There are two types of individuals in this world, male or female. The first category says, ‘Whatever I say is correct.’ The other category says, ‘Whatever correct is there in the world, belongs to me.’ …
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In doing so, Austen emphasizes that people depend on social conventions to make it through life; revealing that neither youth nor old age makes for a wise person. Although human nature may tend towards making mistakes, Austen suggests that it is not how old you are that makes for folly, it is whether you think you are always right. Anne Elliot and Fredrick Wentworth make mistakes and learn from them and Sir Walter Elliot and his daughter Elizabeth Elliot say and do foolish things all the time and never learning anything. Introduction There are two types of individuals in this world, male or female. The first category says, ‘Whatever I say is correct.’ The other category says, ‘Whatever correct is there in the world, belongs to me.’ The differentiation apparently looks so simple, but in reality it is profound. The former categories of individuals are egoistic. The latter are willing to learn from own experience and from the experiences of others. Sir Walter Elliot and his daughter Elizabeth Elliot belong to the first category and Anne Elliot and Fredrick Wentworth belong to the latter category. What is theory alter all? It is other man’s experience. A man of experience may not have academic degrees to boast of. He studies in the college of self-education, where his mind is his principal; his initiative, the professors; his hard work, the tutors. Such individuals have a measured approach to different situations in life. In “Persuasion” Jane Austen deals with complex class and gender relations related to the nineteenth century English middle-class society. An author, howsoever intelligently one may try, will not be able to sweep under the carpet one’s own life-experiences while penning the characters in the literary works. Jane Austen is no exception to this rule. As her career progresses (per se, she also attains maturity in her thinking with the advancing age) I am able to see a romantic shift in the feminist and individualistic ideology and she begins to show varying cognitive qualities in her heroines and other characters. She depends on her experience to portray her character’s and her heroines bring alive the prevailing aspects of feminism of the 19th century England. Actions are based upon emotions and the genesis of emotion is in the experiences gained in real life situations. One discovers one’s happiness and pursuit of goals by instinct and through the play of emotions. This perspective of life may be easy for the women of the 21st century. But Jane Austen’s heroines belong to the 19th century male-dominated society, wherein women have little or no voice to feel free, think free and to act free. To understand the correct meaning of ‘You Live, You May or Not Learn,’ it is necessary to study the outline of the plot created by Jane Austen in “Persuasion.” The implied meaning of persuasion is applying pressure to convince about something to someone. Here is the head of the family Sir Walter Elliot, who is not willing to listen to anyone on any issue and takes decisions that affect his three daughters according to his whims and fancies. Lady Elliot has died fourteen years ago, leaving behind the asset of three daughters. Elizabeth and Anne are single, but the younger one is married to a wealthy individual. Sir Walter’s lavish lifestyles, and living beyond the means to maintain the level of prestige, which he thinks he commands in the society, brings the family to a sad pass. When he is asked to prune his budget by a well-wisher of the family, Lady Russell, Sir Walters resents her counsel. According to him, he lives the ideal standard of life, befitting the essential dignity of the family, but the reality
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