Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Persuasion and Prayers Read-Along: Day 8



Welcome to Day 8 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 13 and 14 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 13 and 14

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

Quote to Ponder

"I am sure Lady Russell would like him. He is just Lady Russell's sort. Give him a book, and he will read all day long." - Charles Musgrove, speaking of Captain Benwick

Observation

Confession: I don't have a whole lot to say about these chapters. In fact, I read them rather late and got quite tired while doing so, which caused me to drift off for a time before finishing chapter 14. Nothing much exciting happened to rivet my attention. ;)

I will observe that there seems to be a bit of a theme in this section about personal tastes - from how one organizes their home, to what sort of person one admires, to what sorts of sounds one finds annoying or cheerful. There are differences of opinion, but that's just how people are. We're all unique!

And the characters that appear in these chapters are quite different from one another, but differences in taste don't determine the value of someone's acquaintance. Admiral Croft and Charles Musgrove - different as they are in personality and preferences - both endeared themselves to me in this section. Mary did not, but that's because she was acting quite needy and being intolerably rude in how she expressed herself and spoke of others. Yeesh.

As Anne notes about Admiral Croft, it's "his goodness of heart and simplicity of character" that make his company pleasant to Anne.

Not sure if I'm making much sense, but there you go!

Question

Here we spend a little more time getting to know Lady Russell. What are your thoughts about her relationship with Anne? Do you think she still holds power to persuade Anne in her life choices?

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

Join us tomorrow to discuss chapters 15 and 16!

6 comments:

Julie said...

"Oh! he talks of you, cried Charles, in such terms----Mary interrupted him, I declare, Charles, I never heard him mention Anne twice all the time I was there, I declare Anne, he never talks of you at all."

Oh Mary, once again you are a thorn in the flesh! She is so rude and honestly if I were Anne I'd probably have some scathing comment to make to her and then quit the place posthaste!

"I have done very little besides sending away some of the large looking-glasses from my dressing room, which was your father's, A very good man, and very much the gentleman, I am sure; but I should think, Miss Elliot(looking with serious reflection), I should think he must be rather a dressy man for his time of life. Such a number of looking-glasses!"

Once again Jane Austen's humor causes me to smile! I take it Anne's dad was a dandy dresser and liked to strut in front of his mirrors admiring his reflection. ha!

I have to say that chapter 13 entertained me more than chapter 14. So many amusing and serious conversations happened in chapter 13 and then 14 kind of lagged a bit. Yes, Lady Russell comes back on the scene. I'm still not impressed with her and I don't see how Anne could be so swayed by her to break up with Wentworth but maybe her influence is inferred rather than expressed in the text. Anyway, there were a couple of times that I had to laugh even during the seriousness of Louisa's injury. Especially when Admiral Croft exclaimed, "Ay, a very bad business, indeed. A new sort of way this, for a young fellow to be making love, by breaking his mistress's head, is not it, Miss Elliot? This is breaking a head and giving a plaster, truly!"

Question:

Here we spend a little more time getting to know Lady Russell. What are your thoughts about her relationship with Anne? Do you think she still holds power to persuade Anne in her life choices?

I'm not sure that Lady Russell can still influence Anne. While they are still close I think Anne has grown in the years since she broke off with Wentworth and I think she still has feelings for him. I think that if he gave her any encouragement that she would be his in a moment no matter what anyone says. She seems to have her own opinions now, even though she gets trampled on she seems to know who she is as a person now and will allow such trampling for a time. I think that she is stronger and more opinionated and independent than any of them know. At least I hope she is :)

Amber Stokes said...

Julie,

Mary, Mary, quite contrary... ;) Yes, she is very frustrating! I can't believe how unthinking/unfeeling she is around Anne. Is she purposely trying to hurt Anne, or is she just that desperate to have everything be about her?

And Sir Walter - LOL! Courtney found this pin that sums it all up quite nicely!

Admiral Croft is just great! There were some fun conversations in this section, weren't there? That line...priceless. ;) Go, Admiral Croft, in keeping things light!

Lovely thoughts about Anne. :) Yes, it does appear as if she has grown in her sense of independence since the break up of her engagement! I'm going to cheat and share a line from the next section (chapter 16), because it seems to align perfectly with what you're saying: "It was now some years since Anne had begun to learn that she and her excellent friend [Lady Russell] could sometimes think differently." That seems like a big step, for Anne to recognize and accept that they're not always going to agree or think the same way about something!

~Amber

Julie said...

LOL to the PIN. That made me laugh and yes, it does sum his character up quite well. I think you and I Amber enjoyed the same quotes!

Amber Stokes said...

Julie,

Agreed! And there are so many great quotes to enjoy in this story. :) Loving it!

~Amber

Courtney Clark said...

My favorite quote from these chapters: “One man’s ways may be as good as another’s, but we all like our own best.” (Admiral Croft).

Julie, your quote from Admiral Croft concerning Louisa’s fall was so funny! And the one about the looking glasses was too clever. Perhaps Austen was ahead of her times for humor, because I think it’s great!

I agree, there’s not a whole lot to discuss for these two chapters. It seems we are overrun by Lady Russell and her opinions once again! It’s interesting that Mary (and Anne) seek her thoughts on everyone else: Captain Benwick, Mr. Elliot, Captain Wentworth, etc. Who is she to have such a say?!!

To respond to your question, Amber, I’m hoping that Anne is developing her own opinions and perspective of things and not relying on Lady Russell. I’m thinking the way Uppercross and its returned noisy residents was contrasted with Bath’s city sounds indicates Anne’s noticing hers and Lady Russell’s differences of opinion.

Amber Stokes said...

Courtney,

That quote certainly rings true, doesn't it?

And yes, Austen's humor is wonderful! I came across a scene with Mr. Elliot being decidedly sarcastic (in a flirtatious way), and I don't know why, but it amazes me that some things really haven't changed that much from Austen's day. ;)

It is interesting how much sway Lady Russell seems to have... But I agree with you in hoping that Anne, while still being respectful and willing to take advice, is finding confidence in having and supporting her own opinion. :)

~Amber