Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Austen in August Read-Along: Part 2 of 3

This year I am participating in the Austen in August event 
hosted by Misty at The Book Rat

Today I am posting my thoughts on the middle of Persuasion, chapters 8 - 18.

Now that we've gotten to know most of them a bit, discuss the side characters: who is your favorite? least favorite? Were there things Austen did with these side characters that you absolutely loved or hated?
Mary is by far my favorite side character; I find her hilarious in all her shallowness. She is just so ridiculous. The narrator's voice for her is also just perfect. The chapter where Anne switches between Mary complaining about everyone else and everyone else complaining about her was one of my favorites so far. I also really enjoy hearing about Captain Bennick. Although I know Anne is going to end up with Wentworth, I wouldn't be unhappy to see more of Bennick. 

As Anne and Wentworth are thrown together more and more, how do you feel about the fact that they never address their shared history? Do you find either to be irrational or unjust in not being open with the other and broaching the topic? Do you find Anne too self-sacrificing?
I haven't noticed it much, but now that I am thinking back, it does seem a little odd that they would not mention the past at all. I had just assumed that because they were almost always in a group, it would not have been appropriate to broach the topic. I consider it understandable that they wouldn't talk about what had happened. I could certainly put myself in those shoes. And yes, I think Anne is far too self-sacrificing. Stop being a doormat, Anne!

Is there ever a time you dislike Capt. Wentworth? Were you put off by his treatment of Anne?
Hmmm... not really. Should I be?

Discuss the incidents at Lyme; consider Louisa's fall from the cob and Wentworth's subsequent praise of Anne, the appearance of Mr Elliot and his reaction to Anne (and Wentworth's reaction to him), etc.
This part of the book seems to be where most of the action begins. In Lyme especially, the redaer begins to see the intricate politics of the whole situation, how everyone is working around everyone else to get what they want. Also, Anne and the reader both finally get some insight into Wentworth's character. He's finally becoming the hero we've been waiting for. 

Discuss Anne's arrival in Bath, considering the continued presence of Mr Elliot, Anne's reaction to her family and the way she begins to distance herself from them and stand up for herself more than she has been known to do.
Thank goodness that Anne begins to have some growth here. Being the reasonable sister is all very well and good, but now that she is getting some backbone, she is a much more interesting character. At this point in the story, I am absolutely riveted. Even though I know how the story will end, I can't wait to see how it all plays out. 

Are you participating in Austen in August?
Have you read Persuasion? Tell me what you think!

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