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Persuasion

Persuasion

by Jane Austen

Memory and the Past Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #10

"Perhaps I ought to have reasoned thus," he replied, "but I could not. I could not derive benefit from the late knowledge I had acquired of your character. I could not bring it into play; it was overwhelmed, buried, lost in those earlier feelings which I had been smarting under year after year. I could think of you only as one who had yielded, who had given me up, who had been influenced by any one rather than by me. I saw you with the very person who had guided you in that year of misery. I had no reason to believe her of less authority now. The force of habit was to be added." (23.72)

For Wentworth to make his peace with Anne, he has to give up the Anne in his memory in order to actually see Anne as she is in the present. The passage of time has cemented the past so much for him that the present's contradictions of it can barely make a dent.

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