by Jane Austen
Persuasion Family Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Louisa seemed the principal arranger of the plan; and, as she went a little way with them, down the hill, still talking to Henrietta, Mary took the opportunity of looking scornfully around her, and saying to Captain Wentworth--
"It is very unpleasant, having such connexions! But, I assure you, I have never been in the house above twice in my life."
She received no other answer, than an artificial, assenting smile, followed by a contemptuous glance, as he turned away, which Anne perfectly knew the meaning of. (10.18-20)
Mary's tendency to judge others by their family connections means that she lives in fear of others judging her the same way – she can't imagine that her snobbishness could put another person off even more than her low-class relations.
In Lady Russell's view, it was perfectly natural that Mr Elliot, at a mature time of life, should feel it a most desirable object, and what would very generally recommend him among all sensible people, to be on good terms with the head of his family; the simplest process in the world of time upon a head naturally clear, and only erring in the heyday of youth. (16.7)
Lady Russell sees recognizing the family hierarchy as a "natural" thing to do. In her eyes, paying respects to the head of the family is not something Mr. Elliot needs any other motives for, but what any thinking person would do, because it's the law of nature. Although of course calling something a law of nature doesn't mean it actually is one.
For a few moments her imagination and her heart were bewitched. The idea of becoming what her mother had been; of having the precious name of "Lady Elliot" first revived in herself; of being restored to Kellynch, calling it her home again, her home for ever, was a charm which she could not immediately resist. (17.25)
This passage shows that Anne does have family feeling, it's just very different from the feelings of her sisters and father – for her, family is about home and domesticity, and is linked to her mother, who seems all but forgotten by everyone else. It's interesting that, for most of the other characters, marriage is all about whom you get connected to, while Anne actually thinks about making a home for a new family unit.