Body Language as the Catalyst of Passion in Jane Austen's PERSUASION

Jane Austen is well-known for her witty dialogue, back-and-forth banter between characters, and free-indirect discourse; yet, Persuasion is a complete departure from all of her previous works. Persuasion is a more ‘adult’ novel, with the female protagonist as a 27-year-old unmarried woman. Her once betrothed, whom she denied due to his lack of wealth and societal stature after persuaded by her aunt, has returned to her life seven years later. The lack of dialogue that ensues between these two characters throughout the majority of the novel creates a level of excruciating passion and anticipation that is palpable, and unmatched in any other work by Austen. Focusing on the sensory capabilities of the two characters creates a sensual environment where the body remains in the foreground. When reviewing Austen’s breach from the traditional overload of dialogue and new reliance on body language, the power of perception and keen sensual prowess, do we in fact have a more ‘adult’ geared book, matching her own age, and possible longing for more sensuality, and less games?

  • I would compare Austen's previous works to this novel to get a better sense of what has changed in terms of story mechanics. – BMartin43 7 years ago

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