Prized Values in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility

I wrote this essay after reading Sense and Sensibility for my Women in Literature class. I find the book astounding and appealing to what could be the growing minds of all women. Enjoy and comment!

 

Jane Austen as a moralist writes a hybrid novel that promotes conservative as well as progressive ideals that is Sense and Sensibility. The treasured motifs expressed that envelop these distinctions are financial affairs, social mobility, marriage of affection and family matters as they pertain to the theme of impulse versus virtue. Austen indicates a clear and purposeful observation of humanity in her terms of assessing necessary demeanors presented by the chief characters in the novel, Marianne and Elinor Dashwood, as innateness provides questioning to overall mental wealth towards ones being. Such proved by her literary formality and deep cultural reviews, Austen constituted a novel of mingled standards and principles through conventional and radical faculties, that point towards a movement of fulfilling outright humanly conditions.

The influence of financials and social importance are big applications to consider when criticizing a 19th century novel, especially one that is written by a female author. Individualism marks its territory over the heroines as both express sides of altruism and indulgence. As women are meant to marry for money, and have no rights to property or sense of humanly growth, a female author of a book such as this raises controversy to the thoughtfulness and integrity of the work, holding customs of high volume for Austen.

Conditions of humanity vary between gender, social class, societies, point in time and religious value; however, in Sense and Sensibility, Austen suggests an alternative and declaration of compare and contrast between valuing sense, which the character Elinor Dashwood represents, and valuing sensibility, which the character Marianne Dashwood represents. Thought and feeling are meant to be demoted for the promotion of set political rules based on a formulaic outline for a means of a complete use of human physical and financial growth, rather than psychological and virtuous growth.

Customs and enforced mannerisms socially acceptable by people whom are expected to meet certain gender and social class roles provide a foundation to personality traits and an everyday sense of purpose in past centuries and in centuries to come. Distinguishing between “sense” and “sensibility” disturbs the calamity of honoring such ancient roles that require very little use of either disposition. Austen depicts an importance in revealing this alternate margin of being that is emotion as adjacent to meaning for an established conduct of morality, opening herself up for ridicule.

Marriage as transaction rather than marriage between two loving hearts explores the social relations between men and women of the upper classes, depicting a flirtation of the line between socially acceptable and abomination in this 19th century novel. Marianne and Elinor are alike in that their feelings are deep and genuine, but both depict opposite accounts of theoretical questions about human nature and human conduct.

Marianne is modelled by the convention of feelings, particularly by her consumption of novels and romantic poetry. This leads to her notions of emotion, spontaneity, devotion and drama. The novel continues as Marianne is heart-broken by others and their insensibility, as if she is being punished for her conventions of virtue. On the “sense” side of the novel, Elinor is amply contrary to Marianne in her ways of falling in love with Edward. Elinor leads a life of caution, reason, restraint, and responsibility. This also clasps a sense of punishment toward the girl as she is also heart-broken, even as she acts as expected of such people during this time. Jane Austen brings out the precise kinds of the sensibility exhibited by Elinor and Marianne by her technique of matching them not only against one another but also against other female characters in the novel, as would be the reality in a normal story of two single women attempting to figure out life as we know it. This holds some contradiction to Austen’s intentions for this novel, but I understand it to be mockery of the values held by the 19th century social classes.

What’s more, as the Dashwood family is broke in physical currency, both daughters do get to marry men while getting to know them and grow a relationship with them first hand, alongside financial reasons being added to the mixed decision for them to marry. This may leave a question if the marriages were forced or naturally implicated for a dreamy and essential controversy. It can be argued that this is one of Austen’s examples of plain women that withhold sentiment that marry fairytale heroes, however, it’s a simulation of romance and realism, where the outcomes of the characters are predictable as the plot is simple and repetitive with the marriage concept. This being said, Austen doesn’t interpret these techniques for the sake of entertainment for a 21st century female reader, but for a loyalty to her values towards the achievement of complete humanly psychological principles. Argument holds this controversy true being that both women are honest and elicit to feelings (rather them being present or not), leaving inquiry as to why this dichotomy is being contrasted and questioned nevertheless.

There is no question as to how both women became advanced into triumphal civil arrangements; Marianne and Elinor cultivated features from one another to create the happy ending that is a parody pretenses of social norms for men and women. This is a possession of the novel that is to say that learning is a constituted function of humanity, as pertains to our reality, that has no room to be left unattained to. I understand this novel to occupy unclear sentiments in order for the reader to draw conclusions as what really is the means of humanity, as Austen provides an abundance of evidence that suggests it being sense, sensibility, or components of both.

 

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Author: KathryneMatt

I am an English Literature undergrad pursuing grad school to become a writer. Follow me on Twitter @readforthesouls

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