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Class and Money in Jane Austen's 'Persuasion'


In almost all of the novels written by Jane Austen one clear issue is the cultural class. This topic becomes relevant in her novels because, in that way, readers can know how society was structured in the later 18th and the early 19th centuries when Austen resided. In the examined e book of the course, Persuasion, the topics of social category and money are important to understand the behavior of the heroes through the novel and exactly how, as the story progresses, a few of the main individuals change their views adapting those to the circumstances.

In this essay, I will make an examination of the thoughts of two characters with regards to social category and money and how these thoughts change to others totally opposed throughout the reserve. The individuals that I'll analyze are Sir Walter Elliot and Mr Elliot who are the ones where the change of brain is actually.

First of most, I am going to start discussing Sir Walter and his thoughts that course is superior to money by making reference to the book. The book begins by saying that "Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own leisure, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one;. . . he could read his own record with an interest which never failed - this was the page at which the favourite size always exposed" (p. 3). It is clear that only by reading the start of the novel, viewers can know how important social category is to Sir Walter because the passing says that he is able to spend lots of time reading his own position in population.

Also, the first chapter shows the vanity in Sir Walter. This is observed in the phrase "vanity was the beginning and the end of Sir Walter Elliot's persona" (p. 4) which explains itself how his personality is and how his rules are.

Moreover, his family's position and name is very important for Sir Walter and the beginning of the booklet is packed with examples that can establish it. One of these is when he discusses his daughters as though they can truly add name to the position of the family by obtaining a good man who belongs to an excellent family and therefore raise its name. To begin with, he makes reference to his little girl, Mary, when he offers her to the Baronetage writing her relationship with Charles Musgrove. Sir Walter says that Mary only "acquired a little unnatural importance, by becoming Mrs Charles Musgrove" (p. 5). Later, he discusses Elizabeth, his elder daughter, who still has the potential to marry well and, for that, is a lot more valued by her dad. Finally, he makes reference to Anne who's treated badly by Sir Walter because he thoughts that Anne is a lost cause as well as for him "she was only Anne" (p. 5). So, with all this information, the final outcome is that the love and treatment Sir Walter provides to his daughters will depend on what they add or could enhance the social status of the family.

Another example where Sir Walter favours course over money is in relation to his financial situation. Lady Russell presents an idea which consists on apply a far more controlled technique to solve Sir Walter's money, but he refuses and finally he decides to go to Bathtub and hire Kellynch Hall because, by doing this, he considers that he can still maintain his image. In other words, if he remains in his house managing the amount of money he spends, every person would notice that Sir Walter went through financial problems. Other issue pertaining to this financial problem is that, rather than selling the home, he prefers to lease it; that is, he prefers to mortgage the capabilities he has but he never would sell them. All of this is a proof of how he considers money inferior compared to class because he thinks it is worst that individuals know his problems than having them. Coming to this point, it is necessary to speak about who rent the home because, obviously, the person who rents it cannot be nobody but, at exactly the same time, he cannot be better than Sir Walter in population as it is obviously defined in the following quotation "I've let my house to Admiral Croft, would appear extremely well; completely better than to any mere Mr. . . An admiral talks his own consequence, and, at the same time, can't ever make a baronet look small. . . " (p. 21).

In addition, visitors can easily see in Sir Walter's frame of mind on the Navy that he prefers the traditional upper classes predicated on inherited headings to the new ones who work to get money and social status. Sir Walter uses the expression "persons of obscure beginning into undue distinction" to identifies people who earn their profit the Navy and, also, he says that the Navy "increases men to honours which their fathers and grandfathers got never dreamt of" (p. 17).

Furthermore, the importance of class sometimes appears in the way Sir Walter talks about Bathroom when Anne comes to Camden Place. He says about his house that is "undoubtedly the best in Camden Place" which "their acquaintance was exceedingly sought after" (p. 119). In both sentences above, it is clear that the thing important to Sir Walter in Bath is what people thinks about him and his family and, clearly, to keep a cultural status, although he previously to leave Kellynch Hall for his bad current economic climate. Also, the cousins of Sir Walter get there to Bath and that simple truth is other example of how important is the school for him because they are people of higher social status and the cable connections with them will be good for his family. It happens another issue with regards to the entrance of his cousins when Anne makes a decision to visit an old good friend called Mrs Smith, who's a widow, instead of choosing her dad and Elizabeth to go to the Dalrymples. With regards to that, Sir Walter says "A Mrs Smith. A widow Mrs Smith; And who was her husband? One of the five thousand Mr Smiths whose brands should be met with just about everywhere?" (p. 136). With this talk, Sir Walter shows his displeasure for people of lower course than his own and, also, that he values more contacts with upper class people than camaraderie because he attempts to persuade Anne to cancel her meeting with Mrs Smith.

Arriving at that point, it's time to talk about the change of thought that occurs to Sir Walter in relation to social course and money. So far I have been spoken of the importance of public classes for him, however when he complies with in a concert with his cousins and Captain Wentworth, who attained his fortune by spending so much time, gets there Sir Walter and shows his reputation of him. At the beginning of the book, Sir Walter dislikes Captain Wentworth because he get his money working and he hasn't inherited title, and in that way, Captain Wentworth becomes a fresh rich man, that is a person who does not deserve to be part of upper classes relating to Sir Walter as it is point out when I discuss his opinion about Navy in webpage three. In the last chapter of the e book is where readers can see the entire change of brain that Sir Walter has towards Captain Wentworth, where Sir Walter will go of convinced that marrying his child Anne, Captain Wentworth would be "an extremely degrading alliance" to consider him "very definately not thinking it a poor match on her behalf" (pp. 23-216). This may be considered as a turning point in Sir Walter because he leaves his prejudices and his awareness of classes.

The second persona that I am going to evaluate is Mr Elliot, who considers money more important than a subject in his children but his attitude change when he occurs to Shower. When Mr Elliot is unveiled, readers don't have much information about him and in the last chapters is when people learn about this identity by the information that Mrs Smith provides to Anne.

Mr Elliot, " replied Mrs Smith, "at that period of his life, possessed one object because: to make his fortune, and by a fairly quicker process than regulations. He was decided to make it by matrimony. He was motivated, at least, never to mar it by an imprudent matrimony; and I know it was his opinion (whether justly or not, of course I cannot decide), that your daddy and sister, in their civilities and invitations, were planning a match between the heir and the dude, and it was impossible that such a match must have responded to his ideas of wealth and independence. That was his motive for drawing back again, I can assure you. (p. 175)

In the event above, it is clear the particular motives of Mr Elliot are when he was young; he wished to make money no matter what by marrying a suitable girl. He does not expect if the lady belonged to a high social course or if her family possessed a whole lot of game titles, his only interest was money as it is shown in the next paragraph;

Money, money, was all that he sought. Her father was a grazier, her grandfather have been a butcher, but that was all nothing at all. She was an excellent woman, had got a good education, was brought forward by some cousins, tossed by chance into Mr Elliot's company, and fell deeply in love with him; and not a problem or a scruple was there on his area, with respect to her beginning. All his extreme caution was put in in being secured of the real amount of her bundle of money, before he determined himself. (p. 176)

In addition, it is clear in the e book that Mr Elliot is not interested in his future inheritance except from Kellynch Hall which can get money of it. Also, in a notice that he had written to his good friend, Mrs Smith's late spouse, expresses his displeasure for his surname and he says that he wished he had any name rather than Elliot.

But there are two plainly situations where he changes his attitude towards social school. One of them is in the debate with Anne about the Dalrymples and the other situation is when he requires Mrs Clay to London and installs her in a residence there.

In relation to the first situation, the dialog that Anne and her cousin maintain is:

"My idea of good company, Mr Elliot, is the business of ingenious, well-informed people, who've significant amounts of conversation; that is exactly what I call good company. "

"You are mistaken, " said he delicately, "that is not good company; that is the best. Good company requires only delivery, education, and manners, and with regard to education is not very nice. Delivery and good manners are crucial. . . (p. 130)

The idea of this passage is the fact Mr Elliot considers that individuals should socialize with other people who have an equal or superior position to them, but in contrast, he cases that the best company is smart visitors to have interesting discussions. The next situation is relevant to the fact that he eliminates Mrs Clay to avoid a possible proposal with Sir Walter and the likelihood that he does not inherit his lot of money if they own an heir.

In conclusion, with all the information given above, this is a clear fact that these two individuals change their head and their principles in relation to money and interpersonal class. Sir Walter, at the start of the book, thought that interpersonal position is more important than money as people can easily see in the situations which i explain; for example, his attitude towards his daughters, his thoughts about the Navy or his interest of maintain his reputation when he discovers his financial problems. But, by the end, occurs a turning point when Sir Walter shows his recognition for Captain Wentworth and he approves the engagement with Anne.

On the other side, Mr Elliot in his junior thought that money is more important than sociable category but with both situations discussed in page six, the conversation with Anne about the Dalrymples and the situation regarding Mrs Clay, he changes his frame of mind.

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