Sense and Sensibility

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Sense and Sensibility is a novel written by Jane Austen. The novel beings in Sussex, England. Sense and Sensibility has two major themes: money and inheritance. In the book, the Dashwood women have no money, they cannot inherit money because they are women, and they cannot earn a living. Since the girls have no money, money becomes an important factor when it comes to what men they may want to marry. Elinor Dashwood demonstrates her sense through what she says and thinks, her actions, and what Jane Austen says of Elinor.

One way Elinor shows sense in what she says and thinks. Elinor is opposite of her sister, Marianne, in that she "governs her life by reasonableness" (Gale). Elinor represents sense; she is reason, restraint, social responsibility, and a clear-headed concern for the welfare of others. Elinor wants Edward, a man who is virtuous, kind, though rather sedate. She does not care whether he is attractive on the outside, to Elinor, it matters only what is on the inside. "At first sight, his address is certainly not striking; and his person car hardly be called handsome, till the expression of his eyes, which are uncommonly good, and the general sweetness of his countenance, is perceived. At present, I know his so well, that I think him really handsome; or, at least, almost so…" (Austen 17). Marianne cannot fathom why someone would love another who is not attractive or who does not have the same interests as she. Even though Elinor admits to liking Edward, she is cautious because she is unsure he feels the same way. Unlike Marianne, Elinor tends to hid what she is truly feeling in order to protect herself. In this sense, she is colder than Marianne. Elinor demonstrates this when Edward comes to stay at the cottage. She notices how Edward is unhappy and it is hard for her to be around him. "…it was her determination to subdue it, and to prevent herself from appearing to suffer more than what all her family suffered on his going away,...
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