Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Persuasion Isn't Perfection

This was the 2nd time I'd attempted reading this novel. For some reason I just couldn't get into it. I'd also watched an old BBC version of this book on screen and it was lacking. There just wasn't enough meat for me. However, if I am to claim that I'm a Jane Austen fan then I better read this novel.
It wasn't bad. It wasn't the best either. For me Pride and Prejudice is Jane's masterpiece. P&P is a book that you can't put down and the proof of the power that this novel contains is on bookshelves worldwide! There are so many spin-offs to P&P that it's ridiculous! I've read a few of them and honestly they're not that great. Anyway, back to Persuasion. I liked that this was a rather short novel. The heroine Anne, has a self-absorbed father that I find very funny. Anne's embarrassed by him and it's not hard to see why. Anne's father Sir Walter Elliot is described thus;
"Vanity was the beginning and the end of Sir Walter Elliot's character; vanity of person and situation . . . Few women could think more of their personal appearance than he did . . . He considered the blessing of beauty as inferior only to the blessing of a baronetcy."
I'm so glad that neither of my parents act anything like that. It would be very embarrassing and probably turn me into a self-absorbed snot too! The fact that the father spends more money than he earns is fitting. Although, being such a prideful person he seems to take their reduced income and removal of their grand home rather well. You'd think he would've thrown a fit or something, but it just seemed like a minor inconvenience.
If Anne were real I'm sure she would find my next comment utterly false, but I didn't find Captain Wentworth to be all that great. I don't think it was his fault though. It seemed that Jane spent more time on developing the character of Mr. Elliot (the cousin) than she did for Wentworth. I thought he could've used some more depth and dialog.
Persuasion is a quaint novel, but not a favorite for me. I enjoyed my time reading it, but I didn't find it difficult to put down (that's what determines if it's awesome or not). I rented the new Persuasion film version from Netflix and I can't wait to see how close it follows the book. What are your thoughts?


morninglory kitsch said...

hi, i'm new to your blog. i thought i'd check you out since you had used one of the blog names i had tried. i ended up with www.iheartjaneausten.blogspot.com
come over some time. i adore both versions of persuasion, especially the newest one. i relate very much to some of the story, so... but i've yet to read the book. (it's at the top of my list)

Anonymous said...

I love "Persuasion". This is my second favorite novel of Jane Austen. It was the first I read and I fall in love with it.
I also saw the most recent BBC adaptation of the novel which i guess was quite good although not entirely like the novel.
I agree with you when you say that Captain Wentworth should have had more dialogs, because we don't quite know how he feels until almost the end of the book, but you must do him justice, his letter to Anne Elliot was pretty romantic!
It’s a love story that talks about second chances and its heroine is a very strong character and a more mature one, if we compare with all the others Jane Austen’s heroines. But my favorite will keep being Elinor Dashwood.