What is the thematic significance of travel in Jane Austen's novel Persuasion?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion is one centred on the concept of place, both social and geographical. In the rural upper class society that Austen describes, social place was associated with geographical place, and particularly with land and more particularly estate ownership. Travel is a form of displacement. The Elliot leaving Kellynch Hall due to poverty is a negative form of displacement, and suggests that social position can be lost. The Crofts are more flexible and cheerful; because success ion the navy depends on skill rather than inheritance, for them travel is opportunity, and rather than the anxieties of the Elliots, they display cheerful good nature concerning moving and travelling.

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