From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by Jane Austen

Persuasion Foolishness and Folly Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #7

She hoped to be wise and reasonable in time; but alas! alas! she must confess to herself that she was not wise yet. (19.25)

Apparently being wise is like being pregnant – either you are or you aren't.

Quote #8

[Mrs. Smith speaks] "I was very young, and associated only with the young, and we were a thoughtless, gay set, without any strict rules of conduct. We lived for enjoyment. I think differently now; time and sickness and sorrow have given me other notions." (21.63)

As Mr. Elliot did when he was speaking to Anne of young men's absurdity, Mrs. Smith associates foolishness with being young. But she suggests that growing up isn't enough to make someone stop being foolish – it takes a dose of suffering to wise up.

Quote #9

Captain Wentworth, with five-and-twenty thousand pounds, and as high in his profession as merit and activity could place him, was no longer nobody. He was now esteemed quite worthy to address the daughter of a foolish, spendthrift baronet, who had not had principle or sense enough to maintain himself in the situation in which Providence had placed him. (24.2)

While it seems to be the right of the upper classes to be foolish with few social consequences (look at the popularity of Lady Dalrymple), money is one area where foolishness is truly dangerous, and can even damage one's class standing.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...