Thursday, July 16, 2015

Persuasion and Prayers Read-Along: Day 9



Welcome to Day 9 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 15 and 16 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 15 and 16

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

Quote to Ponder

"My idea of good company, Mr. Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company."

"You are mistaken," said he gently, "that is not good company; that is the best."

(Side note: If that doesn't describe our #BookBesties / #InspiredByAusten group on Twitter, then I don't know what does!)

Observation

These two chapters show some interesting developments on the Mr. Elliot front... The man is a mystery!

As Anne points out, "She had the sensation of there being something more than immediately appeared."

I almost kind of hoped Mr. Elliot was keen on visiting the family because he knew Anne would eventually come. (Silly me - they never even spoke when they first me, so how was he supposed to know who she was?) But since that wasn't his aim...now I'm definitely suspicious. And I'm proud of Anne for being on her guard while still appreciating his friendship and attention!

I will certainly say this for Mr. Elliot: Regardless of his reasons for being there, I'm happy for Anne's sake that she has someone (besides Lady Russell, to a degree) to reach out to her and admire her while in Bath. Her family's selfishness is both sad and aggravating.

But with all this talk of Mr. Elliot, this little line must not be overlooked: "[Mr. Elliot] gave her to understand that he had looked at her with some earnestness. She knew it well; and she remembered another person's look also" (emphasis added).

Question

If you were in Anne's place, how would you get along in Bath?

(How would you handle the rudeness and peculiarities of your family? In what ways would you try to amuse yourself? Would you trust Mr. Elliot and seek to continue your acquaintance with him?)

Giveaway!

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(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 for a special discussion of one of Jane Austen's prayers! (If you'd like to read along, we'll be chatting about Part II of The Prayers of Jane Austen.)

4 comments:

Julie said...

Quote to Ponder: "Mr. Elliot was better to look at than most men, and he had no objection to being seen with him anywhere."

This amused me considering the one quote a few days ago about Sir Walter thinking that if another man had his hair done right he wouldn't mind walking out with him!

And then there was this gem: "The worst of Bath was the number of its plain women...He had frequently observed, as he walked, that one handsome face would be followed by thirty, or five-and-thirty frights; and once, as he had stood in a shop in bond Street, he had counted eighty-seven women go by, one after another, without there being a tolerable face among them."

Oh my, Sir Walter is so stuck on looks isn't he? If only he were as interested in their behavior and character. ha!

Question:

If you were in Anne's place, how would you get along in Bath?

(How would you handle the rudeness and peculiarities of your family? In what ways would you try to amuse yourself? Would you trust Mr. Elliot and seek to continue your acquaintance with him?)

I don't think I would get along in Bath at all. Especially having to live with Sir Walter and Elizabeth. Gah! That would be the end of me for sure! I think I would have to amuse myself with a book in my room! Nope, I wouldn't trust Mr. Elliot at all. There has got to be an ulterior motive for why he has shown up all of the sudden. I'd be very suspicious.

Amber Stokes said...

Julie,

Oh, that's definitely a little "gem"! LOL. Yeesh, this man! Makes you wonder how deeply insecure he himself must be, to always be belittling others and making himself appear so important (and good-looking)...

As for how you'd amuse yourself in Bath, I think stockpiling some books in your room and holing up in there for a while might be a far more agreeable alternative to spending vast amounts of time with Sir Walter and Miss Elliot. ;) And Mr. Elliot...yes, I also think there's good reason to be suspicious! I like the things Anne notes about him at the end of chapter 17, how he's "not open" and "she could not be satisfied that she really knew his character." Anne is wise to take those as warning signs!

~Amber

Courtney Clark said...

I picked the same quote as Julie about the very plain face Sir Walter saw in the streets! He is continually amusing. That passage reminded me of Mr. Collins from Pride & Prejudice a bit, how he prepared his compliments in advance :) He and Sir Walter would be best buds.

I'm with you all, I'm suspicious of Mr. Elliot's attentions. His abrupt efforts to befriend Anne's family (and Anne herself) make me want to caution them on what's to come.

As for how I would handle the time in Bath, I think I would spend a great deal of time quietly listening to others. One can learn so much from what a person reveals in conversation (like Mr. Elliot's motives?) haha! At least Lady Russell is there for additional company for Anne (even though I STILL don't really like her).

Amber Stokes said...

Courtney,

Sir Walter and Mr. Collins as BFFs - haha, that's perfect! Although I wonder if Mr. Collins would meet with Sir Walter's approval in the looks department. ;) As utterly ridiculous as Sir Walter's lines often are, they are indeed amusing (in a sad sort of way)!

Regarding Mr. Elliot...yes, one must always watch out for those charmers who seem so much nicer than they were before! I mean, we wouldn't want to doubt everyone who grows and matures and changes their ways, but I'd imagine it's good to be cautious with people like Mr. Elliot, who (as you noted) just pop up and desire the friendship they once spurned for no apparent reason.

I think you'd find a lot of hours of entertainment (as well as frustration, haha) listening to the people in Anne's company. ;) And yes, there is Lady Russell, for better or for worse!

~Amber