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Persuasion > Chapters 5-7

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 26, 2014 02:23PM) (new)

Sojourn in Uppercross Cottage


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 108 comments Mod
More humorous insights into Sir Walter's personality:

"Sir Walter, without hesitation, declared the Admiral to be the best-looking sailor he had ever met with, and went so far as to say, that if his own man might have had the arranging of his hair, he should not be ashamed of being seen with him any where; and the Admiral, with sympathetic cordiality, observed to his wife as they drove back through the park, "I thought we should soon come to a deal, my dear, in spite of what they told us at Taunton. The Baronet will never set the Thames on fire, but there seems to be no harm in him."--reciprocal compliments, which would have been esteemed about equal.

--which is to say, each would have dismissed the other's views as of no worth at all. :)

Mrs. Clay and Mary make their appearances. I think Chapter 6 is a very amusing and skillfully-done way of showing how differently people (who are or should be close to each other) can view the same situation.


message 3: by Hana (last edited Nov 04, 2014 04:16AM) (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
I loved Chapter 6 as well. Anne handles being stuck in the middle with a great deal of grace and thoughtfulness.

Ch. 7 is so painful. Anne's emotional turmoil is brilliantly done. "...a thousand feelings rushed on Anne, of which this was the most consoling, that it would soon be over." The moment of meeting--all those hurried half sentences--the one-M dash put to perfect use.


message 4: by Hana (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
I'm glad that JA shifted POVs at the end of Ch. 7 and let us get a glimpse of Captain Wentworth's feelings. He seems to have been more hurt than even he realizes and now he's shut her out of his heart.

How will they ever resolve this?!!!


message 5: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 48 comments Yeah, that's a crucial glimpse.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 108 comments Mod
Hana, is this your first time reading Persuasion?


message 7: by Hana (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
Yes--first time and I am absolutely loving it! I think I might even like it more than P&P; there is such delicate layering of emotions. It's very well done.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 108 comments Mod
How exciting--I kind of wish I didn't know what would happen, and when. We'll have to be careful not to spoil you.


message 9: by Hana (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
You're so good, Tadiana :))


message 10: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 69 comments The emotions are what gets to me every time I read this novel. I like it more than P&P. There's more depth.


message 11: by Hana (last edited Nov 05, 2014 04:18AM) (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
The overheard conversation between Captain Wentworth and Louisa at the end of chapter 10 was interesting. It's a particularly effective device since we can't be sure that Anne has heard everything--or heard the context, and we hear it through her ears and with her emotions.

CW to L: "Your sister is an amiable creature, but yours is the character of decision and firmness....It is the worst evil of too yielding and indecisive a character, that no influence over it can be depended on." Well that at least is clear--but I'm not convinced I completely agree with it.


message 12: by Hana (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
Is Anne really too yielding? She's certainly firm enough in her handling of her difficult father and impossible relations. She seems to yield when needed to keep things fairly peaceful, but to show a good deal of decisiveness when it's most needed (as in taking a tough line on the financial retrenchment).

If CW is thinking of Anne as he says the above I think he's misreading her--or at least not seeing her as she is now.


message 13: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 48 comments He is somewhat focused on one period where she was, indeed, too yielding -- at least in his eyes -- and even her own mature reflection has lead her to believe that she would have been wiser to persist.


message 14: by Hana (last edited Nov 05, 2014 02:00PM) (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
That makes sense, Mary, and it underscores the degree to which he must have been hurt by the broken engagement.


message 15: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 102 comments I've always thought that Wentworth knew that Anne was at least probably over-hearing his words, and he put the sting into them because he still smarted over Anne's rejection.


message 16: by Hana (new)

Hana | 78 comments Mod
Oh, Karlyne!!! That's such an interesting and provocative idea. I'm going back to re-read that bit.


message 17: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) I totally agree, Karlyne. It’s consistent with his telling her relations that she was so altered he wouldn’t have known her, which he must have known they’d repeat—he’s punishing her. But then, at the end of the scene, he feels guilty and kindly proposes that the Crofts take her up in the curricle.


message 18: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 102 comments And, before she actually meets him, she's worrying over the question of whether he will be indifferent or unwilling, the only two choices she can see that he'd have, because he has never contacted her since the broken engagement. In his shoes, as soon as the money was available to make a marriage possible, she would have contacted him.

And since he doesn't, I wonder if he completely missed the point of why Anne broke it off. On her side it was financial prudence, but he may have seen it as "a Wentworth is not good enough for an Elliot". And so he's still angry with her.


message 19: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 48 comments Karlyne wrote: " In his shoes, as soon as the money was available to make a marriage possible, she would have contacted him. "

Ah, no. It would be seriously scandalous for a single woman to write to a man when she is not doing so on business. Seriously.

Witness the point near the end of Northanger Abbey (view spoiler)

Note that later (view spoiler)


message 20: by QNPoohBear (last edited Nov 06, 2014 04:44PM) (new)

QNPoohBear | 69 comments Some parts I bookmarked as sticking out at me in terms of Anne and her character:
Ch. 5 "Anne had better stay for nobody will want her in Bath." This is just so horrible. They're MOVING and they don't want her help yet SHE is the one who proposed the move in the first place and would be the best person to have around. I wonder what this is doing for her sense of self worth? the Musgrovea are kind but they don't really appreciate Anne or know her very well. They take her for granted.

Mary cracks me up. She reminds me so much of my sister, except now my sister focuses her hypchondria on the kids. She's not as bad as Mary and I don't have Anne's patience. I think Anne is based on Cassandra. Cass was the patient, nuturing family member. Jane died in her arms and Cass was always the one called on to help with the babies. Jane liked telling the kids stories and playing with them but when it came to baby care, she wasn't all that interested. (I think that played a part in her decision not to marry. If she had wanted children, she would have stuck with Harris Bigg-Wither). Anne is patient, nurturing and kind. She's a little too patient. She needs to tell Mary to get over herself.

Poor Anne dreads seeing Frederick again. She is still in love with him though trying hard to forget.

I do think he's punishing Anne. He deliberately looks at her "THAT was in the year 6" and other references to that particular year in their lives. He loves her still but his pride was wounded and he won't admit it. So he's willing to flirt with the silly little Musgrove girls because they are the opposite of what he believes Anne to be. He doesn't really know her as a mature woman. His sister is a very perceptive woman. I think she thinks he's being stupid, which he is.


message 21: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 102 comments Mary wrote: "Karlyne wrote: " In his shoes, as soon as the money was available to make a marriage possible, she would have contacted him. "

Ah, no. It would be seriously scandalous for a single woman to write..."


No, Mary, what I meant was that if Anne had been the man in this case when she (I mean, he) made her(uh, his) fortune, she would have contacted him (no, her). And it was precisely because he was the man that she could not contact him.

I've always wondered how that renunciation played out. She obviously did not make herself clear; she didn't say, "Give me a call when you can support a family". And there was no question of a long engagement, either, which as Anne realizes later would have been a much better choice. I think she was so distraught that her mind was at least slightly muddled. And he was angry and hurt, which doesn't help the thought processes, either.


message 22: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 102 comments Qnpoohbear wrote: "Some parts I bookmarked as sticking out at me in terms of Anne and her character:
Ch. 5 "Anne had better stay for nobody will want her in Bath." This is just so horrible. They're MOVING and they do..."


Oh, I definitely would have told Mary to grow up and get over herself, too! But she wouldn't have heard any truth in it, and it would have caused a huge row with tears and recriminations. Shiver. I think I see why Anne was so patient with her.


message 23: by Candace (new)

Candace (cprimackqcom) In chapter five, I just felt that I got to know Anne and Mary a little better and their relationship.
Mary's greeting to Anne,"...I began to think I should never see you. I am so iII I can hardly speak......I do not think I ever was so ill in my life as I have been all this morning - very unfit to be left alone, I am sure."

The all-dutiful Anne said what was proper, enquired after her husband and boys,then, "Well, you will soon be better now, replied Anne cheerfully. *(Ugggh) "You know I always cure you when I come."

*parentheses mine

At this admittedly early point of the book, I am enjoying the characters but there is not one that I like, including our heroine Anne. She has no spine. Is easily persuaded to give up her own happiness for others. Goes, where she is told and gives no opinion of what she would like to do.


message 24: by Candace (new)

Candace (cprimackqcom) From P&P I remember the rule of society that the resident must visit the newcomer before vice versa. For example,someone from Lizzy's family had to visit Bingley before it was proper for the newcomer, Bingley to visit them.
So I am confused when a walk is suggested, but I think it is Anne that asks Mary would she rather "not like to call at the Great House before they have been to see you?"
Wouldn't Mary be the resident and the Musgrove in the Great House be the newcomers? Making a visit from Mary and Anne the proper thing to do first?

Also my note says standard etiquette dictated that when someone new arrived, existing residents should make the first visit."

What am I missing? (Because I know I am!)


message 25: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 69 comments Candace I have to look at the scene you mention and then I'll see if I can explain it. Mary is very full of her own consequence and ignores social etiquette a lot because she considers the Musgroves beneath her socially, though they are her elders.

It's not that Anne has no spine, she's an unmarried daughter of the house with no money and no prospects for marriage. She's a spinster and sadly that's the life of a spinster. Elizabeth is the eldest and still holding out hope for a good match with her cousin. Her father is so vain and passes that on to Elizabeth whereas Anne is more like her late mother - a kind and gentle peacemaker. Don't judge Anne by modern standards! Judge her by the reality for women in the early 19th century.


message 26: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 102 comments I think that Anne is a very strong woman; she has amazing principles and character, and she subdues her feelings because of her integrity and not out of fear. She acts on what she knows is right, not on hurt feelings or irritation or crankiness. Admirable creature indeed!


message 27: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 69 comments Karlyne wrote: "I think that Anne is a very strong woman; she has amazing principles and character, and she subdues her feelings because of her integrity and not out of fear. She acts on what she knows is right, n..."

Indeed! I agree with you. (view spoiler) She's actually quite remarkable for her time period. Elizabeth's snobby, entitled attitude is more normal. I think though this novel really requires an understanding of the time period to fully appreciate Anne and the decisions she makes. I highly recommend Professor Amanda Vickery's series At Home with the Georgians. I found some of it on YouTube and the DVD on Amazon. If you want to know what life was like for a spinster you must see this series.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 70 comments Candace, if you don't like Anne bec of spinelessness, I can't imagine your liking the heroine of Mansfield Park.

I think Anne was correct for the time period.

I think Anne understood her position in her family and in society as a spinster.

Spinsters of the time period would do just as Anne has been doing with Mary and her nephews.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 70 comments Poor Anne! Such sisters!

Elizabeth is more concerned and values a newcomer more than Anne, and Mary though more agreeable in temperament, is a drama queen and wants to be fussed over.

All I can think of is thank heaven for Lady Russell in poor Anne's life!


message 30: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 69 comments The Musgroves are kind to Anne even if they don't quite value her as they should. A spinster's life would be taking care of her parents and/or siblings' children, obeying her brother's every command (if she had one) and basically being an unpaid servant. If she was lucky enough to have some money, she might hire a companion and a small house in Bath or somewhere else spinsters and widows reside. She just doesn't have the option to stand up to her family and say "No I don't feel like taking care of your horrible sons, Mary!"

(view spoiler)


message 31: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 102 comments QNPoohBear wrote: "The Musgroves are kind to Anne even if they don't quite value her as they should. A spinster's life would be taking care of her parents and/or siblings' children, obeying her brother's every comman..."

And if she exercised that option, her life would really be miserable. Her parents, siblings, everyone, would feel entitled to harangue her on her lack of gratitude and proper respect. But I think one of the things I really love about Anne is that she is respectful because she thinks it's right to be so. She always takes the higher road, not out of fear, but because she has integrity and acts on it.


message 32: by Marquise (new)

Marquise I must say that I liked Sir Walter even less on his meeting with the Admiral. I mean, he suddenly decides Croft wears his hair handsomely, and that changes his perception of the man? Ah, en fin! Not worth bothering about.

On the other hand, I'm loving Anne more after this. I'm noticing in the novels of hers I've read that Austen has a pattern she often repeats: that of the "family of women" theme, in which you have this bunch of girls with very different personalities, and amongst them there's one that stands out heads above her sisters because that head on her shoulder is sensible, or she's the sweetest of the bunch. There's Elinor, there's Lizzie, and now there's Anne. Often, that sensible girl's character is highlighted by contrasting it to the sisters', which the author does for Anne here by way of having us readers come to see how vain and "unsisterly" (her words) Elizabeth is, and what a melodramatic and self-centred hypochrondiac Mary is.

I am rather surprised that Mary, being the youngest, is the one married and with children before her sisters, though I can see why it would happen that way given how Elizabeth is and Anne's situation (she refused to marry before). Still, I feel like Mary can get on one's nerves with her theatrical personality and self-importance, and I didn't like to see how she imposes on Anne to the point of abusing her good-naturedness. Anne, on the other hand, is alone, with no means of her own and no friends now that Lady Russell is gone, and she doesn't fit in with the Musgroves so well as to make new friends, so it's understandable that she'd be willing to do Mary's bidding, too.

Ha! Wentworth arrive well ushered in. He could've come amongst trumpets and fanfare for all the praise and name-dropping that happens for 2 chapters before we can see him. A trick by Austen to create expectation, clearly. At one point, Mrs. Croft mentions that her brother is married, and I was about to freak out thinking Frederick had married, then in the next line it's said Mrs. Croft has two brothers and it's the other who married. Silly me, it's the second time I fall for this trick; first time it was when I thought Ferrars had married Lucy for true in S&S. :)

When he finally sees Anne, it's so brief that I was protesting aloud! But then, we see it through Anne's POV, and for me it's easy to surmise what he'd be feeling. Poor Anne! To be so agitated, and then so relieved when he leaves and she thinks the worst is over, all will be easier from now on... only to be wounded by her sister's incredibly careless offhand comment that Wentworth had said she was "so altered" that he'd not recognise her. His comment in itself is neutral, in my opinion, but Mary added her own interpretation on his meaning, and Anne believes he doesn't have a good opinion of her anymore. This passage is sad to read:

He had not forgiven Anne Elliot. She had used him ill; deserted and disappointed him; and worse, she had shewn a feebleness of character in doing so, which his own decided, confident temper could not endure. She had given him up to oblige others. It had been the effect of over-persuasion. It had been weakness and timidity.


We'll see how this plays out, but it's clear that this is going to be The Unfortunate Case of 'He Said, she Heard' in the novel. Thanks for nothing, Mary!


message 33: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 102 comments Mary filters everything through herself. In some odd way, I think she thought that by Wentworth saying that Anne was "altered", it meant that he thought Mary was the lovely sister. We've all met people like that, right?


message 34: by Marquise (new)

Marquise Karlyne wrote: "Mary filters everything through herself. In some odd way, I think she thought that by Wentworth saying that Anne was "altered", it meant that he thought Mary was the lovely sister. We've all met pe..."

Indeed! And Mary's words have had an unfortunate effect on Anne, the result of which we can see in the next three chapters.


message 35: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 69 comments Excellent analysis Marquise. I never thought about the family of women. Emma and Northanger Abbey don't fit that pattern and Mansfield Park sort of does.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 70 comments QNPB,

I agree that Mansfield Park is a family of women. Maria and Julia are a contrast for Fanny. True they are not sisterly tears her, but they were raised together.


message 37: by Marquise (new)

Marquise QNPoohBear wrote: "Excellent analysis Marquise. I never thought about the family of women. Emma and Northanger Abbey don't fit that pattern and Mansfield Park sort of does."

QNPoohBear wrote: "Excellent analysis Marquise. I never thought about the family of women. Emma and Northanger Abbey don't fit that pattern and Mansfield Park sort of does."

Thanks, QNPB! Those I mentioned are the only Austen novels I've read, and that just pattern leapt out at me. She is very good with female dynamics within a family, portraying both very close sisterly/motherly ties and not so close, like in this one.


message 38: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 102 comments Having recently re-read Northanger Abbey and in the light of these comments, I'm going to blame Catherine's extreme credulity on her lack of sisterly ties!


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