During the intermission, Anne changes seats, moving herself away from Mr. Elliot and closer to Captain Wentworth. She finally gets close enough to speak to him when Mr. Elliot once again interrupts and asks her to help him with a translation of Italian. Politeness forces her to go with him. After she is done, Captain Wentworth rushes up to Anne to bid her goodnight and let her know that he is leaving the concert. She implores him to stay, but he refuses. Anne recognizes that Captain Wentworth must be jealous of Mr. Elliot.


In these chapters, misunderstanding and bad timing thwart the relationship between Anne and Captain Wentworth. Although both seek to ascertain the feelings and affections of the other, they are confused by the appearance of a third party, Mr. Elliot, who has his own personal motives. This part of the novel leads toward climax. Captain Wentworth is now free of all attachments, and both he and Anne are at the same place at the same time. Though they seek the same goal, they are uncertain whether obstacles such as Anne's family or Mr. Elliot will keep them from reaching happiness. The confusion and awkwardness that fill these chapters serve a larger narrative purpose; they heighten the tension leading up to the climax of the novel.

The description of the relationship By keeping the feelings between The knowledge that Captain Wentworth and Anne are in love with each other must be released slowly. Though the reader knows what both characters are feeling, it is a testament to Austen's high value on civility that she does not make her characters passionately express their feelings. The tension is deep, but the characters' restraint of emotion is an admirable, if frustrating quality. Austen does not trust unbridled passion; she sees something improper and self-absorbed in public declarations of love. Captain Wentworth's passion must unfold gradually and with prudence, in a manner in accordance with social custom, if it is to be trusted and respected.