Welcome back to Eldritch Girl…
In Part 9 of the serial, we get through the whole of Chapter 5: Persuasion. In this chapter, Wes receives an ultimatum that will bring him back to Pagham-on-Sea and recalls a bad memory.
In the eBook and paperback, there’s a cool illustration by Tom Brown called The Vote nestled between the end of Ch 5 and the start of Ch 6.
CWs: depersonalisation and derealisation, self-harm (hitting self violently/repeatedly), bullying older relatives, death threats against loved ones, estranged father/son relationship, implied struggles with self-loathing.
Chapter 5: Persuasion
If there is any thing disagreeable going on, men are always sure to get out of it.Jane Austen, Persuasion (1818)
Every chapter of Thirteenth has a chapter heading that is a title of a novel or a play, with a corresponding quote from that novel/play underneath. They all relate – sometimes ironically – to the general theme of that particular chapter, and they are all books/plays that can be found in Fairwood House. Katy noticed a few when she was in the cellar but didn’t tell us the titles of any of them. The one she picked up was Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, the 1997 Penguin Classics edition (she describes the cover image, if you want to check), and that was the chapter heading of a chapter that got cut.
This one is Persuasion by Jane Austen, and the quote contrasts with Wes’s predicament: he can’t get out of his own disagreeable situation, no matter how hard he tries. The full quote is from Persuasion Ch. 7:
This is always my luck. If there is anything disagreeable going on men are always sure to get out of it, and Charles is as bad as any of them. Very unfeeling!Jane Austen, Persuasion (1818), Ch. 7, p.48 – http://www.literaturepage.com/read/persuasion.html
Mary Musgrove, who says this about her husband Charles, is Anne’s (the protagonist) youngest sister, who is proud and prone to spoiling her children, and criticising her husband in public about his child-raising methods, while Anne is more inclined to be sympathetic to him rather than Mary.
I quite liked this for Wes, because he’s really trying but that’s not always what the other characters assume or see, and it’s ironic, because whatever he does, he’s screwed. Or is he?? The memory section that follows his phone call from Uncle Marcus, the new Head of the Family, shows what happened when Wes tried to wriggle out of his impending doom.