Friday, June 19, 2009

A Struggle of Persuasion

I am currently reading Persuasion by Jane Austen. Last night I stayed up entirely too late nursing my allergies (so thankful for the 3 year old Breathe Right strip I found at the bottom of my toiletry shelf) and reading 30-50 pages. I will be honest, I'm not exactly enjoying the book so far. Normally, I love the way Jane Austen writes her female characters, but not Anne Elliot. So far on page 100, she seems like nothing but a big weenie to me. She is a complete departure from Elizabeth Bennett, one of my favorite characters of all time. She stands up for herself even if she is completely wrong.

You have Anne Elliot who has pretty much let other people order her around for most of her life. Her sister Mary (Mrs. Charles Musgrove) is a hypochondriac, spoiled, attention-seeking bother. Even her husband (Charles Musgrove) can barely stand to be around her, but of course Anne was her husband's first choice in seeking a mate. Then there are the Miss Musgrove's (Charles' sisters) pretty much Lydia and Kitty Bennett. The main pursuayer is Lady Russell, Anne Elliot's confidante, friend, but still ill-adviser. The love interest is a Captain Frederick Wentworth. Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot were previously involved with eachother, planning on an elopement (from what I can understand), but because of the persuasion and advice of Lady Russell, Anne called it off and lost her greatest love. The story takes place several years after this occurred, in which Captain Wentworth and Anne find themselves in close proximity for the first time since that event.

Unfortunately, I saw the movie before I read the book. The movie was a terrible BBC production, and the actress who plays Anne is ordinary with flat hair, no where near the beauty portrayed in either productions of Pride and Prejudice. The book reminds the reader that Anne was once pretty looking, but she now is a little worn-looking, and sad.

Anne Elliot with Captain Frederick Wentworth
I must say, Persuasion and I may have been doomed from the start. I hope it will get better, but right now I am just so very annoyed with the main character, that it makes finishing the rest of the book almost agonizing. I completley understand Captain Wentworth no longer having any interest in Anne. How would you feel if the object of your affection turned you down, and is allowing herself to be a pawn in somebody else's game? I hope I am proven wrong and that surely Anne Elliot will grow a pair sometime soon.

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