Jane Austen Persuasion Analysis

1356 Words 6 Pages
As Anne Elliot Grew in Persuasion, So Too Has Jane Austen Has Grown in My Esteem: A Look at Two Critical Essays Brings Clarity and Respect
I am not, by any means of truth stretching, a fan of Jane Austen’s works. Reading Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility in high school was accomplished only due to my crafting of a strict reading schedule. Her prose is, in my opinion, overly descriptive and the dialogue too dramatic. However, I realize that this is a matter of preference, and I can certainly see the merits of Persuasion. Austen does a magnificent job of crafting the main character, Anne, utilizing many indirect comparisons to the other characters. Luckily, this is not merely my own bias nor something that I alone perceived. Two of
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In Linda Bree’s "Belonging to the Conversation in Persuasion," she discusses the centrality of conversation in the lives of the novel’s characters, who "spend their time not doing but talking…Austen’s novels are full of conversations, and it is usually through them…that the action of the various narratives progress…[her] interest…is the way in which Austen explores the interplay between proprieties of conversation and the attempts of honest and open people to achieve communication" (289). And in John Wiltshire’s "[Anne Elliot’s Consciousness]," he asserts that Persuasion is "a novel about the inner and the outer life…it is through negatives, absences, understatements, merely the cadences and phrasing that shape her introspections, not through an assertive or dramatic voice, that Anne Elliot becomes for the reader a presence in her world" (312). These are the …show more content…
I found his argument to be both confusing and, oddly enough, a repetition of many of Bree’s arguments. I believe much of my confusion stemmed from the way the author switched his character of focus away from Anne, even though he is meant to be discussing her consciousness. The first three paragraphs are almost exclusively about Elizabeth Elliot, and later Wentworth earns his own two paragraphs of discussion. Wiltshire’s essay also struggles to remain on topic because he typically discusses the statements Anne makes, rather than what he said was most important in his thesis: "it is through negatives, absences, understatements, merely the cadences and phrasing that shape her introspections, not through an assertive or dramatic voice, that Anne Elliot becomes for the reader a presence in her world" (312). He focuses very little of his essay’s content on proving his thesis, and because of this, I perceived his essay as forced and mostly impossible to agree with regarding his overall argument. I did agree with him at certain points, but never when he was on topic. In fact, I found myself agreeing only with statements that would have fit better in Bree’s essay: "Anne’s becoming increasingly an object of regard in her circle is thus paralleled and matched by her increasing presence as a speaker and performer in the text…her responses are less elided in the narrative…Anne starts declaring

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