Thoughts on Austen's Persuasion

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Faith Bianchi Thomas Edison State College | March 2013 Dr. Christine Hansen One Writer’s Vision ENG-393 | Written Assignment 3 April 17, 2013 Admiral Croft who was among the nouveau rich, had the financial means to rent Kellnych from Sir Walter, one of the so-called landed gentry. How does Jane Austen's treatment of class and social mobility reveal about these men and their women such as Anne Elliot and Mrs. Smith? Which group fares better and why? Class in Persuasion Jane Austen’s Persuasion challenges the notion that one’s social class determines one’s happiness. In the novel there is the upper class, which includes Sir Walter Elliot and his family; the nouveau rich, such as Admiral Croft and Captain Wentworth; and the poor…show more content…
They are often seen arm-in-arm, enjoying nature or exploring the grounds at Kellynch Hall. Perhaps a somewhat unconventional couple, Admiral Croft allows his wife to take the reins in a carriage (Austen 62) and go with him on his naval journeys. When they visit Bath, they have no shortage of acquaintances who are delighted to see them (Austen 111). Genuinely lovely and loving, the Crofts, though not the main characters in the novel, outshine the others as the picture of true happiness. Anne Elliot, the protagonist, is unlike the rest of her family. While she does not completely disregard social class (for example, in thinking Mrs. Clay below her father and not suitable as a marriage partner), she does not allow class to dictate her acquaintances. At age nineteen, she falls in love with Captain Wentworth. This love does not wax or wane based on the amount of money he possesses. In Bath, Anne renews a schoolgirl friendship with Mrs. Smith, who is now a poor, crippled, helpless widow (Austen 101) that lives in the humble Westgate Buildings. At one point in the novel, Anne passes up spending time with her cousin of royalty, Lady Dalrymple, in order to honor a prior engagement with Mrs. Smith (Austen 103). While life has not been kind to Mrs. Smith, Anne observes that she is not bitter, but content: …Anne had reason to believe that she had moments only of languor and depression, to hours of occupation and enjoyment. How could it be?—She watched—observed—reflected—and
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