When I got to choose to buy Persuasion, I really hadn’t options; it was the only Jane Austen book other than Pride & Prejudice available at the time. Nonetheless, that didn’t make it seem any less appealing. Honestly, the synopsis on the back made me think that the main character Anne Elliot is involved in something war-related. I was quite wrong, apparently; I have thoroughly enjoyed the book nonetheless.
Because Pride & Prejudice was my first classics, I wasn’t reading it quite critically and I wasn’t keeping an eye on style and things as such; therefore, comparison may be a bit unfair.
What made this book really interesting for me was Anne Elliot. When she first came up she reminded me a little of Jane Bennett from P&P, but as I went on with the story, I saw how and why she was different. Anne Elliot has known abandonment, she is not as pretty as her two sisters, and does not have the support Jane got. And the fact that the story is told from the point of view of the “underdog” is what makes Persuasion such a wonderful story and what makes it different from the two other Jane Austen books I’ve read.
Persuasion is not only about love. A huge part of the story has to do with how we, with a few things we could say –whether intentionally or not– can influence the course of someone’s life. It deals with how sometimes those whom we idolise and believe in the opinion of can lead us away from what’s good from us because no matter how much they know, they can never know everything. And because the theme of the story revolves around the impact of subtle implications, its writing itself was full of similar subtle implications. Therefore, the book showcased a wide range of emotions and attitudes; it had bitterness, kindness, humour, guilt… But none of these were particularly stated straightforwardly. And one of the main reasons behind that is Anne Elliot herself and her reclusive nature.
The male characters are all quite wonderful as well and their variety kept matters interesting all the time! There are many of them and the combinations, at some point of the story, were endless that I was really eager to see who’d end up with who. Some of the couples that came together shocked me because I really didn’t foresee them, but I was happy to have such strong emotions regarding characters in a classic. That feeling always makes me happy.
A memory I will always link with this book is that I was still reading it a few weeks ago when I was going to take my SATs and I’ve used one of the characters as an example in my essay. Scores still come out on Thursday (yup, Valentine’s) so I don’t know what impact that has made yet, but I was so elated to have been able to make use of Persuasion and its lovely, lovely writing and cast.
To be completely honest, I think I’ve enjoyed Persuasion as much as I’ve enjoyed Pride & Prejudice. I can’t be quite sure until I’ve reread P&P, but I do know I’ve really enjoyed this book and that I totally recommend it for anyone who’s enjoyed Pride & Prejudice.