Darkness and light

Many of the themes in Persuasion are expressed as dualities. Dualities are the two sides of the same theme. These sides are expressed as opposites that are often in conflict, but Jane Austen does not usually show one to be completely good and the other bad. Rather, she explores the light and dark sides of each one. Sometimes they are opposed to each other and sometimes they are complementary.

Investigating dualistic themes

  • There are other dualities in Persuasion. Consider how Jane Austen presents the following dualities and how they may overlap with the themes discussed below:
    • Extravagance and restraint
    • Credit and debt
    • Past and future
    • Change and stagnation
    • Vanity and virtue.

The other themes in this section fit this idea of duality.

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