Her pleasure (Anne Elliot) in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which has drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling. The Narrator on Anne Elliot, Persuasion, Chapter 10
Jane Austen’s poetic description of the waining season parallels Anne Elliot’s own reflections of her extant hope of a renewed romance with Captain Wentworth. After eight years he has returned into her life, but his interests are for a younger lady. This realization leaves her numb and introspective, acutely aware of her surroundings as she walks out into the country.
In many of Jane Austen’s novels we find that a walk by characters reveals through intimate conversation, or silent reflection a transition in the characters lives. A new detail is disclosed that takes the plot in a new direction. And so it is with Anne Elliot. She has begun an inner journey of reflection and discovery. We travel with her, patiently following.
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