Abstract

The Privatization of Public Life: Free Direct Discourse in Persuasion

"The Privatization of Public Life: Free Direct Discourse in Persuasion" argues for the importance of other narrative techniques beyond free indirect discourse in Jane Austen’s work, such as the related but in many ways opposed form, free direct discourse. Paying particular attention to such techniques, I contend, allows us to see the ways in which public discourse in a novel such as Persuasion is repeatedly converted into a medium for private feeling. The result is a strangely fractured view of public life, in which characters fail to share even something as fundamental as time itself.