that a more equal match might have greatly improved him

Category: Love & Marriage | Type: Discussion | Title: Persuasion (in Context) | Author: Jane Austen | Ch: Chapter 6

Austen does not believe any of us is wholly good or wholly bad. We differ from one another by degree, not kind. That being so, the best marriage she conceives of is that in which the two people complement one another, balancing one's weaknesses and limitations with the other's strengths.

Marriage can be a form of immediate "improvement" that does not depend on corrections in our nature to what in fact cannot ever be remedied, beginning with the distinct characteristics of gender, the limitations of intelligence, or the gravity of temperament.

return to text