英文学研究
Online ISSN : 2424-2136
Print ISSN : 0039-3649
ISSN-L : 0039-3649
PERSUASION : ロマン的情緒の揺曳
海老池 俊治
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ジャーナル フリー

1962 年 38 巻 2 号 p. 145-163

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Persuasion was published after Jane Austen's death, but the title was her own choosing. As placed at the end of the list of her novels, it seems to denote the change of her attitude. Jane Austen often uses the word "persuasion" or "persuade" in this novel, and especially the uses in III, iv, III, xii and IV, xi show the irony of Lady Russell's role-the motif of the novel. The subject of Persuasion is, like those of the other novels, "marriage," how a young woman, as a human being, develops her personality socially. The pattern of Anne Elliot's marriage, however, is not the repetition of that of Elizabeth Bennet's nor even of Fanny Price's. Her standing among her people and acquaintances, the Elliots and the Musgroves as well as Lady Russell and Frederick Wentworth, tends to a fuller and somewhat Romantic development of "personality." Anne Elliot is already 27 years of age when the story begins, much older than Jane Austen's other heroines, and pathos rather than humour is dominant. The outstanding aspect of the author's art is of course irony, and the modification of irony by pathos in this novel is very interesting. It implies a Romantic vein. Jane Austen uses here scenery and weather "to symbolize the emotions animating her human drama," as David Cecil says. A passage in III, x in which Anne takes a long walk with the Musgroves and Frederick Wentworth is "pathetic," and the "rain" image and its rhythm in IV, vii are emtional. The Lyme scene in III, xi is "romantic." The word "romantic" is used here for the first time sympathetically by Jane Austen, as Mary Lascelles points out, but the use does not much deviate from that of the eighteenth century minor novelists. Here appears Captain Benwick who reads Romantic poetry, but his eventual marriage with Louisa Musgrove sounds quite ironical, though the irony is not bitter. The novel seems to be rashly wound up. The relation between Mr. Elliot and Mrs. Clay is not fully convincing, and Mrs. Smith is simply a "deus ex machina." Jane Austen's new turn of mind and art, whether toward Romanticism or not, needed, it seems, more time than it actually took to express itself completely and harmoniously.

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© 1962 一般財団法人 日本英文学会
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