Society Modified

At the news of Anne’s engagement, Mary Musgrove typifies the reactions of a class entrenched in outmoded value systems and motivations of self-interest and wealth. She is treated with Austen’s typical satiric scorn as her petty and selfish concerns are listed with gravity:

"Anne had no Uppercross Hall before her, no landed estate, no headship of a family; and if they could keep Captain Wentworth from being made a baronet, she would not change situations with Anne"

Anne’s marriage to Wentworth therefore signifies an act of will to replace an outmoded way of life with a that of the navy; a reorganisation of social life and the marriage that ends Persuasion has been viewed as part of the revitalising of English society.

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