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Discuss the significance of the passage beginning "Anne Found Captain Benwick getting near her" in your reading of the novel

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Introduction

Discuss the significance of the passage beginning "Anne Found Captain Benwick getting near her" in your reading of the novel Louisa Musgrove's accident is significant in the novel as a catalyst which brings about the reaffirmation of the relationship between Anne and Captain Wentworth. This passage is a plot device which brings an end to the relationship between Louisa and Wentworth and inevitably is the subject for the conversation that finally brings Anne and Wentworth together. In this passage the group is taking their last walk together in Lyme. The events of this passage allow Anne's ability to command a situation shine through. Her sensibility and authoritative actions provide a great contrast to her passivity in the chapters before. Louisa shows her immature nature by saying that she "must be jumped down" the steep Cobb by Captain Wentworth. Her defiance at the doubts of the others and the fact that "she grew so determined" provides the reader with a sense of ill fate. Wentworth shows his thoughtful and less reckless side by insisting on the "hardness of the pavement for her feet". This is a contrast to earlier in the novel when we are told that he "rowed off to the Grappler in an instant". ...read more.

Middle

Austen provides the reader with red-herrings throughout the novel; one of these being the "Thank God" from Captain Wentworth, on hearing Louisa was conscious, which "Anne was sure could never be forgotten by her". She feels grief because she believes that he is in love with Louisa when the reality is that less blame will be showered on him. Austen's satirical words "there was no injury but to the head" implies the view of women at the time; that their minds were not valued as much as their bodies and looks. Mary and Charles act as a complete parallel to Anne and Wentworth, Mary showing her absolute selfishness when Charles is at Louisa's side and she "calls on him for help which he cannot give". Their relationship is very distant, Mary calling for his devoted attention and expecting to receive as she believes she is most important. This shows her ridiculous egotism and her jealous nature. The words "he cannot give" suggest his numbed irritation at her constant attention seeking. Her "hysterical agitations" imply her need to be the focus of attention and her complete lack of assistance in the situation. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the main event in this passage is Louisa's youthful exuberance getting the better of her. Her determination grows foolish and she falls from the Cobb. Perhaps if Anne had had the resolve and determination to accept Wentworth's proposal then she too would have accidentally fallen. In this same way we are told that Louisa was "too precipitate by half a second", if she had shown hesitation she would have been better off. This is significant because Wentworth is shown as sensible in his lines "The hardness of the pavement for her feet"; Anne's sensibility in waiting for him to be able to support her may have been a good thing. What Captain Wentworth thinks as Anne's submissiveness turns out to be something they have in common and would be the logical, intelligent thing to do. This passage is significant to the novel as a whole in the way that the plot lines of the relationship between Anne and Captain Wentworth and Louisa and Captain Benwick begin to take shape. Themes are magnified by the accident and issues such as social hierarchy are continued. This passage also helps to define characters, the accident helping their true colours to show through. This can be mainly said for Anne whose true practicality and strong minded nature come through more clearly in this passage. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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