The Social Upheaval In Persuasion By Jane Austin

1036 words - 4 pages

In the novel Persuasion, Jane Austin presents a story about the marriage of the main character Anne Elliot. In doing so she paints a picture of British society in the early 1800s when Britain was ending it’s war with France. She writes of the British Empire, which is characterized by the Navy officers returning home, and she writes of the social divisions of the time in the form of the distinction between the different classes of society. The major change that seems to be occurring in the novel at this time is the social upheaval caused by Navy men returning from war with enough prestige and money to associate with (and even marry) those of the old landowning class. This is characterized by Anne’s reunion with Frederick Wentworth, a Navy officer.
Before the major upheaval occurs Jane Austin gives us a glimpse of what social life, the class distinction, was like through the perspective of Ann Elliot. Ann is the second out of three daughters to Sir Walter Elliot, the proud head of the family (Austen, 2). The Elliots are an old landowning family that seems well known in the upper echelons of British society. The most important piece of background we are presented with as central to the plot of the story is that eight years prior to the setting Ann was engaged to a man she loved, Frederick Wentworth. They were soon engaged, but her family along with mother-like figure, Lady Russell, soon persuaded Ann that the match was unsuitable because Frederick Wentworth was essentially unworthy without any money or prestige (Austen, 30). This piece of background echoes exclusivity among the upper classes of Britain. In that time it would seem unacceptable for a girl like Ann with a family like hers to marry or even associate with someone not of equivalent social standing. Sir Walter thinks of such an event as a “degrading alliance (Austen, 29).” This idea is even more obviously seen later when Anne expresses the notion of visiting her friend, Mrs. Smith, at Westgate buildings. Mrs. Smith is a widow with such a common name and living in less lavish apartments than the Elliots, so Anne’s father deems Mrs. Smith a “disgusting association” (Austen, 187). This objection explicitly shows the division between the classes still present in the early 1800s. It is not until Frederick returns as a Captain of the Royal Navy that he is able to bridge the gap between the classes. This reflects a certain impact that the Navy had in British society.
Jane Austin writes about the Navy favorably. It is clear that when the novel takes place there is a certain fascination with the Navy by the fact that it is so prevalent throughout the novel. In the first chapter Anne considers the Navy to have “done so much,” possibly alluding to Britain’s victories against France (Austen, 21). Returning Navy officers are respected and regarded as worthy of association by families such as the Elliots. This is evidenced by the novels initial event of Sir Walter Elliot agreeing to let his estate...

Find Another Essay On The Social Upheaval in Persuasion by Jane Austin

Persuasion by Jane Austen Essay

673 words - 3 pages Persuasion by Jane Austen Silence and Signals Direct communication is impossible due to social rules and proprieties. The prose style becomes chaotic and troubled as it is reflects a tormented mind filled with repetitions ("Eight years, almost eight years had passed"), urgent rhetorical questions ("What might eight years not do?"), exclamations ("how natural, how certain too!"), and interjections ("Alas! With all her reasonings she

The Importance of Paper and Ink in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

1002 words - 5 pages Leatherman 1 Jake Leatherman Mrs. Rafferty English III 27 March 2014 Paper and Ink Letters play a very important role in the story of Pride and Prejudice. Especially the letters of one character in particular in Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austin. Mr. Darcy's letters are a very important to build up to the climax. Letters from and to Mr. Darcy play a very important role in the novel. The two main purposes which they fulfill

The Outsider in Hamlet, by William Shakespeare and Persuasion, by Jane Austen

2735 words - 11 pages many literary works; such as in Hamlet and Persuasion. Upon analyzing the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare and the novel Persuasion by Jane Austen, I have come to the conclusion that the protagonists Fredrick Wentworth, Anne Elliot, and Hamlet are all outsiders to the societies in which they live. This thesis arises from discoveries found in the plot details, the way other characters think of them, and the overall outcome. Within the plot of

Matriarchal Figures in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and Persuasion by Jane Austen

2761 words - 11 pages Matriarchal Figures in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and Persuasion by Jane Austen ‘A dominant female member of the family’[1] is often described as a matriarch. Lady Bracknell in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ and Lady Russell in ‘Persuasion’ fulfill this role therefore can be described as matriarchs, and as such they play vital roles. They affect the lives of Gwendolen and Anne, by imposing their beliefs on them

"Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austin: includes the teacher's comments

2237 words - 9 pages SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Sai SunkaraPride and Prejudice7/5/07"Experience the greatest love story of all time!" (IMDB 1) is the phrase on all the posters for the recently released movie, Pride and Prejudice. Over the past couple years two successful movies have been released based off Jane Austen's novel. Apparently she earned her title of being on of the greatest authors of all time. Her work has lasted hundreds of years and her morals and lessons in

The themes of class and class consciousness as seen in the book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

939 words - 4 pages The themes of class and class consciousness, as seen in Pride and Prejudice, strictly regulate the daily lives of middle and upper class men and women at this period in England. In her novel, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen portrays class-consciousness mainly through the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth as it was from when they first met until the time when Elizabeth visits Pemberley . Austin also shows class-consciousness through many

Women's Rights in Pride and Prejudice & Persuasion by Jane Austen

5497 words - 22 pages “Are women allowed to say No”, in Pride and Prejudice / Persuasion by Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice (whose original title was First Impressions) was written in 1796-1797 when Jane Austen was 21 years old and first published in 1813. It tells us the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy, who will overcome the pride and prejudice they feel towards each other to find mutual happiness. Persuasion was written between 1815 and 1816. The main

Persuasion Written by Jane Austen

1521 words - 7 pages the novel Persuasion written by Jane Austen. Due to his detailed attention for appearance and social rank, Sir Walter has been negligent to his daughters’ interests and fails to fulfill his responsibility as a father. Throughout both literary works, the use of language and tone towards persuasive endeavors reveals the difference in family dynamics and the success of persuasion on the character’s transformation. The mother’s genuine care for

The Power of Sickness in Jane Austen's Persuasion

2659 words - 11 pages The Power of Sickness in Persuasion     Throughout the course of her work, Persuasion, Jane Austen offers much insight into the social aspect of English life at the beginning of the 19th Century.  Austen’s characters, through their lives, demonstrate how the landed aristocracy has seen their dominant grasp on the social scene loosened.  In addition, through various degrees of personal illnesses, Austen’s characters portray the human body

The Definition of a Gentleman in Jane Austen’s Persuasion

2280 words - 9 pages The novel Persuasion by Jane Austen uses two different perspectives of what it means to be a gentleman; namely, Anne Elliot’s merit-based perspective and Sir Walter Elliot and Lady Russell’s aristocratic perspective. At the time, landed gentry and aristocrats believed that a man could only be considered a gentleman if he owned land; came from a wealthy, noble family; and did not need to work for an income. However, due to the rise of the

Discuss Jane Austen presentation of class distincition in two novels Emma by Jane Austen and Persuasion By Jane Austen

1530 words - 6 pages In the Jane Austen's novels "Emma" and "Persuasion", a theme of key importance is class distinction. The social order of the characters is significant in understanding their position on society and also how they perceive themselves in relation to other characters and they also believe they have ideas and influence over others, making them superior to those they come in to contact with.In "Emma" the story mainly revolves around the title

Similar Essays

Social Commentary On Love And Marriage In Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austin

2227 words - 9 pages Pride and Prejudice Love and Marriage Jane Austen shows the readers within the first sentence what the plot and main theme of Pride and Prejudice is and what social ideas she plans on presenting through this novel. The first sentence of Pride and Prejudice stands as one of the most famous introductory lines in literature. It states, “it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a

Marriage Traditions In Persuasion By Jane Austen

1316 words - 5 pages England has always had a rich history of interesting cultural traditions but arguably none as prevalent as marriage. Marriage, the union of two people with emotional ideals and expectations, are brought on by many different factors that include: for love, for money, for climbing social status, escapism, survival, etc. In Jane Austen’s novels, she focuses on the importance of marriage in her world because she wanted to emphasize how marriage is

Symbols In The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald And Pride And Prejudice By Jane Austin

874 words - 4 pages home is beautiful even in the absence of “gaudy” shows of wealth. Just like his home, Darcy does not choose a wife for show (a staple of the day) or follow the social order to the letter. A more direct example of his break from social order that the setting supports is his rejection of the social “rule” of dancing with unpaired ladies at a ball, commenting that he doesn’t feel he needs to dance with ladies rejected by other men. Jane Austen’s

Persuasion, By Jane Austen Essay

2237 words - 9 pages Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion emanates the social and political upheaval caused by the war and depicts the transition into nineteenth century realism where class and wealth was considered extremely important in the social hierarchy. She explores the reactions to the newly diverse interactions between different social classes and although she was “no snob, she knew all about snobbery.” Therefore, she is able to realistically portray the views