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Persuasion

Persuasion

by Jane Austen

Persuasion Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Society and Class

The characters in Persuasion are trying to adapt to a society in which class boundaries are more open than they used to be. In many cases, the characters who have done well in the old system cling...

Marriage

While Persuasion is on one level a romance, it also presents some very unromantic ideas about marriage. Sure, it would be great if you could spot your true love a mile away, get hitched, and live h...

Family

Family rules everything in Persuasion. It determines where you live, what you eat, whom you see, and what you talk about. Separating oneself from one's family is a necessary step to forming an inde...

Memory and the Past

The past is not easily forgotten in Persuasion. In fact, those who do have made a complete break with the past in order to reinvent themselves are looked upon with suspicion. And yet hanging on too...

Friendship

Friendship forms an alternate network of alliance to family in the novel (it's like Facebook and Myspace – there's some overlap, but they're separate systems). The main difference between the...

Foolishness and Folly

Does older = wiser? Well, one of the oldest characters in Persuasion is the vain Sir Walter, so the answer is definitely not a resounding "yes." But there's plenty of foolishness among the young to...

Gender

While Persuasion at times suggests fundamental differences between the sexes, it also suggests that those differences are due to the different social expectations and opportunities applied to men a...

Appearances

Appearances can be deceiving – but they can also be revealing. What they reveal, however, can be more about the observer than the observed. Beauty is really about attractiveness, which is abo...
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