July 12, 2015

Persuasion & Prayers Read-Along :: Days 3 & 4


On to days three and four! I knew I loved this book, but it's been so good to read it again and remember all the reasons why. Have I mentioned just how much I love Anne? Seriously. She's awesome! (Here's a recent gush-fest, in case you're interested. :) Also, as before, click over here to find out all the details of this read-along!

Day 3 :: Persuasion Chapters 5-6

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Quote to Ponder:

"On the morning appointed for Admiral and Mrs. Croft's seeing Kellynch Hall, Anne found it most natural to take her almost daily walk to Lady Russell's, and keep out of the way till all was over; when she found it most natural to be sorry that she had missed the opportunity of seeing them."

{I just find this quote so relateable! Because who hasn't done one thing, for reasons you think are smart, only to wish you had done the opposite in the end. Our hearts and our heads can battle back and forth and knowing which one to listen to isn't always easy.}

Observation:

What stands out to me in these two chapters is just how good Anne is. How loving and selfless and quiet and gentle. Which are all traits that are easy to take advantage of, especially when it's done by family. I said on Day 2 that I thought she'd become more comfortable in her own skin, but now that's being put to the test. It's one thing to be confident when you're alone, and quite another to hold that confidence while in the presence of the very people who undermine it again and again. (Even unknowingly, because I don't think the Musgrove's or Mary either, are bad people. Just selfish. And unable to understand just how frustrating they can be or that they could even be frustrating at all. They're clueless about that fact! Which probably helps with Anne's compassion for them...hmmmm. Must think some more on that.) Plus Anne is such an internal person. Definitely more introverted! She tends to hold everything in, so when confronted with people who love her (as much as they are capable of), yet take advantage of her at the same time, it's only natural that she simply and quietly desires to make everyone happy. And that confidence slips a little. When no one shows any interest in your opinion, it's difficult to be bold enough to give it.

Question :: How would you handle a visit to Mary's home? Would you lie low and try to keep the peace, or would you call out the petty grievances and detrimental behaviors of those around you?

I'm pretty sure I'd lie low and keep the peace, although I'd been complaining plenty in my mind! Mary fits in well with the Musgrove's, in that she's so much like them. They all frustrate one another because not one of them actually listens to the other. As nice as the Musgrove's seem, they are still plenty self-focused. Anne's the only selfless one, which becomes evident in chapter six. She has the patience of a saint! To deal with all those "confidences" and complaints and lovingly use them to help her sister learn (even if Mary doesn't really) and to continually think well of each of the complainers , Anne is amazing. We could all stand to be so loving, couldn't we? :)


Day 4 :: Persuasion Chapters 7-8

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Quote to Ponder:

"His bright proud eye spoke the conviction that he was nice; and Anne Elliot was not out of his thoughts, when he more seriously described the woman he should wish to meet with. "A strong mind, with  sweetness of manner," made the first and the last of the description."

{Regardless of how bitter he is currently, I do love that we get a glimpse into his mind in this passage at the end of chapter seven. And unforgiving of Anne or not, he still "...had never seen a woman since whom he thought her equal..." *swoon*}

Observation:

I love how much they notice each other in these two chapters. We know Anne's heart and mind the most, yet Wentworth looks at her as well, loathe as he would be to admit it. :) I also love all the details that Anne picks up on. She's striving so hard to be indifferent, yet can't quite manage it. Her eyes always unconsciously drift over to him and her thoughts are constantly swirling about him. Amber mentions how sure they are of the other's feelings, and yet how very wrong they are in actuality and I think that's very astute! Each is judging the other based upon what they think the other is feeling. Also, Wentworth has very little understanding of what his true feelings are currently. Bitterness and anger are feelings, yes, but they're reactive feelings. It's how he's responding to his past heartbreak and actually seeing Anne again. Buried far down beneath all that frustration is fear, I think, and also love. Because you don't react that strongly to a person if there's not still love there!

Question :: What are your first impressions of Frederick Wentworth, as he's portrayed in these two chapters? Do you think he's justified in his caution and aloofness around Anne?

I kind of already talked about this above, but I'll gladly go into more detail. ;) I think he's a bit justified in his caution. Anne did hurt him, after all. To say yes to his proposal only to take it back again would be awful for him! I can sympathize with his hurt and pain, and especially as this is the first they're seeing one another since that last terrible conversation. Eight years ago or not, one still remembers that sort of heartbreak! And I think he has a slight fear of giving her (or any woman) that much power over him. All his big talk on no women on a boat and what kind of woman he wants to marry, is really just his fear talking. Nothing wrong with that, of course. But I don't think he really understands that about himself yet. He hasn't had much chance (or taken much chance more like) to search beneath all those layers of pain to truly search his heart. But I have confidence he'll get there! :D



4 comments:

  1. Another wonderful and insightful post, Kara! We all could definitely stand to be more loving and patient like Anne. :)

    And I love your thoughts about Wentworth! That his reactive feelings are really hiding his continued love for Anne and his fear - of being rejected again, of never finding what he desires. It definitely seems to me like Wentworth is doing what he can to defend his heart: avoiding Anne, not giving her a chance to hurt him again, seeking out other female attention, talking confidently about his choices and successes. But when he opens his eyes... :)

    ~Amber

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    1. Thanks, Amber! We certainly could, couldn't we? :)

      He is! He's defending his heart with all the battle armor he can! And lobbing the bombs and fire-power her way before she can hurt him again. Understandable to be sure, for how hurt he is. But oh yes, when he opens his eyes....*happy sigh* ;)

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  2. Nice post! I agree on your thoughts about Wentworth. He isn't ready to face his troubles yet; he's been spending eight years just trying to forget Anne.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Hannah! Yes, that's it exactly. He's is so far from being ready to face his own heart at this moment. But some day...!! ;)

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