Saturday, January 23, 2021

"After waiting another moment": The first focalization on Anne Elliot in Jane Austen's "Persuasion"

After Anne Elliot's first words in Jane Austen's "Persuasion" defend the navy, her second words identify a sailor, Admiral Croft, who is being discussed as a possible tenant for her family's seat, Kellynch Hall. But only in the setup of her third statement does the narration focus on her, when she identifies a name her father's agent, Mr. Shepherd, has forgotten: "After waiting another moment – / 'You mean Mr Wentworth, I suppose?' said Anne." So her first and second words are about the navy, but when the novel turns to her thoughts, it is also the first moment when the name of her ex-fiancé and future husband, Captain Wentworth, is mentioned. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 23 January 2021)

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