Friday, December 28, 2007
Persuasion, by Jane Austen
Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen book. Don't get me wrong, I love Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park and all the rest...her other books are probably better written, or more interesting to everyone else. The fact remains that Persuasion holds my greatest interest. There is really nothing more romantic than a couple of lovers separated by financial situation, friends and family who give bad advice, and eight or so years of miscommunication and awkwardness. There is something in the character of Anne Elliot that reminds me of Jane Austen as well-as though the author patterned the character and all the ridiculousness that surrounds poor Anne after herself. The intimate way that Austen describes the shame felt by an unmarried (and supposedly unpretty) woman in that day and age makes me like her even more; as though Austen recognizes the social stigma that she herself was given, but has enough courage to put those same feelings out for the world to judge.
Then again, maybe I'm a little biased, because in some way I feel intimately connected with Anne myself. My favorite quote from the book speaks the reason why. It is in chapter 19 when, speaking Anne's thoughts, the narrator says "One half of her should not be always so much wiser than the other half, or always suspecting the other of being worse than it was." What luck to find a friend who knows how I feel! Please read, and fall in love with Frederick and Anne like I did.