July 22, 2015

Persuasion & Prayers Read-Along :: Day 8

Here I am! Ready for more gushing and everything wonderful about Persuasion. I actually can't remember the last time I read this book, which means it's been entirely too long! It's such a quiet and lovely story and I am thrilled to be reading through all the particulars again. But anyhoo! Enough of my blathering about nothing, let's get to the good stuff, yes? :)

{As before, click over to Amber's blog for more discussion and the final giveaway!}

Day 8 :: Persuasion Chapters 13-14

Quote to Ponder:

"Scenes had passed in Uppercross which made it precious. It stood the record of many sensations of pain, once severe, but now softened; and of some instances of relenting feeling, some breathings of friendship and reconciliation, which could never be looked for again, and which could never cease to be dear. She left it all behind her, all but the recollection that such things had been."


I think one of the many reasons I love Anne and her story is how introspective she is. (I can relate to that. :) I especially enjoy how she contemplates the Mansion House and Cottage and all the memories that were created in just a couple short months. So much happened inside her during that time! And she finally gets a few hours to sort through all the emotions and come to understand them further.

Anne is one of the wisest characters I've ever read. She doesn't say much, but she observes everything! She also is quite excellent at reading people. Her ability to hear what people say, watch what they do, and judge their character accordingly is amazing. She sees and understands their underlying motives.

This becomes more clear as we get further into the story, but in these two chapters Anne has lots of time for observing the people around her and listening to what they're really saying. By which I mean, she comprehends not only their actual words, but also what their heart is behind those words. She quickly concludes that Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove need to go and see Louisa. She has always understood Charles and Mary ever so much better than they even understand themselves.

25597577And I've come to the conclusion, during this reread, that Anne and Admiral Croft are kindred spirits! :) I love their little conversation at Kellynch Hall. During that convo, the Admiral comprehends, without Anne hardly saying a word, how she must be feeling about being in her home again. Now I realize that anyone would probably have thought the same (well...anyone except for Anne's immediate family) and made mention of it, but somehow while reading this scene it felt different than that to me. Anne is such an internal and quiet person, the Admiral is so very jovial and warm, and somehow it feels like they truly understand one another in that convo. They read each other's intents and feelings (more the Admiral reading Anne's I suppose), and quickly respond to any change of expression. Maybe I'm simply reading too much into it (I do like to analyze this story, don't I? ;), but it just feels like a conversation (more by what's unsaid rather than what is said) of two old friends. And they haven't really known one another that long! I don't know. Did anybody else feel that way?

Question :: Here we spend a little more time getting to know Lady Russell. What are your thoughts about her relationship with Anne? Do you think she still holds power to persuade Anne in her life choices?

Ah, Lady Russell. I don't necessarily think she's a bad person. I just think she's so sure that she's right so much of the time that she isn't able to see how wrong she can be. Mostly in regards to what Anne is thinking and feeling (proof of this is in chapter 13 when she's concerned for Anne about going to visit Kellynch Hall and she can't see how Anne's changed, when she's had three or four days to do so). I know she loves Anne, I don't doubt that she has good intentions and desires the best of the best for her future. But she doesn't understand her. Not really. And I think Anne knows that. She doesn't love Lady Russell any less on account of that, which is more proof for what a truly good person Anne is. But since she knows Lady Russell doesn't understand her, accordingly Lady Russell has lost the ability to influence her any longer. At least when it comes to exerting her powers of persuasion over big decisions in Anne's life.

Anne has gotten so much stronger during the first half of the book! Reading over her thoughts in these two chapters made me realize that Anne has a better understanding of her own inner strength, at least to a certain degree. While she already knew her own mind about several things, having the experience of spending so much time with Wentworth (and Louisa) gave her more courage and boldness. She knows she still loves him, but she's not letting that depress her any longer. Her acceptance of her feelings pushes her to actually move into her future, rather than just let it happen while she cowers at home. How firm she is in her thoughts during these chapters proves that, at least to me.

Which is why I don't think Lady Russell has the power to persuade Anne in her life choices any longer. Oh, I think Anne will still be willing to listen to her opinion, but she'll take responsibility for her own choices and her own happiness.

Have I mentioned how much I love Anne? (Only about fifty times or so, right?) Just thinking over what she's experienced in the last several chapters and how strong she is and knowing how much stronger she's yet to be...I love her story arc to pieces! Anne is awesome. And so is Admiral Croft!

Onward to chapters 15 and 16...


  1. I think the comments section needs a "like" button like facebook has! Great observations into Anne's character. I loved seeing her growth through the story. Looking forward to your thoughts on chapters 15-16 :)

    1. Aw, thanks, Julie! I love Anne's growth as well. She's such a fascinating character! :)

  2. I think one of the big differences between Anne and Lady Russell is that Anne understands that most people are unlike her, and tries to understand them. Lady Russell assumes everyone is like her, and projects her own feelings and desires onto them.

    Admiral and Mrs. Croft both take people as they find them, and seem adept at seeing things from others' points of view. In this, they're like Anne, so they're quicker to understand her.

    Captain Wentworth, I think, starts out like Lady Russell -- everyone must clearly think this because I think it. When Anne doesn't do as he would, he gets angry. Once he learns that not everyone thinks the way he does -- that's when he and Anne can be together. He has to learn this by observation, while Anne knows it instinctively. Lady Russell never does learn it, I think.

    1. As I noted in another post, I really appreciated what you said here, Hamlette. Until you pointed it out I hadn't made that connection, but the Croft's and Anne are very much alike. As you say, they understand each other so well. And Wentworth too! Once he learns to see that others do not think like he does, he is finally able to truly understand Anne. And likewise, that probably ends up having a bearing on his relationship with his sister in the future. At least in my imagination. :)

      Thank you so much for your observations! I love all the bits you've pointed out to me. It made my reread so much more enjoyable!

    2. This is what I love so much about book blogging -- how we can all share our insights and ideas, and enrich each others' reading experiences.


Thank you so much for visiting my little corner of the internet! :)


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