Considering the title of this article, you’re probably here because you either just watched Netflix's adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, Persuasion, or you’re a true literature lover who appreciates this brilliant writer and her novels. Regardless of why you’re here, which we totally appreciate, we’re going to list 5 lessons that we learned from Persuasion that empower women and unexpectedly blend with nowadays women’s issues.
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On a separate note, Netflix’s Persuasion was a major disappointment in our humble opinion. It is a 2022 modernized version of the novel, which has deprived the audience of the beauty of Jane Austen’s novels and the delicacy of the 19th century’s elements. Nonetheless, both the novel and the movie portrayed important topics and lessons that we will talk about in a second. That said, grab your favorite drink and get ready to understand the 5 lessons Jane Austen wanted us to learn from Persuasion.
1. No one should interfere with matters of the heart
As the novel’s name suggests, the protagonist, Anne Elliot, was persuaded to abandon the love of her life by her good friend because of his low social and financial status. After 8 years of separation, Anne never forgets her true love and actually regrets listening to her friend. Although Jane Austen didn’t specifically state that being persuaded is a bad thing, every one of us can tell how people’s interference in our lives can be a source of torment and agony, especially when it’s in matters of the heart. Therefore, you should never allow anyone to tell you who to love or influence your opinion about someone. You’re free to love whomever you want and your true friends can provide you with advice but never force or persuade you to give up what you’re most passionate about.
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2. Find the right man instead of creating the image of the ideal man
Everyone in Anne Elliot’s family was opposed to the idea of her marrying a man with no fortune or title. They had this picture in mind of the ideal man that should make the perfect husband. She didn’t even have a say in the matter! Unfortunately, some of our parents still have the same mindset in regards to their daughters’ future husbands even though it’s been two centuries since. Jane Austen wants every woman to follow her heart and find the right man that will make a good husband and a great father. Money, prospects, and titles weren’t, aren’t, and will never be the measurements that should be sought after when it comes to marriage. The right man is the person with whom you find peace, harmony, and contentment in his presence. He’s not ideal since he has flaws, but these flaws make him the person he is. Undoubtedly, there isn’t a flawless person in this entire world, is there?
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3. A woman without a husband is not a problem to be solved
This is probably the most well-thought-out, well-written, and well-said sentence in Persuasion. It was said by a woman whose husband suggested that he knows someone who might make an excellent husband for Anne, who’s naturally unmarried at the age of 27. To this day, elders still consider unmarried women who are over 25 a shame as if marriage is a trophy or an accomplishment that every girl should pursue and obtain. While we always support happy marriages and harmonious relationships, not getting married is never a problem and unmarried women are as accomplished, successful, and happy as any other person. Marriage is not a target; it is a choice and result of a good relationship with the right man.
4. Supportive family system
Unfortunately, one of the things that Anne Elliot never had was a supportive family. After her mom’s death, she’s left with three self-centered, narcissist family members, her two sisters and her father. Not only were they obsessed with themselves and their needs, but they also opposed her getting married to her true love and persuaded her to give him up. We believe that Jane Austen would want every woman to respect their family but never let them control her life or make major decisions for her. Moreover, if you’re a mother, make an effort to support your kids. Don’t be a self-centered or controlling parent; otherwise, your kids may repel you and end up doing what they want eventually.
5. Don’t trust a 10!
Although in the 19th century people didn’t use to rate each other, in Netflix’s Persuasion, Anne Elliot said, “he’s a ten; I don’t trust a ten!” about Mr. William Elliot. Well, a 10 in today’s slang means perfection and Anna has every right to say that she doesn’t trust him, nor should you. When you meet someone whom you may think is “flawless” or “perfect,” please think again. No one is perfect; there certainly are traits and flaws that shape everyone’s personality. Don’t be deceived by proper manners, well-spoken words, or good looks. There is always a thing or two that makes a person not competent enough to reach a 10.
Finally, whether you read the novel or watched any version of the movie, Persuasion is a great literary work that contains plenty of morals that are read between the lines. If you haven’t read the book or watched the movie, we suggest that you do and share your opinion with us.