Chapter 8 Summary

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As time passes, Anne often finds herself in the company of Captain Wentworth. Although they share dinners at the Musgroves, they seldom speak to one another. In his conversations with others, though, Wentworth often makes references to the time when he and she had been in love. Anne takes these allusions to be secret insinuations that only he and she understand. For instance, he often refers to the time before he went to sea, which corresponds to the time they were together. Sometimes he interjects a phrase such as “that happened in the year six,” which was the year they were in love. Every time she hears him making these references, it stirs her emotions. She cannot imagine that he is not also affected by these memories.

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As she listens and watches him, it is hard for her to conceive how much they had once meant to each other and how unfamiliar they now seem. When he talks, she hears the same voice she had heard when they were in love. Although he thinks she has drastically changed, she finds that he still looks much the same as he did before—or maybe his appearance has even improved.

The Miss Musgroves are obviously taken by Captain Wentworth. They are much agitated in his presence and want to talk of nothing more than his experiences at sea. The young women want to know the names of all the ships Wentworth has commanded. After discovering these names, the young women spend a lot of time looking them up in a book called the Navy List.

Mrs. Musgrove wants to know all the details of her son Richard’s experience on Captain Wentworth’s ship, but Wentworth has very little to say on the topic. Anne reads Wentwowrth’s facial expression when he is asked and concludes that the captain does not retain good memories of the lad.

During an evening spent at the Musgroves’ home, Anne is sitting on the couch with Mrs. Musgrove when Wentworth walks across the room to speak with the older woman....

(The entire section contains 525 words.)

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