Sense and Sensibility

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Sense and Sensibility. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1992. 367.

Below is a review of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Austen incorporates many similarities throughout her other novels exemplifying themes such as: the role of women, ideal love, and social classes and hierarchies. I would not consider Sense and Sensibility to be Austen's best novel as the conclusion is hasty and does not follow the same rate of progression like the other part of the novel; however, this fault can be forgiven and her later novels looked to as better examples of her work and mastery of comedy and satire.

The historical context of the book is set during eighteenth and early nineteenth century England revolving around the realities of the social classes. Jane Austen was a member of the professional class. Men in this class were typically expected to pursue a career in navy, clergy, law, or medicine; however, women in this class were not allowed to pursue these careers, they were expected to marry. The main characters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, represent young women in this class. In the book, they both marry into higher social classes than they were formerly associated with. This in turn denotes the themes of Social integration and upward mobility. The class they married into was called landed gentry. This social class lived off the wealth of their estates generally located in the country, far from the hustle and bustle of large cities. They also practice primogeniture, where the eldest son inherits the majority of the estate upon the death of the father of the house.

Sense and Sensibility explores the life of Elinor and Marianne, the struggles they endure, and the emotional changes they experience causing them to become more like the other. Marianne "was sensible and clever; but eager in everything; her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation…she was everything but prudent." Elinor had "strength of understanding and coolness of judgment" and also "an...
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