July 23, 2015

Persuasion & Prayers Read-Along :: Day 9


Hello my lovelies! I'm here to chat about Persuasion again. (I know. Big surprise.) We get quite the in-depth look at our Elliot family in these chapters! There is much to talk on, so how about I just get right to it? :)

{Once again, hop over to Amber's blog for all the details! She still has one more copy of The Prayers of Jane Austen to giveaway, so check it out.}

Day 9 :: Persuasion Chapters 15-16

Quote to Ponder:

"It was now some years since Anne had begun to learn that she and her excellent friend could sometimes think differently; and it did not surprise her, therefore, that Lady Russell should see nothing suspicious or inconsistent, nothing to require more motives than appeared, in Mr. Elliot's great desire of a reconciliation."

{Did you notice that Anne has known for years she and Lady Russell don't agree on everything? She doesn't let it change their friendship, but neither does she give in to what Lady Russell may desire to persuade her to now. I just love that we get another proof that Anne knowing her own strength began long before chapter one!}

Observation:

And we also get another verification of Anne's ability to see into other people's hearts and judge their motives. Like I said on Day 8, she is quite skilled at that and so far she hasn't been wrong. I find it so funny (and ironic)that her family, who all take such pride in connections and wanting to be seen with the right people, cannot see someone who is doing the exact same thing to them right in their very midst! Not one can see any smudge of dark in Mr. Elliot, to them he is all sweetness and light. Yet our discerning Anne can see it. She doesn't fully understand it, but she definitely knows something isn't right beneath all of his "good speech" and "fine manners".

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Amber mentions in her observation, I'm proud of Anne for being on her guard while still appreciating his friendship and attention and I completely agree. I love that Anne can see something questionable there, but so far it appears harmless so she is still able to enjoy his conversations. She has been severely lacking in someone to actually listen to her! Even if it has to be Mr. Elliot, I'm still grateful for her sake because that's what she needs to grow more confident. Don't we all? When someone listens to us and seemingly truly enjoys chatting about the same things we like and maybe even flatters us a little, it builds our confidence in our own ability to hold someone's attention. To feel like we matter. Anne is at the perfect point in her life (and her character growth) for this kind of attention to develop her sense of self-worth without being taken in by Mr. Elliot.

Speaking of, how clever must he be for Anne to be the only one who can see his subterfuge? I get the feeling from Austen herself, as well as other books set in this time period, that people in those days learned to falsely flatter their way through society. I'm sure some were better than others and clearly Mr. Elliot is one of the best! No one but Anne has any inkling of what may be lying behind that charming smile....

Question :: If you were in Anne's place, how would you get along in Bath? (How would you handle the rudeness and peculiarities of your family? In what ways would you try to amuse yourself? Would you trust Mr. Elliot and seek to continue your acquaintance with him?)

I'm not sure I'd handle the rudeness and peculiarities of her family very well at all! They are so terribly selfish and cannot see beyond their little circle and what may or may not affect them. I can only assume that Anne's mother was as warm and loving and giving as Anne is, because she certainly didn't get any of her personality from her father! Good grief, for all the one or two moments when Sir Walter is nice to her, he (and Elizabeth!) have about twenty times as many awful moments. They frustrate me so as fictional characters, I'm not certain what I'd do if they were real! ;)

Also I am not nearly as astute as Anne is, so I'm afraid I wouldn't be as discerning of Mr. Elliot's motives. But I don't think I'd have any choice on whether to continue his acquaintance or not. If her father is so accepting, then there's not much a daughter could do back then. (Which makes me grateful that we live now and not then!)

As for amusing myself? If the concert that we see in the 1995 adaptation of Persuasion is anything like a real one would have been, then I can safely say I would not have enjoyed those. And the idea of going to a ball and having to deal with a crush of people as well as potentially dance with a strange man and attempt conversation at the same time....yeah, I'm more and more grateful that I live in this modern age. Where I can stay home with a good book if I want to! :D




2 comments:

  1. Oh, Amen to that staying home and enjoying a good book rather than being put through that concert. Ack! I'm the opposite of you in that I would probably be so suspect of Elliot from the get-go. I'm cautious anyway so he would have had to earn trust and I don't trust "flattery." And seriously aren't her father and Elizabeth just awful? Good grief!! Once again a great post!

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    Replies
    1. Julie: Right?! That concert is so not what I'd consider a good time. At all! :) And yes, Elizabeth and her father are very awful. One of the worse things about it, is that they truly don't have any clue how terrible they really act. That doesn't make them sympathetic at all, it just makes me sad. For Anne's sake. And everyone else's that have to put up with them.

      Sounds like you're a little more Anne-like than I! :) Mr. Elliot certainly can lay on the flattery awfully thick, can't he?

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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