Sample questions

1.    How do you think Anne Elliot's character has been shaped by her broken relationship with Captain Wentworth?

2.    What is Jane Austen's opinion of Sir Walter and how does she convey this in the text?

3.    Describe the relationship between Sir Walter and Lady Russell. In what ways is Lady Russell aligned with him? How does this affect our sympathy for her as a character?

4.    Examine the various meanings of the word ‘persuasion' and how Jane Austen develops this theme in Persuasion.

5.    What is the relationship in Persuasion between the theme of money and the theme of marriage?

6.    Describe the narrative techniques Jane Austen uses to present Anne Elliot's consciousness in Persuasion.

7.    What is the role of William Elliot in the reawakening relationship between Captain Wentworth and Anne?

8.    To what extent does Persuasion support the prevailing attitudes to the old social order versus the upward mobility of the professional classes?

9.    How is the Royal Navy portrayed in Persuasion? What are the reasons for this?

10.    Compare and contrast the character of Mrs. Smith with that of Anne Elliot.

11.    What is the relationship between the various settings in Persuasion and the development of the plot?

12.    What is meant by Jane Austen's ‘economy of style'? Examine how this describes the style of Persuasion

13.    ‘Anne's mental life is tremulous with passion.' Discuss Austen's characterisation of Anne in the light of this comment.
14.    In what ways does the episode in Lyme Regis contribute to the structure and development of the novel as a whole?
15. Examine Austen's presentation of the ways in which women are viewed in Persuasion. Consider a) how Austen's narrative methods contribute to this presentation and b) the influence on the novel of the context in which it was produced.
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