12:19:03 PM Jun 9th 2011
Something important to keep in mind: Anne does not defend her choice at the end because she now believes Lady Russell's advice against marrying a poor soldier was right. The novel does not support that at all. Anne defends her act of yielding to persuasion period; she does not defend the virtue of Lady Russell's advice (on the contrary, as far as Anne's concerned, "I certainly never should, in any circumstance of tolerable similarity, give such advice."). The Values Dissonance at the end of the book cannot be justified by finding merit in Lady Russell's advice itself; Anne, at least, has learned the opposite.
10:37:41 PM Mar 20th 2011
"Many critics, ex. C. S. Lewis, see Anne as a better-written version of Fanny Price." I'm unsure of how to interpret "ex" here. I would suggest that it might be less ambiguously rendered as "e.g." or "esp." (or just spelling the word you mean out, of course) but not being the person who added it, I don't know which.
02:09:41 PM Feb 24th 2011
A moral about the evils of extremes — being too obstinate or too persuadable is dangerous, and one must find a balance — would have made since, but Anne's speech treats the merits of persuasion as black and white. Always yielding to persuasion is right for a woman, she claims, and the text and Wentworth take her completely seriously. And Austen, unlike authoresses such as Louisa (lol) May Alcott, was not obligated by a publisher to alter her plots or characters to be in sync with societal values she herself may not have supported.
05:16:16 PM Feb 24th 2011
edited by Shoebox
edited by Shoebox
I'm not sure if we're reading the same passage, but I just now went back and checked, and as far as I can tell Anne only speaks of being right in being guided by Lady Russell, since that lady was in the position not only of a friend but a mother to her... fairly reasonable even by today's standards. She does go on to add that a sense of duty generally isn't a bad thing in a woman, but there's no indication that she's planning to jump off a cliff if a random bystander tells her to! Always yielding to persuasion would be an extremely foolish position to take, when you think about it. Again, I may be missing something, but I've read the book many times now and am still baffled — do you think you could point me to the passage you had in mind? And can I just drop a wee reminder that this is a collaborative wiki? That is, not exactly the place to be aggressively defending your POV from all comers? :)
02:42:30 PM Feb 25th 2011
It's that passage, and Anne's point is that the persuader, not the actual circumstances, determine the rightness of listening to the advice. That's the objective content of the passage, and it's ridiculous, as Elizabeth Bennet learned when she observed similar relationship interference. And if Anne even believed it, she would have let Lady Russell persuade her into marrying Charles Musgrove. If, as she said earlier, she believes that the rightness of a decision lies in erring on the side of caution and not risk, that has nothing to do with persuadableness, which would mean her lecture on the rightness of letting friends guide you is irrelevant to her choice. Add that to its heavy-handedness and lack of subtlety, and you've got the objective definition of Anvilicious. Its consistency with the equally unsubtle moral of Louisa's accident at Lyme erases any possibility that it's supposed to sound absurd or not be taken seriously.