Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Persuasion and Prayers Read-Along: Day 3

Welcome to Day 3 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 5 and 6 of Persuasion. If you came prepared, go ahead and share your thoughts below! Otherwise, feel free to check in later today or tomorrow morning 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 5 and 6

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

Quote to Ponder

"There is hardly any personal defect," replied Anne, "which an agreeable manner might not gradually reconcile one to."


In these two chapters, Anne's point of view and demeanor sure clash with those of her younger sister and her sister's acquaintances! I find much to admire in Anne's peace-maker ways and her meekness as contrasted with her family's self-absorption.

But I also find it troubling that Anne has resigned herself to being of little importance or notice to anyone beyond providing a listening ear. She suffers so much in secret, and I doubt that can last forever - or at least, I don't think it should. Almost reminds me of the lesson of Inside Out...but I won't say any more on that in case you haven't seen the wonderful new addition to the Pixar lineup! (We can chat about the potential connection in the comments, though!)

An additional minor observation: It's interesting how the word "persuade" is used several times in chapter 6. There's a lot of persuading going on so far in the story, both from outside influences and internal inhibitions.


How would you handle a visit to Mary's home? Would you lie low and try to keep the peace, or would you call out the petty grievances and detrimental behaviors of those around you?


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

Join us tomorrow to chat about chapters 7 and 8!


Julie said...

Quote(to ponder): "I cannot possibly do without Anne," was Mary's reasoning; and Elizabeth's reply was, "Then I am sure Anne had better stay, for nobody will want her in Bath."

Sadly that seems to be the mantra of this family towards Anne. What did she ever do to them to become their door mat? Her easy manner maybe has lent itself to their criticism.

In these two chapters we learn more about Anne's character. Her easy-going manner and her ability to "take" the slights that her family and friends give her. We also learn that she does feel deeply and is stressed out thinking that the neighbors will find out about her long ago affection for Mr. Wentworth.


How would you handle a visit to Mary's home? Would you lie low and try to keep the peace, or would you call out the petty grievances and detrimental behaviors of those around you?

As a sister I would probably have little sympathy for Mary's ailments. I'd probably tell her to "buck up buttercup" and "get over it" but I can be a peace-keeper as well. So it would probably depend on how fed up I got. I tend to be a listener until I can't take it anymore and then I blow. So I would probably listen for a while and then say alright that's enough, either you two work it out or I'm hittin the road to Bath!

I had to chuckle at this quote at the beginning of Chapter 5: "Sir Walter without hesitation, declared the Admiral to be the best-looking sailor he had ever met with, and went so far as to say, that if his own man might have had the arranging of his hair, he should not be ashamed of being seen with him anywhere."

Because the arranging of hair is so important...ha!

So yes, I am still wondering how Anne became the picked-on sister in this whole thing.

Courtney Clark (The Green Mockingbird Blog) said...

Julie, I totally agree about the "hair arranging" quote! That was very funny.

If I were to visit Mary's home, I hope I could be agreeable like Anne. I might have to tell my sister to get over herself, though!

A Quote:
"Anne hoped she had outlived the age of blushing; but the age of emotion she certainly had not." - Chapter 6 (this was one of those "aww" moments).

An observation:
It's refreshing to see that the children love Anne (nearly as much as they do their own mother). It seems that Anne's stay at Uppercross should be a little brighter due to the children and the happiness of the Musgrove sisters.

A question:
One paragraph speaks of Anne's musical abilities, and hints at a "short period of her life", other than when her mother was alive, in which she had "known the happiness of being listened to". I have to wonder, does it allude to Captain Wentworth? I hope it does!

Amber Holcomb said...


So sad! That definitely seems to be the general attitude of Anne's family toward her. And, as you allude to, we're told that Anne notices the slights she's given and yet suffers in silence.

One of my friends noted that a movie version of Persuasion can't do the book justice simply because so much happens internally - and from what I've read so far, I'd agree with that. Anne's feelings do run deep, for sure.

I agree with your response as far as being likely to reprimand my sister but then also having the tendency to try to play peace-keeper. Love what you said here:

"I would probably listen for a while and then say alright that's enough, either you two work it out or I'm hittin the road to Bath!"

LOL! Preach it, Julie. ;)

Also, the beginning of chapter 5 is definitely hilarious! The part about Admiral Croft's thoughts following Mr. Elliot's thoughts is hysterical:

"I thought we should soon come to a deal, my dear, in spite of what they told us at Taunton. The Baronet will never set the Thames on fire, but there seems to be no harm in him." Reciprocal compliments, which would have been esteemed about equal.

It's too funny that their "compliments" of each other are "equal" in level, given the context of their circles. ;)

As always, appreciate your thoughts!


Amber Holcomb said...


Totally funny! Glad that Julie mentioned it - because it's a chapter intro worth mentioning and chuckling over. :)

While I think Anne might hold back a little too much, I agree that she's a great role model for long-suffering and gentleness of spirit. Her agreeable attitude is definitely admirable. (Pardon the alliteration! LOL.)

Cute quote! I underlined it, as well. Although it makes me wonder how old you have to be to outlive "the age of blushing"? :)

I LOVE your observation and question! It's definitely gratifying to see Anne being appreciated by the children. She's someone they can look up to! And YES to that line about being listened to. It does seem to allude to Wentworth - and I, too, hope it's so! That means so much, to be truly listened to. It's a rare gift and something that can be hard to give or find, especially in the busyness of our modern lives. And Anne would cherish that gift dearly, I'm sure. Hoping she receives it again!


Unknown said...

I love Anne's patience and selflessness. She reminds me a lot of Elinor from Sense and Sensibility, and I try to be more like both of those characters. BUT, I am also a fiery redhead, so when one of my family members is being immature, I am pretty quick to voice my opinion. I have much to learn from Anne!

- Maggie @ macarons & paperbacks

Courtney Clark (The Green Mockingbird Blog) said...

I don't think we ever outlive the age of blushing! :)

Amber Holcomb said...


Yes, Anne and Elinor seem to have a lot in common! As you note, they're very patient with the drama around them and selfless in how they act toward others. And they both suffer in silence while they fear losing the one they love. :(

I can certainly be quick to voice my opinion, too! There's a lot about Anne (and Elinor) to admire and emulate, for sure. :)


Amber Holcomb said...


Agreed! ;) I certainly haven't yet!