Discussion Questions: Persuasion

March 9, 2010 at 12:10 am 5 comments

Hello, Classics Challengers! This week, we’re reading Persuasion, Jane Austen’s last complete novel. While Sense and Sensibility has been my favorite Austen for a while now, Persuasion is quickly eclipsing it in my mind. Remember, our discussion post will be on Thursday, and all participants will be entered in next month’s drawing for a Penguin Clothbound Classic. Here’s what we’ll be talking about on Thursday:

First and foremost, let’s discuss Frederick Wentworth. Do you see him as a typical Austen hero along the lines of Edward Ferrars, Fitzwilliam Darcy, etc., or is he more distinct? If you see him as different, please discuss why.

Like Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion‘s main theme is hinted at by the title. How is the act of persuasion seen as a double-edged sword in the novel? What defines just and unjust means for wielding this rhetorical weapon?

The issues of rank and social mobility lurk behind the more central themes in this novel; think Sir Elliot and his maintaining what he sees as a fitting lifestyle, or the Musgrove cousins who are a class below Henrietta and Lousia, or Wentworth himself. How does Austen feel about rank in general, do you think? How can you discern (or can you discern) her opinion on the matter?

Thanks, Challengers, and I’ll see you on Thursday!

– KT

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Entry filed under: LT Classics Challenge. Tags: , , , .

Weekly Geeks: What is it about “that” author? When can you say you “read” something?

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Corey  |  March 9, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Wow, timely. I actually forgot that Persuasion was the book this week and started rereading it for kicks. Perfect timing! Great questions, by the way. See you Thursday!

    Reply
    • 2. KT  |  March 9, 2010 at 10:36 pm

      Aw, thanks! I tried hard this week — you should see my copy of Persuasion. There are color-coded post-it flags everywhere. Not as bad as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, but what could be?

      Reply
      • 3. Corey  |  March 10, 2010 at 6:45 am

        You should post a picture on Thursday! Your post-it-addled books are amazing!

        And I just finished it last night and it is still so my fav Austen. It just makes me all warm and fuzzy and happy. :)

        Reply
      • 4. KT  |  March 10, 2010 at 6:44 pm

        Oh. Man. Just finished Persuasion, and it is every bit as good as you have said! Poor Marianne Dashwood — Anne Elliot has totally stolen her place in my heart :\

        Reply
      • 5. Corey  |  March 10, 2010 at 7:54 pm

        Yay! I’m so glad you agree! No one seems to talk about it very much, so I was starting to think it was just me!

        Reply

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