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Remind yourself of volume 1, chapter 6. Discuss the presentation and significance of family life here and in the novel as a whole

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Introduction

Remind yourself of volume 1, chapter 6. Discuss the presentation and significance of family life here and in the novel as a whole In chapter six of Jane Austen's novel, 'Persuasion' there is a huge sense of conflict within the families, this is highlighted in their interaction between one another and the language that Austen uses to portray this. This chapter emphasises the fact that even in the warmest of families there is always tension. Each character in the novel provides a certain role within the family, whether it is a positive or negative one. At this point in the book Anne has just moved to Uppercross with the Musgroves, although reluctant to do so at first it ends up that she is in fact a lot more comfortable with them than she is with her direct family, the Elliots. Her father, Sir Walter Elliot is very self indulgent and has a particularly shallow outlook on life and her sister Elizabeth follows in his ways. The Crofts are an amiable family, the relationships within the families contrast strongly from one another meaning that the presentation of their characters is emphasised. Anne is constantly surrounded by her direct family. Anne is portrayed in Austen's novel as being a modest talented character however due to her father's dismissive nature he fails to recognise this. ...read more.

Middle

Sir Walter is so concerned about his status in society and his supposed superiority because of his title he has no time to concentrate on making his family an intimate one. The Musgrove family draws a huge comparison with the Elliot family. Although the Musgroves are a wealthy, landowning family, second in the parish, they are not have a title. Despite the fact that the Elliots are perfectly happy to interact and intermarry with the Musgroves there are distinct differences in their ways of life. At Uppercross, Anne notices the very different topics that occupy the Musgroves' attention. Little concerned with discussing appearances and social standing, the Musgrove family occupies itself with "horses, dogs, newspapers, house-keeping, neighbours, dress, dancing, and music." She finds their presence a welcome change from the company of her father and Elizabeth. Austen describes the marriage between Mary and Charles as "reasonably happy", giving the impression that although they may have their differences and quarrels they are content with their marriage. Charles is described as being "superior to his wife". This was common although within a marriage was bound to cause conflict. They do not appear to have a real emotional connection; this is shown where it says, "He had very good spirits, which never seemed much affected by his wife's occasional lowness." If there was an emotional connection within the marriage then he would feel sympathetic towards her if she was feeling low however this quote suggests that they are more concerned with their own emotions. ...read more.

Conclusion

This conveys the idea that she is not vain, unlike Sir Walter, and goes with her husband on his voyages indicative of her authentic love for him which could be questioned in the relationship between Charles and Mary Musgrove. "Her manners were open, easy, and decided, like one who had no distrust of herself, and no doubts of what to do" portraying that she is naturally polite and is instinctively respectful. The different family displayed in Austen's 'Persuasion' are each very different. By having them contrast each other so dramatically Austen manages to draw attention to their individualities. The misfits within the marriages are reflective of women's social positions within the class system of the nineteenth century. For women the most important quality in a marriage was the prosperous outcome. Although in some cases such as Mr and Mrs Croft, they were lucky to have genuine love for one another however the relationship between Charles and Mary Musgrove proves that couples simply grew to admire each other despite their initial differences and some were not happy at all however divorce was extremely unlikely. Sir Walter Elliot proves the influence the parent has on the child, in this case Sir Walter's dismissive attitude to anyone he saw as having lower status was clearly visible in Elizabeth and even Mary who still felt the need to seek attention. The Croft's kind nature is similar to that of Anne's which could be an indication of the compatibility she potentially has with Frederick Wentworth. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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