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What is the importance and attitude to marriage in the novel? (Persuasion, Jane Austen)

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Persuasion Essay -Jane Austen What is the importance and attitude to marriage in the novel? In Persuasion, marriage is one of the major themes in the novel and we first see Austen's attitude towards marriage in chapter four, where her view and opinions are shown. When talking of Mr. Wentworth it says "He was a remarkably fine young man, with a great deal of intelligence" and Anne is introduced as "an extremely pretty girl, with gentleness, modesty, taste and feeling." The novel also is majorly focused on wealth andstatus but when speaking of both, Austen doesn't mention anything about their wealth. It says of both Wentworth and Anne that "they were gradually acquainted, and when acquainted, rapidly and deeply in love." Even when talking about the couple, Austen doesn't mention anything about their wealth but about their love and possible marriage as if this overshadows and takes importance over the social life and riches of the couple. Sir Walter Elliot has a very stubborn and vain view of marriage and its importance. In the novel it is made clear that he believes that not only do you have to marry either equal to or above your social status but that they should be wealthy and attractive. ...read more.


But it is soon made clear that Anne is very regretful and is very aware of her huge mistake, as he is the only one she has ever loved and even though having a marriage proposal from Charles Musgrove after, Anne refused. Her loss of Wentworth resulted in "her attachment and regrets had, for a long time, clouded every enjoyment of youth; and an early loss of bloom and spirits had been their lasting effect." When Anne is reunited with Wentworth, her feelings are still the same as the when she first fell in love with him. We see Austen's views again in the novel when it says about Anne and Captain Wentworth the first time they were together "A short period of exquisite felicity followed, and but a short one. Troubles soon arose. Sir Walter on being applied to thought it a very degrading alliance." Austen here shows to us that when the public discover the news the relationship turns bad. Sir Walter by calling Anne and Wentworth's relationship an "alliance" shows that he believes it should be no more than a business relationship. Austen's tone of "He thought it a very degrading alliance" scorns this opinion of Sir Walter's as we already know from chapter one that Sir Walter's views are not of great value, which leads us to believe that Austen ...read more.


Mr. and Mrs. Croft although not high in social rank, are happily in love, whereas Mrs. Musgrove is of a higher social status. Perhaps here Austen is condemning the upper classes for marrying in the absence of love and it shows that Austen agrees with Mrs. Croft opinion as during the novel, we see that Anne looks up to the marriage of Mrs. Croft and Admiral Croft the residents of Kellynch Hall. Anne sees that they are a married couple that look after each other and are not too concerned with status and importance. An example of this is when Admiral is steering the carriage and makes a mistake and nearly crashes but Mrs. Croft takes hold and guides them to safety, and Anne sees it as how the marriage works, with Mrs Croft steering through the mess-ups. In conclusion, marriage is one of the main themes in the novel and it is mainly related to social status and importance. In the novel, marriage directly compares social ranks in society. Individuals, classes and titles are measured and weighed in the possibility of marriage. Austen's tone is condemning when talking of marriages based on money, which on one hand shows her recognition of romance and sentimentalism but on the other can be seen as her being bitter and angry towards the upper class and the rest of society that judged marriage based on wealth and importance. ...read more.

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