Gender in Persuasion College
Throughout Jane Austen’s Persuasion, observations arise concerning the differences between the two genders. There is an ongoing dispute between what is and is not intrinsic to one gender as opposed to the other. Anne’s observations on the matter often question the normalcy of what is accepted in her society. On many occasions she makes assertions based on her own experiences rather than simply accepting that there is a particular female or male essence. The theme of gender differences is most apparent in the discussion between Anne and Captain Harville in chapter thirteen. In this scene, they discuss their opinions on the fundamental differences between genders without restraint, allowing Austen’s perception of the controversy to be made apparent. Despite the arguments that are verbally made in favor of an inherent nature, Austen attributes the differences between the genders to their places within society and their experiences therein.
Anne and Harville engage in a debate determining which gender forgets love first and which gender loves the longest. They each argue on behalf of their respective genders, beginning with Anne’s opening claim: “We live at home, quiet, confined, and our feelings prey upon us. You are forced on...
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