jasnamnmarketing
May 15, 2018

Location, Location, Location

4 comments

Why is Persuasion set in so many different locations? What do these places represent: Kellynch, Uppercross, Lyme, Bath? How does Bath reveal Sir Walter’s true nature?

abucksworth
May 16, 2018

Really looking forward to seeing what people have to say about this - especially about Bath... an area of special interest for me.

candice
May 16, 2018

So much of Persuasion is about class, and I think the use of all the different locations play into this. Kellynch and the Elliot's home in Bath both represent the upper class, but somewhat on the fringes, as Sir Walter can no longer afford the very best. Uppercross is middle class, in a gentrified manner. Charles and Mary's cottage, though, is decidedly middle class. The Harvilles house in Lyme is on the lower end of middle class, tottering on the edge of lower class. And poor Mrs. Smith's rooms in Bath are lower class.

 

Anne moves comfortably between all these class-specific locations, while her father, her sister, and Lady Russell do not stray beyond the bounds of their station. They do not visit Mary in Uppercross, for example. Captain Wentworth also seems comfortable in all the locations. This leads the reader to understand that both Anne and Captain Wentworth are persons of character, without prejudice or intolerance.

abucksworth
May 16, 2018

I agree, Candice. Class and one's position in society are of utmost importance to Sir Walter and Elizabeth, and that colors so much of the novel. In actuality, there was little better to be had in Bath - he's saving money by not having so much land, and a smaller residence, but the higher up the hillside you went in Bath, the "better" your home was considered, and Sir Walter could almost literally "look down" on everyone... Because of this, and because he's refused to economize in any other ways, he's unlikely to ever be able to live at Kellynch again... something he neither seems to know nor understand...

amthorn
May 17, 2018

Great points Candice & "abucksworth", thanks for sharing.

 

I've always enjoyed the use of locations to mess with the reader's perception that rich is better. Look at the warm hospitality and comfort (in the sense of acceptance and friendliness) consistently displayed within the lower and middle class homes of Mrs. Smith, the Harvilles, and the Musgroves. I'd much rather visit friends at a place like Uppercross or Lyme, than feel unwanted or inferior at Kellynch (when Sir Elliot was in residence).

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