Discussion Questions– Persuasion

J3: Question One
Persuasion makes use of images of fall and falling. How do these images relate to Anne’s situation?
J3: Question Two
Anne and Captain Benwick (Wentworth’s friend) react to past losses in different ways. How does Rico’s chapter on the brain explain why these two people might react in different ways to loss or tragedy.View Full Description Hide Full Description
J3: Question Three
How do Anne and others react to the two accident that occur in this section of the novel? Do Anne’s reactions to these situations seem in keeping with her character? Why? Why not?

J4: Question One
Bath, the balance of power in the relationship between Anne and Captain Wentworth shifts.
How? Why?
J4: Question Two
Rico (105) suggests writing a guilt list and a blame list. Take any one character in Persuasion and create a guilt list and a blame list for that one character.
Do you think your character would have the self-awareness to compose lists like these? Why or Why not?
J4: Question Three
Compare Mrs. Smith’s attitude to her misfortunes to Captain Benwick’s attitude toward his misfortunes and to Anne’s attitude about hers.
What do their different attitudes reveal about each of them?

J5: Question One
The most famous act of persuading in Persuasion is, of course, Lady Russell’s persuading Anne to give up her engagement to Captain Wentworth. Look at one or two other acts of persuasion in the novel.

  • Who persuades whom to what?
  • Is the persuasion successful?
  • Are these positive or negative acts of persuading?
  • Is the persuader, right? Wrong?
  • How easily could you be persuaded?

J5: Question Two
Practice Rico’s yes/no “letting go” exercise (134) as any one character in Persuasion. Start with a yes/no word cluster, and then complete a yes/no word sketch for your character.
J5: Question Three
At the end of Chapter XX (127), Anne worries, “How, in all the peculiar disadvantages of their respective situations, would he [Wentworth] learn her real sentiments?” How does he? What does the way in which he discovers the truth reveal about Anne?

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