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The Outsider Muriels Wedding And Persuasion

1804 words - 8 pages

Through Jane Austen’s Persuasion and P.J. Hogan’s Muriel’s Wedding, the experiences of the protagonists as outsiders within either family or society leads to the self – discovery. Austen’s Persuasion explores the concept of being an outsider predominantly through the protagonist, Anne, who often implores a submissive attitude towards her unappreciative family. Her interactions with them throughout the novel are an integral part in displaying the recognition of self-worth by the character. Experiencing, losing and reclaiming love allows her to develop a sense of ...view middle of the document...

” The use of listing emphasises the neglect of Anne within the Elliot family and the hyphen differentiates her, reiterating her status as an outcast. Contrast between the Elliot sisters also highlights the polarity between the three. Elizabeth, an excellent reflection of her father’s values and traits, was “very like himself,” dominated by vanity and an inflated sense of self-worth. Similarly, Mary compensates for a lack of attention through melodrama, having only gained “artificial importance,” through marriage. Austen’s juxtaposes the three sisters in order to highlight Anne’s exemplary traits and features in comparison. The contrast in tone when describing Anne’s character compared to the sisters further emphasises her as being more valued by society, if not her immediate family. Descriptive language and sarcasm serves to differentiate Anne from her shallow family members as stated by the narrator, “with an elegance of mind and sweetness of character…placed her high with any people of real understanding.” Unlike Muriel, Anne has already established and is comfortable with her sense of self but remains unappreciated by others due to her passive nature as displayed through the dialogue, “Nobody heard, or at least, nobody answered.” Repetition of “nobody” shows how little value Anne has within the group at Uppercross. Environment is a significant factor leading to the development of self-worth within Anne as she is more valued and acknowledge in Lyme and Bath in comparison to Uppercross. Upon gaining the attentions of both Benwick and Mr. Elliot, Anne becomes more recognised as communicated through Austen’s use of descriptive language,“ She was looking remarkably well, having the bloom and freshness of youth restored.” The improvement in Anne’s appearance is implied to be due to an increase of attention, resulting in the emergence of a less passive attitude towards her family members. It is ultimately her marriage to Wentworth, disapproved by her family that allows her to gain independence and recognise her true value.
Similarly, family is the catalyst through which Muriel acknowledges the importance of self-acceptance. Recognised as an outcast of both the community and her own family, Muriel’s goal in life is to be “normal,” a goal only achievable through marriage. Growing up in a chaotic household, she is greatly influenced by the actions of her family, particularly her father. Constantly being reminded of her failures by her family, “You’re the most useless of them all,” she develops a low sense of self-worth, and hungrily pursues any gratification. Similar to Elizabeth and Mr Elliot in Persuasion, Muriel is a reflection of Bill Heslop’s deceptive nature. A notion portrayed through Muriel’s dishonesty throughout the film, although it is her understanding that it is right as she states, “I’ll show them. I’ll show them all” prior to engaging in fraud as hopeful music is played. The contrast between her actions and the non-diegetic music...

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