I think it’s important to be a person of conviction. To know what you want, to know who you are, and to hold on to that. “This above all, to thine own self be true” etc etc etc.
That being said, I also think that to be unbending is a fault. To not take into account the whole concept of truth being relational- to not respect someone who is trying to sway you from your opinion by “speak[ing] the truth with gentleness” (to quote God rather than Shakespeare, as it were); to not be persuaded by a close friend when they are tactfully disagreeing with you – is also a sign of foolishness rather than wisdom.
Anne Elliott allowed herself to be persuaded from a strongly held opinion, in Austen’s “Persuasion“, and it formed the premise for the novel. Rather than marrying Frederick Wentworth, the man of her choice, she allowed herself to be convinced that she should reject his offer, and then spent the subsequent years in regret and anxiety, until, (as all good love stories do,) they were reunited and lived ‘happily ever after’. “Persuasion” is, in a way, the detailed story of Emma‘s Harriet Smith and Robert Martin.
Conviction. A good thing – but if we all had it, there would be fewer novels written, I suspect!
2 replies on “Persuasion”
I think Persuasion is my favourite…