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Persuasion Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 80 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Persuasion.
This section contains 655 words
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Themes

Class Consciousness

The predominant theme in Persuasion focuses on the consciousness of class. Austen defines one main social division—the landed gentry of the upper-middle class—through her realistic portrayals of the Elliot family and those who travel in their sphere. She notes the traditions of this structured social group as well as its restricted vision of those outside the group. The ladies and gentlemen of the landed gentry, as represented by Sir Walter, depend on social hierarchies to ensure their superiority over the lower classes. Sir Walter's favorite pastime is to pore over the Baronetage, reminding himself of his exalted social position. The pride he takes in this position has degenerated into an inflated vanity and aesthetic sense, as he can appreciate only things that, like his own visage, please his eye.

His sense of superiority translates into an arrogance directed at those in lower classes who are...

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This section contains 655 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Persuasion Study Guide
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Persuasion from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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