A Close Analysis Of Jane Austen 's Persuasion

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A close analysis of Jane Austen’s Persuasion (Extract 3)

Many readers of Persuasion believe Austen uses the namesake “persuasion” too neutrally. She appears to passively describe the results when the protagonist is persuaded to abandon Wentworth’s first proposal, but actually has much to say on being persuadable, and mainly argues that it is not inherently wrong. Persuasion in the novel’s early chapters works in two forms: as an overpowering force on the foolish like Sir Walter, or as an important voice to consider such as when Lady Russell opposed Anne’s engagement. These forms are often grouped together under the greater theme of social influence, and are treated like they run along the same spectrum where the first is negative and the second positive, suggesting the trait balances out into a neither bad nor good thing. However the value of persuasion is not determined in isolation. It depends on the other characteristics of the individual, because in Sir Walter it reveals undesirable weakness, and in Anne intelligence and pragmatism. The given extract well represents the aims of the whole novel, as here Austen explicitly reflects on persuasion and how it is anything but a neutral social influence.
The extract reveals that Anne regrets rejecting Wentworth years ago in the light that he is now socially successful. This swiftly follows Anne and Lady Russell persuading Sir Walter to leave Kellynch Hall—decidedly not achieved through the rationale that the Elliots cannot

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