July 17, 2015

Persuasion & Prayers Read-Along :: Day 7


Oh look! I'm posting again! At the rate that I'm going, it's looking to be next week before any of the rest of my week two discussions get posted. *sigh* I thought I would get caught up last night, but turns out I have a lot of FEELS. And trying to put feels into actual words that make sense? Not so easy. (I spent two hours trying to compose just this one post! I finally gave up and went to sleep.) Now here am I, attempting sensical things about Persuasion. Let's see how I do, shall we? (It's probably more nonsensical though.) Beware the lengthiness! Like I said, I had FEELS. :D

{For any interested in more discussion and/or a giveaway, click over to Amber's blog and enjoy!}

Day 7 :: Persuasion Chapters 11-12

Quote to Ponder:

"Anne wondered whether it ever occurred to him now, to question the justness of his own previous opinion as to the universal felicity and advantage of firmness of character; and whether it might not strike him that, like all other qualities of the mind, it should have its proportions and limits. She thought it could scarcely escape him to feel that a persuadable temper might sometimes be as much in favor as a very resolute character."

{Look at our Anne getting all feisty on Wentworth! Too bad she didn’t actually say this out loud. ;)

Observation:

Quite an adventure! This is one trip to Lyme that not a single person in Anne’s party is going to forget any time soon. Reading over Amber’s observation, she states “…it’s interesting to me that so much happens around Anne. As the heroine of the book, she instigates very little and is forced to react to quite a lot.” While I agree this is entirely true, I can see reasons why this actually works well. Because Anne’s character is pretty firmly established at the beginning of the book. She’s held on to her regret and missed hopes for eight years. (Eight years, people!) That’s constancy. And loyalty. While you may scoff at that, being constant and loyal are traits to be admired. (Especially when held up against the immature Louisa, who has a lot of big talk, but no true experience to back it up.) And she's determined never to be persuaded against her wishes again. So if you take a dependable, steadfast, and resolute personality, what should their character arc be? Because you know that the heroine needs one. And you aren’t able to make her transform herself because let’s face it, Anne’s not going to do that, she would never push herself forward. All those years under her father’s roof, being constantly belittled would cause anyone to stay in the background as much as possible. (Also this Anne is too used to staying home and letting others have all the adventures. It's a habit. And habits are notoriously difficult to change.) To cause transformation to occur then, is going to require all the other characters to help it along. Hence why Anne is constantly reacting, because it’s while she's in that state that moments of significance happen for her. Take for example when she overhears Wentworth say, “…no one so proper, so capable as Anne.” To be thought capable? And proper? What a huge encouragement that would be! She knows her father does not understand her, her older sister finds her a nuisance, her younger sister uses her, and her so called “friend” Lady Russell doesn’t even give a lot of precedence to Anne’s opinion (she tends to say she does, but ends up overpowering Anne in the long run). All the important people in her life have never made her feel truly worthy. Then Wentworth says that without knowing she will hear it. And later, even asks for her opinion! To realize someone so close to her heart thinks her opinion valuable would be an amazing epiphany for Anne. So what I’m trying to say is, she would never have had those sweet moments, which help set her on a course to becoming more bold (in her own way), if she wasn’t thrust into the Lyme situation by others. She would never have gotten there by herself. Does that make sense?

11758566Question :: Anne appears to value Wentworth's attention and his "care" of her very highly: from his noticing she needed rest (back in chapter 10), to his choosing her to stay behind with Louisa - and then asking for her opinion on whether or not his plan was a good one. Do you believe that Wentworth's intentions are noble? Do his actions and thoughts regarding Anne arise from genuine concern and admiration? Or is Anne seeing only what she wants to see?

A bit of both, maybe? I do think his actions are genuine, yet at this point I feel like he’s still pretty unaware of why he’s doing it. It’s more like he’s unintentionally noticing and thinking of and reacting to her. I mean, think about it. I said before that he’s operating under a lot of fear of repeating past mistakes and bitterness at Anne, which explains all his interactions with both Musgrove girls. His bitter side wants to throw it in Anne’s face that these younger, prettier girls like him a lot and “See what you missed out on?” type of stuff. But his heart starts realizing that as Anne is in his current circle of friends a great deal, this naturally leads to comparisons of her mannerisms mirrored against Louisa and Henrietta (still all very unknowingly). Might I further point out that if you’re constantly trying to show a person how good you have it now, you have to notice them to do that, else all the pleasure of showing them up is non-existent, right? Although I also think this trip to Lyme is when he starts to understand how special Anne is. He starts to realize what he's been unconsciously noticing about her. (I do realize this is kind of assuming a lot as we’re not really privy to his thought processes. But bear with me.) Since we get kind of a contradictory picture of what Wentworth is feeling, it leads me to think that he’s not really sure himself. But the more aware he becomes, the more his instinctive attention and care escalates until it culminates in that moment he realizes how capable and amazing she is under pressure. And why on earth had he ever thought he wanted a young girl when he could have a mature woman who understands what is proper and has the natural ability to care for others?! (Okay, maybe that last statement is just my own wishful thinking. ;)

On Anne’s side, all we get is what she’s assuming he’s thinking and feeling and while it certainly seems like she's imagining things, I'm not sure she is. I think these two can truly see each other, they just aren’t aware of how right they are. We know she's still in love with him, but we don't know how he feels. So that makes it easy to assume she's got rose-colored glasses on, because we can sympathize with that. As readers (and maybe as women readers? *shrugs*) we can understand how simple it would be to do that. Yet as Anne ascribes all these feelings as to why Wentworth does what he does, I think HE just doesn’t realize how much his actions betray him. At least to her. Read back over the first paragraph of chapter 10. I feel like she's being pretty perceptive at that particular moment. Then again, I could just be analyzing all this a little too much! I do love this story, you know. I am far from giving a neutral opinion. :D


On a different note, Julie has commented over in the discussions on Amber's posts about how much Austen makes her laugh. And I have to agree! There are so many great moments when I almost do a double-take and have to go back and read a sentence over again. Because I don't know if people used sarcasm back in her day, but Jane Austen's characters sure do have several moments of sarcastic asides that make me snort! And it's all thought or said so calmly that you don't hardly notice how hilarious it is at first. I love that part of her writing!



10 comments:

  1. I like your "FEELS" post! Great insights and great explanations for those feels :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee! Thanks, Julie! I loved you and Amber's discussions on this day and my head wouldn't stop spinning with thoughts to respond. :)

      Delete
  2. One of the things I like best about Austen is her sarcastic, sometimes scathing wit. I totally didn't get that when I first read her books in high school, but now the only one that doesn't make me snort-laugh aloud is Mansfield Park. And even it has it's very sarcastic parts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't remember noticing this as much before, Hamlette. Not sure why. But I'm noticing now and it's hilarious! Austen can be very scathing for sure. And now I want to read her other books just so I can find all those little witty moments! :)

      Delete
    2. This is why I had a loud, flat-out argument with a guy in my first college lit class about why Austen's novels are not just romances. Her wit, social commentary, etc are fabulous! I told him to give me an example of Austen's (in his words) "fluffy" language, and he gave me a quote from the Keira Knightley version of P&P, which had been changed from the original. I just said, "Oh, I see. You've never actually READ any of the books. You're not talking about Austen; you're judging her by others' interpretations of her works." He admitted to not actually reading any of them before judging and arguing with me, so I promptly won the argument.

      Delete
    3. Go Hannah!!! :D (And seriously? He was basing his opinions on a movie that was based on a book? He thought the movie made him an expert? WHY didn't he think he should maybe read the book before voicing such opinions? Clearly he was in need of a good set down which you promptly handed him!)

      I can definitely agree that Austen's stories are much more than romances. Although I have to admit that I do enjoy the romantic portions quite a bit. :) But the wittiness and the sarcasm and the character arcs and the.....yeah, just all of it! SO much more than just a romance.

      Delete
    4. Yes! And he was a lit major as well! I hope he learned from our debate.

      Sometimes I read the books or watch the movies for the romance, as well. But I would defend Austen to the end about being judged only for her romantic writing elements.

      Delete
    5. And I would be right there behind you, nodding in agreement! :)

      Delete
  3. First off, I also chose that quote and shared it on Amber's blog! The situation really should cause Wentworth to reconsider his opinions!

    Your observation is quite profound and perfect!!!! Yes, her character is established from the beginning, and all these things are pushing her to react. Austen was brilliant to develop her character this way, I think. So many heroines (at least, in my experience) have something tremendous to overcome or a lesson to learn, while Anne has already learned patience and her own mind (especially after the 8 years). And how gratifying to have Wentworth complement her capabilities! (he's gaining some ground in my opinion).

    And I agree, the sarcasm and wit has been so fun to see!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Courtney: I know, right?! My feelings exactly! How does he not realize his own hypocrisy in that moment?

      Aw, thank you. And yes! That's precisely what I was trying to say! What typical heroines have to overcome, Anne's already been there done that. She still has some growing to do, of course. But just in a different way, which requires different methods to accomplish.

      I'm glad that you're liking Wentworth a bit more. I do agree he is extremely frustrating here in the beginning, but he definitely gets way better. We just have to have patience! ;)

      Isn't Austen's wit awesome? I love those bits.

      Delete

Thank you so much for visiting! I love comments and try to respond to each one. (Please comment!) Have a splendiferously awesome day and y'all come back anytime! :)

ShareThis

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...