In the book, Austen spends much of her time describing the years of pain that “prudence” brings to the heroine, Anne. She wants young people to look to the future with confidence, without undue worry and caution. When Anne was young, she had to be careful that she did not know what romance was until she was old — the inevitable consequence of a deformed beginning. If in Sense and Sensibility, Austen emphasizes the triumph of reason over emotion and believes that only in this way can people achieve happiness, then in her last novel, Austen spends much of her time describing the years of pain caused by prudence to the heroine.
Persuasion affirms the evolution of characters from cautious to romantic, which undoubtedly reflects the change of the author’s own creative thinking. It was also a challenge to the traditional ideas of the time. While choosing women and women’s lives as the main themes of Persuasion, Austen also succeeded in portraying positive female images. Through the description of these female images, she protested against the distortion and degradation of women in male literature and corrected and subverted the model of male superiority and female inferiority. It is worth noting that Austen’s men, who had always been regarded as noble gentlemen, were often cast as villains and ridiculed, such as Sir Walter, who was conceited but foolish and incompetent, and Mr. Elliot, Anne’s mean-hearted cousin.
In Persuasion, Austen puts men and women on an equal footing in marriage, just as men like the beauty and kindness of women, Anne likes Wentworth not because of his male power and money (Wentworth was not born rich, but rose all the way through his own efforts, representing the emerging class). Although at the end of the novel, Austen still insisted that the heroine was married off according to the stipulations of the patriarchal society, but her marriage was no longer a Cinderella model and no longer depended on the charity of the patriarchy, but had the germination of the women’s liberation movement.