Study Guide

Persuasion Chapter 24

By Jane Austen

Chapter 24

  • The narrator gives us a rather tongue-in-cheek moral: when young people want to get married, they’re going to manage to do it no matter what.
  • And as it turns out, neither Sir Walter nor Elizabeth object much, since Wentworth’s risen in the world even as the Elliots have dropped. Also, Wentworth’s handsomeness counts as a plus in Sir Walter’s book.
  • Anne’s mainly worried about Lady Russell and how she will take the giant "I told you so" of her marriage to Wentworth, but Lady Russell is fortunately more concerned with seeing Anne happy than hanging on to a sense of her own righteousness.
  • Mary’s also happy enough with the marriage, so long as she can still look down on Anne because her sister doesn’t have a landed estate to look forward to.
  • Elizabeth, however, is not so much with the being pleased, especially as Mr. Elliot leaves Bath soon after Anne does.
  • But he doesn’t go off alone: he takes Mrs. Clay with him to keep her away from Sir Walter, though the narrator speculates that she might have the last laugh by getting Mr. Elliot to marry her, and thus becoming Lady Elliot that way.
  • Sir Walter and Elizabeth are not pleased to find out they were duped by Mrs. Clay, and miss having someone around to tell them how wonderful they are.
  • Anne’s only problem now is wishing she had a better social circle to merge with Captain Wentworth’s; while neither of them want much to do with her immediate family, Lady Russell and Mrs. Smith step up and become good friends of them both.
  • Wentworth even deals with Mrs. Smith’s neglected property in the West Indies, and Mrs. Smith manages to stay cheerful, despite becoming much richer than before.
  • And so Anne and Wentworth live happily ever after, with only the possibility of future wars (Wentworth is still a naval captain, after all) to worry about.