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Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and Worldly Realism$
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Pam Morris

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474419130

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474419130.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Persuasion: Fellow Creatures

Persuasion: Fellow Creatures

(p.139) Chapter 5 Persuasion: Fellow Creatures
Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and Worldly Realism

Pam Morris

Edinburgh University Press

Persuasion overtly foregrounds the self as embodied: physical accidents and sickness are recurrent. Sir Walter Eliot’s belief in the time-defying bodily grace of nobility is subject to Austen’s harshest irony. The transition from vertically ordered place to horizontal space in Persuasion is more extreme than in any other of the completed novels. Anne Elliot’s movement from social exclusiveness to socially inclusive possibility allows Austen to challenge gender and class hierarchies traditionally held to be inborn. Her writerly experimentation expands the possibilities of narrative perspective to encompass the porous boundaries of the physical, the emotional and the rational that constitute any moment of consciousness. Her focalisation techniques in the text look directly towards Woolf’s stylist innovations. A chain of references to guns and shooting gathers into the novel contentious contemporary discursive networks on class relations, notions of masculinity and the nature of creaturely life.

Keywords:   embodied self, narrative perspective, focalisation, consciousness, gender, class relations, guns

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