Thursday, December 4, 2008

Book Review Contest: Persuasion (an Anonymous Review)

One of Jane Austen’s brilliant works of fictional romance, her last novel, published in 1818 after her death in 1817. The story is about love lost and re-kindled or recovered.

Eight years before the novel begins, Anne Elliot, the heroine of the story was to be wed to Frederick Wentworth a young naval officer with no fortune / uncertain prospects of succeeding in life. Anne’s father, a baronet thought the proposal was a degrading alliance while her friend, confidante and guardian Lady Russell thought it to be “a most unfortunate affair.” The two lovers were therefore facing forces they could not overcome. Led by duty to society, to her friend whom she looked up to as a mother and respect for her father Anne broke up the engagement. Heartbroken Captain Wentworth leaves the country to make his fortune, which he indeed does against all odds and the believe that he would not.

Almost after eight years the estranged lovers meet again, they both hope to be insensible to each other about the feelings of the past, they both feel they still love each other, but wonders if too much time has passed and they have waited too long to make it work. Anne now much wiser and realizing that she had been led by prudence in her youth and duty to a society segregated by class and standard of position in life realizes that she has leant that her love has never altered, she might have fancied herself over the attachment but in truth she was still very much in love with Frederick. She now longs to re-kindle the feelings of the past with the only man she thought most agreeable and whom seemed to be the only one that can make her happy and fortunately for her this man feels the same way.

Anne’s father now sees Captain Wentworth as someone who is worthy of his daughter because of his now achieved status in society, even Lady Russell cannot help but admire the man she had once thought of incapable of securing himself enough to marry Anne. The novel thus ends with Anne’s happiness secured with her true love Captain Wentworth, entirely breaking from tradition and social expectation of marrying in her own circle as has been expected.

Jane Austen in this book explores the injustices of pride, status, class and perceptions of society regarding these, with much humor and class to entertain the reader, and shows that with these perceptions comes a self recovery stronger than anything else. It is a beautiful love story, where action is based upon emotion, instinct and interest for one's own personal happiness that offers subtle and incisive social and moral analysis and keeps the reader hooked and it’s suitable for all ages

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