Book Review: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Contrasting to Pride and PrejudicePersuasion is an intimate tale of romance set against an autumnal setting in Bath, England.

The story of the novel Persuasion, Anne Elliot is offered a second chance to happiness and love, after Captain Frederick Wentworth returns to town. Anne is quite different from Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Austen’s fierce bold heroine.

Anne is more private and prefers to channel a lot the thoughts, feelings and feelings into her own thoughts and emotions, yet she is also more intelligent than her colleagues. She is an observer at the back, joining in only when needed. She is content as a single female between twenty-seven and is in a precarious position during the period that was Jane Austen.

The story of her life, which is infused with the sorrowful echoes the missed chance to love that is put on the margins, while she acts as an “assistant” to the family and her friends. She is a source of comfort for the younger sibling Mary is prone to exaggerating her daily troubles even though she has a normal household life. She carries the arrogant vanity of her older sisters Elizabeth along with her late father Sir Walter Elliot, with grace.

If Captain Frederick Wentworth returns, he chooses to stick to the bare minimum of courtesy to Anne because she has turned her back after having been subject to Lady Russell’s father and her influence. Instead, he catches the fascination to Louisa Musgrove, her brother-in-law’s sister, as he continues in his search for an accomplice of “a strong mind, with sweetness of manner”.

However, he eventually realizes after a few twists and twists, that he will never forget Anne who is the epitomization for “a strong mind, with sweetness of manner”, and she will forever be Anne whom he loves and seeks to emulate.

Captain Wentworth’s declaration of love to Anne is reminiscent of Mr. Darcy’s half-frustrated, desperate tone and is sure that it will make any girl giddy and every heartstring feel tense.

“You pierce my soul. I’m half in pain, halfway hope…I have loved no one other than you. Unjust could have been me or resentful and weak I was and never inconstant .”

For the readers’ relief Jane Austen’s last novel closes with the “happily ever after” note.

Persuasion is the title and the main theme of the novel. The book is about a double-act of persuasion that involves Anne being persuaded to marry Frederick at the age of nineteen as well as being persuaded to wed her friend Elliot. Both persuasion attempts were unjust and remind us of that it’s important to possess a free mind and a strong will.

I have read Persuasionduring difficult times. Although the prose that is archaic and dated by Jane Austen may prove too complex and historical for many but it was a soothing relief for my soul. My mind was trying to decipher the complex plot and emotions of characters contained in the 19th century British English text, it was relaxing to be away from the pains of the 21st century.

My personal favorite quote from the novel, is not about the main character and her romantic story rather, it is the observation of Anne about her best friend Mrs Smith. Mrs Smith widowed, physically weak woman, without a child was in a “cheerless situation” but managed to keep her smile.

Anne noted: “This was not a instance of courage or resignation alone. A submissive spirit could be patient, and a solid understanding could bring the necessary resolution, but there was something more. It was the elasticity of her mind, that desire to be reassured by the power of turning quickly from evil to good and of finding work that helped her get out of herself it was a result of Nature only .”

With the same spirit it was the way Anne persevered throughout her life, enduring with her positive spirit and virtues, until her happiness was finally restored, and rightfully so.

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