Persuasion by Jane Austen

9 months ago Carla Walters Comments Off on Persuasion by Jane Austen

Book Title: Persuasion

Author: Jane Austen


Love brings together what society separates in Jane Austen’s classic romantic novel, Persuasion. Social class, rank and profession sets no boundaries for Anne Elliot who falls in love with Fredrick Wentworth, a man who is ‘without alliance or fortune’. Seen as an unfavourable and unequal partner by her loving and overprotective godmother, Lady Russell persuades Anne not to marry him.


Persuasion centres on the regret and loneliness felt by Anne because she had rejected Wentworth’s proposal of marriage. Now that he has returned to the community of possibilities, wealthy and a Captain, Anne is painfully reminded of their lost love. The novel is enjoyable as Austen leaves the reader in suspense, providing insights into Anne’s feelings that suggest that their love still endures and that it is possible that they will be together again.


Austen also offers some unpredictable events, such as the marriage of two characters, which at first seemed unlikely; yet add to the possibility that Wentworth still loves Anne.


The novel however, is slow moving and is somewhat incomplete. Although we later find out of Wentworth’s enduring love for Anne through a letter (and how he had loved no other woman prior to this), we are not clearly given his feelings towards Anne. He seems as though he made no real attempt to show his love for her except via letter. When he finally gives the letter to Anne which reveal his feelings, the novel approaches its ending and leaves one slightly dissatisfied that Wentworth did not show sufficient acts of love or admiration for Anne. In this way, one can sympathise with Anne’s disposition, as Austen’s recurring theme of attachment as entrapment rather than liberation, makes the pill doubly bitter.


Overall, the novel is an enjoyable read with Austen taking care to make certain scenes particularly evocative. Read as a romance novel (as on one level all of Austen’s novels can be read), there is a hint that love knows few boundaries, whether they be rank, time or occupation.