In Jane Austen’s novel, Persuasion, the story is completely character driven. Jane goes to great lengths to give details about each of the character’s lives, and intertwines the plot around them. Austen focuses on the true emotions of the characters and then allows he plot to unfold. Throughout the novel, it is evident that Austen wants the reader to feel a connection with her characters. She wants the reader to feel as if they have known these characters all their lives. She wants the reader to be engaged in the novel. Page by page Austen develops the characters lives and gives a brief history of the main characters. In chapter one she states facts such as, “Walter Elliot, born March 1, 1760, married July 15, 1784, Elizabeth, daughter of James Stevenson, Esp., ofSouthPark, in the country ofGloucester…” (pg. 1) Austen’s strong ability to develop the characters meticulously throughout the novel, allowed me to connect with each of them. I felt as if I had known the characters personally.
Although one may argue that some of the facts Jane Austen state about her characters are unnecessary, I feel that this attention to detail is what kept me wanting to read on. I wanted to find out more about these characters. I enjoyed reading about their lives and watching them unfold before my eyes. I felt as though these characters were actual living people.
One could think that Austen’s novel was more biographical than fictional, but this is what captures your interest and enhances the character driven novel, to make it such a literary success.