Persuasion Jane Austen Character Analysis

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It often seems that the most momentous changes and events in people’s lives are also the most uncertain in their foundations. People always ask “what if this had happened differently?” or “what if that had happened differently?” or “what if I had behaved differently?” when meditating over major events – either good or bad – that they have experienced, be it love, death, or something in between. There are often not definite causes to definite outcomes. The outcomes of Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion are no exception. In this narrative, the major outcome is the reconciliation and marriage of Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth (Austen 279-280). Throughout her book, Austen makes it clear that this happy and fortunate conclusion to her narrative …show more content…
First and foremost, it is important to consider the circumstances that lead to the novel’s denouement. Anne and Captain Harville have a conversation by the window – within earshot of Captain Wentworth, who is writing at the table – about the nature of the character of men and women, and for which sex is love more transient (Austen 262-266). It is through overhearing this conversation that Captain Wentworth learns of Anne’s true character and reveals his own feelings to her, via a letter (Austen 267-268). Upon deconstruction, one sees that this entire scene is very much influenced by the characters of the individuals involved. Anne observes that Captain Harville “looked at her with a smile, and with a little motion of the head, which expressed, ‘Come to me, I have something to say’” (Austen 261-262). One cannot forget that it is part of Anne’s nature to be someone in whom people seem inclined – even excessively so, to Anne’s chagrin, as Austen points out at an early point in the book – to confide (Austen 64). Consequently, the circumstances of Anne and Harville’s conversation, which have such a momentous impact on the end of the book, cannot be read as due to complete chance or contingent on the

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