August 3, 2015

Persuasion & Prayers Read-Along :: Day 12


Why hello there! Here am I, days and days behind in this read-along. Everyone else is finished and I'm still on Day 12! *sigh* Life, you know? But anyhoo! Poor Anne. Poor, dearest, emotion-filled Anne! She has to deal with such an array of FEELINGS in these chapters. Yet such hope that won't be deterred! Ah...how one's heart can run like a roller coaster. Still, instead of waxing poetic here, let's chat below, yes? :)

{If anyone's still interested, all the discussion posts from our read-along hostess, Amber, are over here.}

Day 12 :: Persuasion Chapters 19-20

Quote to Ponder:

"Anne sighed and blushed and smiled, in pity and disdain, either at her friend or herself. The part which provoked her the most, was that in all this waste of foresight and caution, she should have lost the right moment for seeing whether he [Wentworth] saw them."

{I could mention Wentworth's delightful line, but as I'm going to chat about it below, I figured I'd go with this one up here. Because I could totally understand Anne in that moment! Well, to be truthful, there's a lot of moments where I understand Anne and what she's feeling. But this one....haven't we all been there? So concerned over how someone else will react or what they'll say or think, that we totally forget to enjoy the experience. And her anxious thoughts in the paragraphs before this bit where she's so conscious of Lady Russell beside her that she cannot concentrate on anything else. Not even Wentworth! And then she gets frustrated with herself. Oh, how I have been there! Not with my own Wentworth, but in similar situations where I couldn't really enjoy the moment for fear of what someone with me was going to think. Anne and I could learn to be less self-conscious and just enjoy life a bit more, regardless of anyone around us!}

Observation:

I love these two chapters for one BIG reason and I bet you can guess it, right? ;) Yes! We finally get a clue as to what Wentworth is feeling! And he couldn't be more obvious, could he? I just couldn't stop grinning while reading these chapters! :D I also love how Anne is perceptive enough to figure it out. I've been talking all along about how excellent Anne is at reading people and understanding their motives. This time her skill gives her the biggest amount of hope and happiness she's had yet! And that moment when she realizes that he's way less confident while talking with her is so cute. I mean, he was utterly puffed up with his own "I'm going to show Anne she can't hurt me anymore." attitude before and now that he knows he loves her (that he never stopped loving her!) he's way more self-conscious. How adorable is that?!

Also while Anne goes through a flux of emotions during these moments, so does Wentworth. At the concert, Anne can clearly see his reactions and why he's responding this way. I love that she understands him. I think it might actually make her love him more (if that's possible :) because he's finally let go of his stiff attitude and she can read his heart so clearly. She can fully understand him in that moment because she was in that exact position in Uppercross and Lyme. She can sympathize with the tentative hope and fearful heartache that he's feeling. And she knows she can counter all that with the happiest of solutions! Now if only she can figure out a way to tell him. :D
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Amber gives such a great summarization of these chapters that I have to share them:

Anne: Renewed hope
Wentworth: Revealed feelings
Wentworth's circle: Really perceptive
Anne's circle: Really frustrating
Mr. Elliot: Really bad timing

Question :: Let's discuss Captain Wentworth's famous line ("A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman. He ought not—he does not."). Do you believe it's possible for someone to "recover" from deep feelings of true love? Or does that sense of "devotion" stay with the person forever, regardless of where else life might take them and whether or not the love is ever reciprocated?

I have to say that I agree with Julie on this. It really all depends on the person. Some people probably find it easier to recover than others. I think more sensitive people would maybe have a harder time getting over it. That's not to say that they couldn't! But I think it would just be more difficult for them to work through their emotions. I would consider Anne a pretty sensitive person and look at her, she's finally came to understand that she won't ever fully let go of her love for Wentworth after eight years. Prior to these chapters, she had pretty much determined to move forward with this love still there. She was okay with maybe learning to love someone else (or not) while still harboring some feeling for the past. I don't think that's too different from how some of us may be in real life. And as Julie also said, it depends on the nature of why one has to recover. A betrayal, for example, may be easier to let go of than a death or a non-reciprocation of your love.

Yet I do think that we don't ever completely forget that devotion. We are emotional people. (Some more than others, yes. But not many would be able to say that emotions don't affect them, I think.) Emotions affect how we react and respond to situations and people. And these reactions change us. None of us are exempt from this change and there's no undoing it, all we can do is move forward as we are. That experience will always be there inside us somewhere, maybe buried so deep that we no longer think about it, but I don't think it's gone completely.

As for Wentworth, his honesty in that moment is so sweet for Anne's sake. He's finally realized that underneath all that fear and anger is love. He's no longer in denial of his feelings, hallelujah!!! :D And he's so determined to act on them that he's willing to be brave, to take the first step and reveal a bit of his heart to Anne. And Anne then reciprocates this bravery at the concert! Even if they're both left frustrated at the end of chapter 20, I appreciate that their feelings for one another makes each of them courageous. All they needed was a bit of hope to be willing to step out there! And once again I am left in awe of how perfect they are for each other. :)



4 comments:

  1. I too liked Amber's summary of the chapters. And Wentworth and Anne...sigh! They brought so much frustration, but yet I was hoping for their happy outcome from the beginning even when I thought he was being a jerk!

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    1. Julie: Once you understand what Wentworth is actually feeling and going through, it makes it so much easier to have patience with him at the beginning, doesn't it? It's just so wonderful to be able to look back at all those moments where he frustrated us and see that it wasn't truly malicious intent on his part, but more that he didn't fully understand himself or his own motives. Or even Anne! And what a happy outcome indeed! To know such happiness is in their near future. :D

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  2. I think it's much easier to put a past love behind you, so to speak, if there is no hope for it. Captain Benwick's previous love died. That's a whole different thing than Wentworth and Anne's situation -- Benwick needs to let that love die for his own emotional health. Wentworth and Anne, though, still have hope. Neither of them has married someone else, they're both alive, and there's no real reason for their love not to find fulfillment -- in that case, I can see myself holding onto that feeling for pretty much ever.

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    1. I can see that, Hamlette. Because having no hope is a pretty yucky place to be, therefore one would possibly make themselves move on beyond that past love. But if there's hope! Well, we can easily see what happens when there's even just a tiny bit of hope, can't we? :) We humans cling to hope. It'd be a pretty terrible world without it! So in that case, I might be just like you and cling on to that feeling forever.

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