What happens when we dismiss love for ulterior motives? Persuasion by Jane Austin describes the situation through the perspective of Anne Elliot,, a middle child of an aristocratic family in England in the early 1800s. Some consider it Austin's greatest novel.
Anne is dissuaded from accepting Frederick Wentworth’s proposal of marriage because he has no social status and no money. Anne’s family and friends are very class conscious in a time when a woman’s place in the world depended more on her husband’s status and wealth than on her own.
Vanity trumps love and the novel is about the suffering that results..
The story is one that occurs in a historical context that society has evolved through and yet the back story about the importance of love in our life satisfaction and fulfillment is enduring.
Given the customs and norms of the times the story is interesting and believable. The characters are well developed and gain our sympathy and empathy. The moral of the story is not to let ulterior motives squash love. The question of love or money is as alive today as it was back in the 1800s.
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