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ANTH 3030 Chapter Notes -Anne Elliot

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ANTH 3030
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Jacalyn Beales
Instructor: Gregor Campbell
ENGL 2080 (01)
5 March 2011
Persuasion: Pleasure, or Pain?
It is plainly evident throughout Persuasion that Austen’s characters are incapable of feeling
emotions singularly. This is most evident, pertaining to Anne Elliot and her love for Wentworth.
There is the idea that, in Persuasion, the characters cannot feel just one individual emotion; they
are often amalgamated with another emotion, usually of the same severity. Anne, for example,
cannot feel just pleasure from Wentworth’s seemingly small public gesture; she feels pain also
from his handing her into the carriage; though the act is public, Anne discerns a much more
intimate sentiment from it; thus, she feels both pleasure from Wentworth’s kindness and
affection, as well as pain from knowing his real affection lies with another woman.
There is also the notion present that, regardless of the past, Wentworth stills feels some sort of
emotion or affection towards Anne; at last being close enough to be intimate with her, Anne
convinces herself that Wentworth’s small act of handing her into the carriage makes definite all
of the feelings she had experienced, and the circumstances that occurred, prior to the present
moment. “She was very much affected by the view of his disposition towards her, which all these
things made apparent. This little circumstance seemed the completion of all that had gone on
before” (61).
Anne seems to be content however, with the fact that though Wentworth’s attentions are with
another (or so Anne and company seem to think), and though “He could not forgive her...” that
Wentworth “...could not be unfeeling” (61). Thus, Anne is happy with this knowledge; it was
“...proof of his own warm and amiable heart...” (61), and because of her love for him, Anne
cannot feel just one individual emotion towards her situation with Wentworth.And, “...though
becoming attached to another, still he could not see her suffer, without the desire of giving her
relief...” (61) this act of caring for Anne’s well-being gives her proof that Wentworth still care
somewhat for her being; she knows not which emotion triumphs over the other- pain, or