Dr. Matthew Rose
ACS Moderns 1001
April 11, 2012
Sense becoming Sensibility
In Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility, the distinction between sense and sensibility is one of the ways this novel is often analyzed. The difference is most clearly symbolized by the contrast between the novel's two main characters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. According to this Elinor, the older sister, represents qualities of sense. She exhibits reason, restraint, responsibility, and a concern for the welfare of others. In contrast, Marianne, her younger sister, represents qualities of sensibility. Marianne wears her emotions on her sleeves. She symbolizes spontaneity, impulsiveness, and overjoyed commitment to those closest to her. Whereas Elinor conceals her regard for Edward Ferrars, Marianne openly proclaims her passion for John Willoughby. Their different attitudes toward the men they love, and how to express that love, reflect there opposite temperaments. The consistent behavior, and character traits portrayed through these two character ultimately is the focal point for the conclusion of the novel. These characters will surprisingly showcase reversed mannerisms, and sense will seen to become sensibility.
Elinor is supposed to have sense. As mentioned earlier, she concealed her regard for Edward Ferrars. Upon news of Mr. Ferrar’s mixed up marital ordinance, Elinor shows unnatural tendencies. “Elinor could sit no longer. She almost ran out of the room, and as soon as the door was closed, burst into tears of joy…”(Austen 335). Elinor of sense appears to show signs of her sensibility. This is strangely different from the motif of the earlier text. In this case Elinor is wearing her emotions on her sleeve, and thinking irrationally. She conveniently forgets that this was the man that left her broken hearted. Rather she shows tears of joy. Also, Elinor neglects to show restraint like she so often has. Upon Mrs. Ferrars approval to Edward, Elinor... [continues]
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