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Persuasion and Parenting

In: English and Literature

Submitted By zm549376
Words 1392
Pages 6
Zach Metzler
Texts and Contexts
Professor Sorensen
April 2011

Parenting in Persuasion or Lack There Of Jane Austen is credited with painting "small cameos" of families in her novels. Yet within these cameos, it becomes clear that Austen had a clear understanding of family dynamics as we consider them today. The relationships between parents and the children have a major influence on the marriage choices that these daughters make. Austen's novels show parents whose parenting techniques often varied depending on the child. Therefore, some parents may act one way with the heroine of the novel and another way with the other children in the family. In her novel Persuasion, Jane Austen provides current day readers with a surprising look into the different styles of parenting observed during her lifetime. The novel follows the progressing life and romance of Anne Elliot, the daughter of a gentleman named Sir Walter Elliot. Though the novel seems to be a simple love story, Austen also comments on many social issues, including parenting. As 21st century parents, it is easy to get caught up in the media and child-rearing fads that pop up in the bookstores and magazines on a weekly basis since the media and such run our society. Sometimes in the midst of all the new styles and ideas of parenting, parents forget what it’s really all about: the children. One of the many things Austen points out in her classic novel is the parenting faults that were rampant in her time, and still are prevalent today.
The initial example of poor parenting is introduced in the first paragraph of the novel. Sir Walter Elliot is a single father with three daughters. His wife, Elizabeth, died 14 years ago, and with her death followed all of his love for two of his daughters. Sir Walter displays one of the most dangerous parenting faults: favoritism. He adores his eldest...

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