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A Level English Literature Guide to Jane Austen’s Novel Persuasion

Steph Atkinson | Monday November 11, 2019

Categories: Archived Resources, KS5 Archive, AQA A Level, AQA A Level Pre-2015 Resources, AQA A Level English Language & Literature A, ELLA2, ELLA4, AQA A Level English Language & Literature B, ELLB2, ELLB4, EDEXCEL A Level, Edexcel A Level Pre-2015 Resources, EDEXCEL A Level English Language & Literature, 6EL02, 6EL04, OCR A Level, OCR A Level Pre-2015 Resources, OCR A Level English Language & Literature, F671, WJEC A Level, WJEC A Level Pre-2015 Resources, WJEC A Level English Language & Literature, WJEC A Level English Literature, LT2, Prose, Analysing Prose, Persuasion, Writing, Essays, Literary Analysis, Linguistic Analysis, Prose Analysis

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Persuasion is a fascinating and accessible novel with rather less typical Austen aspects, such as love lost and rediscovered, that provide students with an interesting and fascinating read; it provides also, if they are more widely read, an interesting counterpoint to her other, perhaps more famous, works.

A feature of this teaching guide is to provide plenty of exemplification, through the close textual analysis of Persuasion, looking at aspects of language, form and structure as well as context, genre and comparison.

Each section of the guide will give an overview of each part of the novel, with some exemplification of textual analysis for some parts in order to allow you to assist your students with studying and describing the effects of language, structure and form in the context of the novel.

All page references are to the Wordsworth Classics (2000) edition.

Volume 1: Chapters 1 to 6

The following scheme of work assumes that you have studied an overview of the novel and given your pupils a secure context for the detailed study of language, structure and form in this section.

Chapter 1

Overview and Context

Chapter 1 is an introduction to the social and cultural milieu of a certain section of Regency England. It opens, fittingly, with Sir Walter Elliot’s obsession with social status and money and concludes with the importance of maintaining this status, despite the necessity of ‘retrenching’ due to his spendthrift tendencies. This structural decision by Austen seems to indicate that these are key themes within the novel and will serve to shape and define the rest of the narrative, just as these concepts shaped and defined the lives of the upper classes at this time.

Sir Walter is presented as self-absorbed and vain. He introduces the themes of social hierarchy and the domestic versus the public. Social mobility was perfectly acceptable for his ancestors, but it is not so now: the very idea of naval...


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