Character Development in Sense and Sensibility

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Book Review 1
Development of Major Characters
English Lit. Honors, Per 5
Quarter One

Sense and Sensibility

The first of Jane Austen's published novels, Sense and Sensibility, portrays the life and loves of two very different sisters: Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. The contrast between the sister's characters results in their attraction to vastly different men, sparking family and societal dramas that are played out around their contrasting romances. The younger sister, Marianne Dashwood, emerges as one of the novel's major characters through her treatment and characterization of people, embodying of emotion, relationship with her mother and sisters, openness, and enthusiasm.

Marianne is in the jejune business of classifying people- especially men- as romantic or unromantic (Intro II). Marianne's checklist mentality is observed by Elinor:

"Well, Marianne…for one morning I think you have done pretty well…. You know what he thinks of Cowper and Scott; you are certain of his estimating their beauties as he ought, and you have every assurance of his admiring Pope no more than proper." (Chapter 10)

To site a specific incident, Marianne describes her opinion of Edward Ferrars- her sister's interest- as being very amiable, yet he is not the kind of man she expects to seriously attach to her sister. She goes on to find, what in her opinion are flaws, that Edward Ferrars reads with little feeling or emotion, does not regard music highly, and that he enjoys Elinor's drawing, yet cannot appreciate it, for he is not an artist (15). In a man, Marianne seeks a lover and a connoisseur, whose tastes coincide with her tastes. He must be open with feelings, read the same books, and be charmed by the same music (15). Marianne seeks a man with all of Edward's virtues, and his person and manner must ornament his goodness with every possible charm (16). Marianne's mother relates Marianne's maturity beyond her years by reminding Marianne "Remember, my love, that you...
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