Like many of Austen’s classic novels, Persuasion is a well-written account of a family of girls whose life goal is to marry well in society. The Elliot family is headed by Sir Walter, the sole parent of Anne, Elizabeth and Mary (after their mother passed away years prior). The Elliot family needed to relocate from their home estate of Kellynch Hall to a more affordable one in Bath due to low funds and the poor spending habits of Sir Walter. The couple that rent out Kellynch Hall from Sir Walter are related to Captain Frederick Wentworth, the ex-fiance of Anne Elliot. There was a lot of typical love triangles and what not, centered around Anne who is distraught after she believes her Frederick is no longer in love with her and she missed her chance. She then is pursued by her cousin who has alternate motives, and eventually ends up with Frederick when he confesses his love to her –much to the dismay of her cousin.
I would classify Persuasion as supporting literary evidence for the marriage and family theme for our class. Throughout the entire story, the question of worth and provisions only comes for the women through their men –hopefully husbands, but if you didn’t get married, you were relying on brothers, fathers, cousins etc. The decision to marry and the pursuit of family were not usually based on love and desire, for practicality came before those things. Anne loved Captain Wentworth and was engaged to him, but her father saw the match unsuitable because the Captain was not wealthy enough or of high enough status. Anne continued to love Frederick throughout the years apart, and she was lucky enough to be able to marry her love in the end. That was less often the case, women married of necessity, whether or not love was involved. Late-marriage societies offered more choice in marriage selection for women, they were more independent and individually resourceful.