The criticism of His criticism In Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion. diction and subversive tone depict Austen’s disdain and disapproval towards the society. Sir Walter Elliot informs Anne and Mr. Shepherd about his irritation toward people who strive to rise above the society. He mentions how naval officer is a profession that transits “man with obscure birth into undue distinction” (Austen 14), and expresses his disgust towards the officers growing old in appearance sooner than any other man. Sir Walter declared, “l was in company with two men… Admiral Baldwin, the most deplorable looking personage you can imagine…
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I never saw quite so wretched an example of what a seafaring life can do… ” (Austen 14). Austen Implies the superficial nobllltles like Sir Walter Elliot who insist trivial matters such as appearance supplant other elements of a man. The diction includes “deplorable” and “wretched”, which illustrate Jane Austen’s perspective toward the members of upper class. She uses Sir Walter’s absurd contempt for the sailors to portray her contempt for the materialistic nobilities. hen Admiral Baldwin Is the “example of a seafaring life can do”, Austen portrays Sir Walter as one, too (Austen 14).
She sets Sir Walter as the example of what an overindulged life can do to people; they do not understand the torment of “toil and labor of the mind” as they possess the authority and wealth (Austen 14). Therefore, Sir Walter Elliot’s negative diatribe on the navy conveys Intentions and feelings of Austen towards the peerage. As Sir Walter continues on his anecdote to denunciate the social workers whom do not adhere to what he values, he asserts, “They are all nocked about, and exposed to every climate, and every weather, till they are not fit to be seem It Is a pity they are not knocked on the head once” (Austen 14).
Sir Walter who is on a highly acknowledged position would rather Judge an individual effortlessly through one’s physical appearance than recognizing their true worth. Jane Austen has included irony to reveal her opinion to the Judgmental aristocrats; she gives pity to the society wherethe foolish upper class men obstinately relate people’s quality with one’s appearance. While the workers were “exposed to every climate and every weather”, the prestigious aristocrats peacefully remained indoors with their luxurious benefits.
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Austen deprecates the society consisted of immoral nobilities; she believes the peerage Is a pity “not knockedon the head once”. She holds the opinion that the hollow nobility are not fit to be seen. In response to Sir Walter’s diatribe, Mrs. Clay begins off her return with a mild explanation of each profession and their loss of personableness on looks as they get devoted to the profession. It Is only the lot of those who are not obliged to follow any, who can live In a regular way… o hold the blessings of health and a good appearance to the utmost: I know no other set of men but what lose something of their personableness when they cease to be quite young” (Austen 15). Austen expresses her disagreement with Sir Walter’s shallow judgments through Mrs. Clays clarification on the relationship between “toll” and “mans look In regard of natural effect of time”. This strengthens Austen’s tone of disgust towards the wretched upper class; her attitude oward the members of the aristocracy is revealed through Mrs.
Clays subtle to rise above their status by praising the nobility; Mrs. Clay attempts to place herself with the level of Sir Walter. Another ironic tone of Austen is depicted as Mrs. Clay mentions a life of living in a “regular” way. This is ironic due to a well known fact that the nobilities of high society live in an distinguished way compared to the people in middle classed society. Austen stresses on the essence of appearance for the peerage to signify her chastising tone of the society where pride and self-admiration re the prominent traits of the nobility.
The prejudiced society where only the rank and superficial appearance signifies one’s reputation and quality was well illustrated in the story of Persuasion to emphasize the insincerity of ignorant and shallow- minded aristocrats. Until the society today, people cannot escape illogical Judgments only based on the appearance or the social status of a person. Bibliography Austen, Jane. Persuasion. 2nd ed. Ed. Patricia Meyer Spacks. New York: W. W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 2013. 14-15. Print.See More on Persuasion