アン・エリオットは本当に説得されたのか? ─ジェイン・オースティンの『説得』におけるヒロインの心理的自立の獲得について─アン・エリオットは本当に説得されたのか? ─ジェイン・オースティンの『説得』におけるヒロインの心理的自立の獲得について─AN00181081 Was Anne Elliot truly persuaded? : on the heroine's psychological independence in Jane Austen's persuasion
This essay on Jane Austen’s Persuasion examines how Anne Elliot overcomes the authority of Lady Russell who opposes her marriage to Captain Wentworth. As a baronet’s daughter, Anne must pay respect to the counsel of Lady Russell, who incidentally performs the role of the heroine’s dead mother and represents the established order of the landed gentry. The class-based prejudice which supports Anne’s conformity to Lady Russell’s conservatism gradually lessens its grip on the heroine’s mind as she gains a wide variety of experiences at Uppercross, Lyme Regis, and Bath. Uppercross proves to be the place where Anne senses the moral emptiness of the Musgroves as well as the captain’s unaffected sincerity towards her. Lyme Regis drives home to Anne the blind forces of chance when Mr. Elliot takes a fancy to her, and Louisa Musgrove receives severe injuries at the Cobb. Bath brings the grosser aspects of the Elliots to the surface when they begin to lead a gay life in the din and bustle of the city. The chance-driven story line allows Anne to meet Mrs. Smith, who exposes Mr. Eliot’s true identity and illustrates the helplessness of a lower-class widow. As Mr. Eliot’s desire for wealth is brought to light, Lady Russell admits that she has made a series of mistakes in choosing Anne’s partner. Despite the loss of Lady Russell’s authority, Anne still feels reverence for her mentor and remains on friendly terms with her upper-class friends. The heroine finally attains her psychological independence when she overcomes her class-consciousness and accepts the forces of chance which may change the course of her life.