Persuasion Analysis and Discussion

Persuasion Analysis and Discussion - Persuasion manifests a...

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Persuasion manifests a significant shift in Austen's attitude toward inherited wealth and rank; Anne (in Persuasion) is the first Austen heroine to marry a self-made man, rather than someone with a significant family inheritance. Persuasion represents the maturity of Austen's work, and more than her other novels, evidences Austen's comic yet biting satire of the titled upper classes. Austen's own social position, as the daughter of a parish clergyman, placed her firmly in the respected middle-class, but as an author she was free to step outside her sphere and write about the personal flaws and mistakes of the proud gentry. Such subtle criticism is especially apparent in her descriptions of the ridiculous and vain Sir Walter Elliot, who is forced to leave his family's house because of his lavish and imprudent overspending. Austen's final novel also stands out for the nationalistic pride expressed by the characters throughout the work. The reverence which Persuasion's female characters hold for the Naval officers reflects the esteem in which the Navy was held in Austen's day. At the height of the British Empire, amidst wars with both France and America, the Navy was admired as the defender of British interests throughout the world. Such Navy heroes in the novel introduce a new, rougher ideal of manliness into Austen's world, for which the feminized Sir Walter serves as the unfortunate foil. In the novel, Captain Wentworth develops, eventually overcoming his pride and shame at being once refused, in order to make another ardent overture to his chosen bride. This development is a sign of a promising future for their relationship. Like Admiral Croft, who allows his wife to drive the carriage alongside him and to help him steer,
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This note was uploaded on 01/09/2009 for the course LTEN LTEN 140 taught by Professor Berman during the Fall '08 term at UCSD.

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Persuasion Analysis and Discussion - Persuasion manifests a...

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