Monday, July 13, 2015

Persuasion and Prayers Read-Along: Day 6



Welcome back! We're on Day 6 and beginning Week 2 of the Persuasion and Prayers Read-Along! You can follow along on this three-week discussion of Persuasion and The Prayers of Jane Austen by checking out the read-along tag or by clicking the button in the sidebar.

Today we're going to discuss chapters 9 and 10 of Persuasion. If you came prepared, go ahead and share your thoughts below! Otherwise, feel free to check in later today after you've had a chance to read today's chapters. Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

P.S. If you're a blogger, please feel free to put together your own post using the button above and linking back to the Persuasion and Prayers Read-Along tag, if you'd prefer to participate in the discussion that way. :)

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Persuasion Chapters 9 and 10

Discussion Format: One quote to ponder, one observation, and one question for each day's reading.

Quote to Ponder

"This little circumstance seemed the completion of all that had gone before. She understood him. He could not forgive her, but he could not be unfeeling. Though condemning her for the past, and considering it with high and unjust resentment, though perfectly careless of her, and though becoming attached to another, still he could not see her suffer, without the desire of giving her relief" (emphasis added).

Honorable Mention (because I love autumn!):

"Autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which had drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling."

Observation

Well, well, well!

There's a lot that could be noted about these two chapters - such as the way Anne feels like she couldn't possibly guess Captain Wentworth's tastes now (but really, she understands his nature and preferences deep down), or the way that Anne is forced to endure her sister's and brother-in-law's musings on whom Wentworth will choose (with Mary throwing in that bit about young women choosing what's best for the family), or the interesting way things are resolved between Henrietta and Charles.

But really, I just want to talk about Wentworth. I hope you feel the same! ;)

Wentworth is so very determined not to give Anne any chance whatsoever of reclaiming his affections - and thus not allowing her the opportunity to hurt him again, nor forcing himself to swallow his pride. But I love how clear it is to the reader how very aware Wentworth is of Anne's well-being and comfort. His mind may be telling his heart to ignore Anne, but his heart keeps acting on his need to see her cared for. Can I get a collective *swoon*?

The funny thing is, when I first read these lines...

"The something might be guessed by its effects. 'Miss Elliot, I am sure you are tired,' cried Mrs. Croft."

...my immediate reaction was, "No!! How could you? I hate you!"

Yes, I was rather mean to Wentworth. I thought for sure he was just trying to get rid of her - I guess because I hadn't picked up from the text that Anne really was tired. But when Anne admitted that he had seen her need, and I read that lovely paragraph about "his resolution to give her rest," all was forgiven.

This isn't much of an observation, is it? More like gushing. Sorry! I guess I'm just observing that Wentworth's heart is betraying him, and I hope things don't go too far with Louisa before he realizes the truth. :)

(And might I add that Louisa's little speech annoyed me? *sigh* How do guys like Wentworth not see right through that?)

Question

I have to ask, because I love autumn and I love the theme of "seasons," what connections do you see between the autumnal setting of chapter 10 and the current state of Anne and Wentworth's relationship?

Giveaway!

Don't forget to log your giveaway entries this week using the Rafflecopter form below for a chance to win a hardcover copy of The Prayers of Jane Austen!

(Giveaway open to US residents only. Prize donated by the book's editor, Terry Glaspey. Thanks, Terry!)

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Which quote to ponder, observation, and question/response would you like to share?

Join us tomorrow to discuss chapters 11 and 12!

8 comments:

Julie said...

Quote to Ponder: "I do not think any young woman has a right to make a choice that may be disagreeable and inconvenient to the principal part of her family, and be giving bad connections to those who have not been used to them."

Oh Mary Mary, hates the pretensions that others put on, but she is the most pretentious of all. ha!

I also chose this quote which you chose Amber, "This little circumstance seemed the completion of all that had gone before. She understood him. He could not forgive her, but he could not be unfeeling. Though condemning her for the past, and considering it with high and unjust resentment, though perfectly careless of her, and though becoming attached to another, still he could not see her suffer, without the desire of giving her relief" (emphasis added).

My thoughts on Wentworth did soften a bit when I realized that he was only caring for Anne's needs. But from reading the text I didn't get the impression that Anne was tired until after this interchange.

I was glad that Henrietta and Charles worked out their relationship again. One less woman to worry about Wentworth being attracted to!

Question:


I have to ask, because I love autumn and I love the theme of "seasons," what connections do you see between the autumnal setting of chapter 10 and the current state of Anne and Wentworth's relationship?

I have no answer for this question. Actually I guess besides the whole Wentworth worrying about Anne's tiredness the rest of the two chapters kind of bored me. Maybe I just wasn't feeling it the day I read them, I'm not sure, but very few things moved me while reading them. I'm very tempted to get out the movie and see what happens! ha! I'll wait though for the movie discussion if we have one though :)

Sorry I didn't have more insights into this reading.

Amber Stokes said...

Julie,

Ugh, that quote... So frustrating! But a brilliant one to point out in regards to the pressure Anne was under from her family as an impressionable and naive 19-year-old.

I'm really glad you noted this:

My thoughts on Wentworth did soften a bit when I realized that he was only caring for Anne's needs. But from reading the text I didn't get the impression that Anne was tired until after this interchange.

Yes, I didn't get the impression she was tired, either! And thus my initial thought was that Wentworth saw an opportunity to send Anne away. Now you've got me curious...how trustworthy is Anne as our POV of the story? I don't mean that to say she's a purposefully deceitful heroine, of course! :) But I wonder if Anne so badly wants to see the best in Wentworth that she colors our view of him in a more favorable light than he deserves.

Maybe I'm playing too much of a devil's advocate! ;) But I look forward to your response to tomorrow's (today's?) discussion question, as your comment helped inspire me to ask it!

Anyway...

Yes, I'm glad Henrietta and Charles are back together, as well!

And no worries at all about today's discussion question! It's kind of a different sort of question, and maybe I went out on a limb in asking it. :) You know me and my seasons! Haha.

But I know what you mean; it's totally tempting to whip out the movie! So strange that I've seen two versions of it but don't remember much of either of them besides the impressions that come back from reading the book. (And seeing the movie pics on Pinterest and such, LOL.)

Kara and Courtney and I are currently thinking about trying Tuesday evening, the 21st for the watch-along ('95 version) - would that work for you?

~Amber

Julie said...

Oh sounds good to me. Remind me about the 21st the closer we get. ha! While I do have a Twitter account I am rarely on there. I know it is terrible but it is just one of those things I haven't gotten into. I've been posting about the discussion, but that is about it. I get emails when you gals comment and such but I don't go and read the news feed or the Twitter feed or whatever it is called. ha! I have enough distractions and Twitter and Pinterest are just 2 more I don't need. Anyway, all of that to say that I haven't been keeping up with anyone else unless they comment on here. I'll check and see if I have the '95 version of Persuasion and if the discussion will be on Twitter I'll definitely try to be there ;)

Now to read today's chapters so I can check out this question I supposedly inspired! :)

Maggie Jackson Nambot said...

"He could not forgive her, but he could not be unfeeling."

I love that line! It shows us how compassionate Wentworth is despite the fact that he has clearly not healed since Anne broke off their engagement.

And like both you and Julie, I was also mad at Wentworth for persuading his sister to give Anne a lift home. I was so confused, I had to reread that passage a couple of times to see why Anne was so grateful!

Amber Stokes said...

Julie,

Wonderful! I'll plan on including a note in one of the upcoming posts about the date and time for the Twitter watch-along. :)

I admire you for knowing what would distract you and choosing to avoid it! I do spend a lot of time on social media, especially Pinterest and Twitter... But I do enjoy the quick communication of Twitter and the awesome bookish convos we can have there on a more immediate level than the blog comments. :) Always pros and cons to these social media sites!

Anyway, I do hope you can join us for the watch-along! Kara and I always have a blast with those. Just be prepared for lots of flying quotes! ;D

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Maggie,

Yes! A man of compassion - even when he feels slighted - is greatly to be admired. :)

But I'm so glad you felt that way, too, about the abruptness of sending Anne away! The way Anne describes the situation, I totally get why she thinks he's thoughtful, but witnessing the scene as an outside observer, without the benefit of actually "seeing" Anne tire or show signs of fatigue, makes it seem a lot more like a convenient excuse to remove Anne from the scene. I wish we had been given a glimpse before then that Anne really was in need of rescue! *sigh* That would make me feel better.

~Amber

Courtney Clark said...

“Wentworth’s heart is betraying him” YES! You are exactly right, Amber. And I do agree that it seemed he was trying to get rid of Anne at the moment. But I guess she was fatigued!

A couple different quotes stood out to me from chapter 10:
“…she could not but think, as far as she might dare to judge from memory and experience, that Captain Wentworth was not in love with either. They were more in love with him; yet there it was not love. It was a little fever of admiration; but it might, probably must, end in love with some.”

This just shows how she could read his emotions and know there were no deep feelings of love on his part. And I just love the expression “a little fever of admiration” to explain infatuation or a crush!

And, a quote that continues in the same paragraph as the one you highlighted, Amber, “It was a reminder of former sentiment; it was an impulse of pure, though unacknowledged friendship; it was a proof of his own warm and amiable heart, which she could not contemplate without emotions so compounded of pleasure and pain that she knew not which prevailed.”

I’m right there with Anne. I’m not sure if I’m terribly happy that he was being considerate in rescuing her from the situation or pained at his fa├žade of being indifferent.

Another observation:
In chapter 9, we see that Charles and Mary think him marrying one of the Musgroves would be “extremely delightful”. It has to be discouraging to Anne to have her sister so thrilled at the possibility of having Wentworth for a brother-in-law years after everyone persuaded Anne of the opposite. Doesn’t Mary realize how annoying she is?!

To answer the question about autumn, I see this connection: Autumn can be a dreary season leading up to a long, harsh winter. This could be the beginning of a long, cold acquaintance between Anne and Frederick if he is to marry one of the Musgroves. (Thank goodness we know he doesn’t!)

Amber Stokes said...

Courtney,

Yes, I guess we're just going to have to assume Anne really was fatigued... *sigh* Glad you agree that Wentworth's heart is betraying him. :) Go, heart, go! LOL.

Those are great quotes to show Anne's keenness of both mind and emotions. That description for an infatuation/crush is perfect, isn't it? I'll have to remember it! "A little fever of admiration." :)

Also, what a brilliant observation! That Would be really painful, I'm sure, to see your family finally accepting the man you love - but for someone else.

Yes, let's not get started on Mary, haha. ;)

Great response to the question! I'm rooting for a short winter and a warm, bright spring!

~Amber