TOPIC: Given that Persuasion was Austen's last completed novel, we tend to read it as the culmination of her career (even if she herself did not see it that way). Many readers have noticed differences between this novel and her earlier ones -- differences in focus, scope, tone, emphasis, subject matter, style, etc. etc. -- that seem to signify that her work might be heading in a new direction, or at least continuing to change.
The characters listed below have all been discussed by scholars as indicating some kind of change in relation to Austen's previous novels. Choose ONE of these characters, and write a 5-page essay discussing this issue. Do you think that this character represents some kind of departure from Austen's earlier work" or not? If your answer is yes: what is the nature of that departure, whether it be slight and subtle or major? If your answer is no: how is this character continuous with earlier characterizations? If it's both: what continuities and discontinuities do you see? In any case, please discuss the representation of this character first in the context of Persuasion, and then relate your analysis of this character to one or more examples (of your choice) in Austen's earlier novels. The idea is to use your character analysis a way of approaching larger issues concerning the form and/or meanings of Austen's work, revealed in her characterizations.
Sir Walter Elliot