain points in the passage such as where Mary is speaking of Henrietta's marriage to Charles Hayter being disagreeable to the "principal" part of her family, as well as referring to the alliance as not being a "great match", all because of the Hayter's lower social rank. The concern with social stratification which Austen critiques in Persuasion largely impacts on marriage in the society. The lower social ranking of the Hayters causes Mary to disapprove of a marriage between Henrietta Musgrove and Charles Hayter. Mary's constant condemnation of the union in her speech is evidence of this. Her selfishness is also seen in that she considers the alliance through Free Indirect Speech "very sad for herself and her children" and through her direct speech, "very bad thing for her; and still worse for me." ...read more.


The use of italics in "now" places emphasis on the fact that eight years ago, in the past, Anne Elliot would have known these things about Captain Wentworth, but she no longer shares such a relationship with him. This technique makes us aware of the difference between the past and present, and perhaps evokes a greater sympathy in us for Anne, especially as the changes that have occurred between the past and the present seem to have brought her only negative tidings, whereas Captain Wentworth has made a name of himself. This passage thus emphasises on several issues which form the foundation on which the rest of the novel is based. Tension in the novel is also heightened noticeably at this point in that Charles Hayter's marriage to Henrietta seems less feasible, Charles Hayter thinks Captain Wentworth in the way, the Musgrove daughters are both competing for Captain Wentworth, as well as other incidents. Nevertheless, the passage is an important development in the novel and is consequently of great thematic significance. ?? ?? ?? ?? BRUME, Ufuoma Sandra SFC1C English Prep Miss Stephens March, 2008 ...read more.

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