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Persuasion

Jane Austen

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Important Quotations Explained

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full title ·  Persuasion

author · Jane Austen

type of work · Novel

genre · Novel of manners. This type of novel is not about the education or growth of one particular individual, but is instead a story of how a few central characters interact within society, navigating the rules and structures which govern their lives.

language · English

time and place written · Austen wrote Persuasion in 1816, while she was very ill, before her death at her home in Chawton, a village fifty-two miles southwest of London.

date of first publication · 1818

publisher · John Murray

narrator · An unknown, omniscient narrator, who makes judgments similar to those Anne Elliot might make

climax · The major climax occurs when Captain Wentworth finally reveals his feelings to Anne in a letter. She finds him and immediately responds that his love is requited; the lesser climax is the cool, but favourable reception of Captain Wentworth by Anne's family.

protagonist · Anne Elliot

antagonist · There is no one antagonist who is in direct opposition to Anne Elliot; Rather Anne must face the social class system which considers birth an essential component to whether a match is suitable; She also must navigate the rules of propriety and manners, which means that she may only hint at her feelings while Captain Wentworth must be first to declare love

setting (time) · 1814–1815

setting (place) · Kellynch Hall, Uppercross Manor, Lyme, and Bath. The setting follows Anne Elliot's movements from the country to Lyme to finally joining her father and sister in Bath.

point of view · Free indirect discourse

falling action · The Elliot family and Lady Russell no longer hold an objection to the match of Anne and Wentworth; Mr. Elliot and Mrs. Clay withdraw their designs on Sir Walter's fortune; Captain Wentworth helps Mrs. Smith to regain some of her late husband's money

tense · Immediate past, real-time narration

foreshadowing · In some ways, the relationship of Admiral and Mrs. Croft foreshadows the attached and more equitable relationship which Anne and Captain Wentworth will have. The meeting of Mrs. Clay and Mr. Elliot foreshadowed the discovery of their deceptive collusion.

tone · Slightly satirical and subtly subversive. The narrator follows earnestly the plight of Anne Elliot, but mocks the pretensions and vanity of her titled upper- class family.

themes · Class rigidity and social mobility; Persuasion; Silly parents; Separate Spheres; the Changing Ideal of the Gentleman

motifs · Walks; marriage

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