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|Physicality and feelings in Chapt. 9-10
Written by Delories
(10/3/2005 5:39 a.m.)
I’ve been waiting for this week, because in my other readings of _Persuasion_, I’ve always been struck by two incidents here which are, imo, very important to the rest of the book, because they are designed to make it clear to the reader that CW still has deep feelings for Anne:
-- The incident where he pulls little Walter off Anne’s back in Chapt. 9
In both of them, there is a tenderness to the way it is done, and also the idea – specifically alluded to in Chapt. 9, beautifully implied in Chapt. 10 ("Yes; he had done it. She was in the carriage, and felt that he had placed her there, that his will and his hands had done it") – that he _touches_ her, touches her for the first time in eight years. There is almost an electric charge in the intensity of feeling that goes into these two passages (not for nothing was JA’s contemporary, the Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth, very impressed with the "little Walter scene)". Yes, he had indeed done it. He had touched her neck. He had touched her hands…
Very swoony stuff. So much steamier than what passes for romance writing, these days — sorry, I’m going off-topic!
Anyhow, from a plot standpoint this really sets up the rest of the book: now that CW is back in the picture, and now that we know that, no matter how much he may flirt with other girls and announce to the world that he’s on the marriage market and try to convince himself that his policy thereby will be Anyone-but-Anne… well, the flame still burns. Or at least smolders…
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