Sense And Sensibility Essay

The sample essay on Sense And Sensibility Essay deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.

Sense and Sensibility was the first book written by Jane Austen. The novel focuses on a woman, Mrs. Dashwood, and her three daughters; Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret.  They are forced to rely on the kindness of distant relations and friends for financial and social support.It is also a love story.

Throughout the story, both Elinor and Marianne are pursuing the prospect of marriage.  The novel describes a society that places social and economic and moral burdens on a person, which can seem unbearable to the modern reader. Austen’s message is that these burdens must be tolerated and confronted, because there is no other society in which to live; and because there is always the hope that these burdens will be overcome. In this novel, each person has been given a reason to reflect on their experiences, and have the free will to change modify their behavior and participate in whatever is achievable in their world.

  The rational Elinor is best suited to bear these burdens and not be overcome by despair over situations, while Marriane is irrational and seems vulnerable in most situations.Watt (1963) explains a number of values and social codes that he senses may be lost on readers. He mentions, for instance, the use of first names by Marianne and Willoughby, suggesting emotional attachment.

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He proposes that the novel does not emphasize the individual experiences of Elinor and Marianne, but in “their relation to a fixed code of values” (43).  Who is Watt?  He’s not listed in your works cited.  True.“To be face-to-face in this world is already to belong to a class. No other community, in physical presence or in social reality, is by any means knowable. And it is not only most of2the people who have disappeared … it is also most of the country, which becomes real only as it relates to the houses which are the real modes; for the rest of the country is weather or a place for a walk” (Williams, 166). She said this entire quote by Williams is a dropped quote.  I think she has a point-what is the point? (see below)Raymond Williams’s class-based reading of the novel points out the view from the upper windows of Austen’s Great Houses. If the woman at the window presents a certain demeanor of self-control and longing, the image of the country walk draws Austen’s characters out into the broader social space of the countryside. For instance, when Elinor and Edward walk out from Norland Park and leave behind the interferences of Norland, their pair’s first private encounter occurs when they walk out into a green field with the Great House in the background. The line of the hill focuses on the manor, situated behind the trees. This image sets the nineteenth-century concept of a sense in motion. The characters walk through the middle of the park portrays a sense of depth; they seem to be vanishing, which is the point of this situation in the novel. Consider, for instance, the sequence in Sense and Sensibility where Elinor and Edward walk out from Norland Park. They discuss Edward’s ‘prospects’. Modestly, he states: ‘A country living is my ideal, a small parish, where I might do some good…keep chickens…give very short sermons….’ Edward and Elinor now proceed on horseback at a leisurely pace. Show this in the text!  This does need back-up from the text.  How is this concept specifically introduced?  Why?  What made you think of this.  It really needs examples from the text to clarify.Elinor and Edward’s walk raises the issues of gender and class. From the static place of the woman at the window, this image demonstrates the essence of the female in motion. To explain the idea of gender and class mobility, Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall show the beginning of the middle-class distinction between private and public appearances in the early 19th century. They show the separation of the female’s place in the home in relation to a class-based focus on ‘careful regulation of spatial, temporal and social categories’ (Davidoff and Hall, 319). This idea of social differences is demonstrated through of middle-class woman’s exile into to the ‘private’ realm of the family.3Davidoff and Hall note how increasing social pressures made it suspicious, if not evendangerous for a respectable young woman to travel alone through the countryside. The socialand physical mobility provided to middle-class men of the period was exaggerated by the increasing confinement of women. In Sense and Sensibility, Marianne’s rainy-weather ramblings precipitate physical peril (the quintessential turned ankle, and two chance downpours) and rescue. This incident does not fundamentally controvert the countryside’s seemingly empty and benevolent nature. In practice, however, the historical struggle for female physical mobility is reworked in the adaptations through the exigencies of shifting generic convention (more exterior sequences) and the corporeal performance of gender roles.How is this idea also endured in the also endured in Sense and Sensibility?  Marianne’s illness and the extremes Elinor had to go to in order to reach her?  There are many examples of how  females have no choice but to rely on males for transportation, and sometimes the consequences are serious.  You could use the previously stated situation and perhaps one other with fewer, less extreme consequences.In Sense and Sensibility, a balance between economic independence and cultural worth is set up in the daughters. Marianne and Elinor may not be as financially secure, but they seem more cultured than the other characters. At times they seem to be chasing money, especially Marianne, but they are after more than that. Marianne and Elinor may be underadvantaged materially, but they are the cultural arbiters of value in the novel. Even if they err momentarily, as Elizabeth does, they do not capitulate to mere money.Explain.  I was thinking of deleting this entire paragraph, but I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.Maaja Stewart (1993) explains the value of the economics of this time period. Stewart feels the book demonstrates the conflict between older and younger sons. Some men are financially limited by being younger sons or by having only daughters.In addition, the Middleton’s and the Dashwoods represent a leisure class that has nothing to do.  Unlike some of the wealthy characters, they have nothing to do because they do not really care about others around them and do not feel obligated for the most part.  John Dashwood’s managing is simply a chance to show off by “improving the estate” and his lack of character is shown through his total disregard for the past and for nature (Austen, 226).When not engaged in educational pursuits or daily responsibilities, the characters in Austen’s novels spend their time in various forms of amusement. Since the novel is set in isolated country village, how the characters amuse themselves is salient. Games play a large role as entertainment, particularly cards, as do walks, outdoor sports, and needlework of all kinds.In Sense and Sensibility Mrs. Dashwood and Edward Ferrars discuss idleness specifically as it relates to him: She suggests that he would be happier if he had something to occupy his time, and he replies:I do assure you . . . that I have long thought on this point, as you think now. It has been, and is, and probably will always be a heavy misfortune to me, that I have had no necessary business to engage me, no profession to give me employment, or afford me anything like independence. . . . I am an idle, helpless being. . . . I was . . . properly entered at Oxford and have been properly idle ever since. . . . [My sons] will be brought up, said he, in a serious accent, to be as unlike myself as is possible. (103-4);How is this concept shorn through the text? Lucy and Anne Steele obviously loathed Elinor and Marianne Dashwood: “Their presence was a restraint both on [Anne] and on Lucy.;4It checked the idleness of one, and the business of the other” (Austen, 247). Show through examples in the text why this is included as part of this essay.The plot seems to evolve from a series of promises, both spoken and implied, between men and women in the novel. The women have no choice but to be dependent on the men.  This makes them very vulnerable because of the promises that some of the men have made and broken.As the novel opens, we are told that the “family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex,” and that the old gentleman who owned Norland Park intended to “bequeath” the estate to his nephew and his family, who came to live with him and provided him with comfort, assistance, and enjoyment in his final years (1). Such an inheritance would allow Mr. Dashwood to provide well for all of his family, a son who had been born of his first marriage, and three daughters born to him in his second.Show examples of this.The best solution for a woman in the position of the Dashwoods or the Steeles was to marry, to find a husband who could support her. Such a solution, however, prevented the woman from being self-sufficient. Once she was married, she became completely dependentupon her husband. Even money belonging to a woman before marriage was no longer under her control. According to English law at the time, when a man and a woman were married, they became only one entity under the law. That entity was the man. His wife legally became  his property, as well as his children. A married woman could not legally control her own money, could not make business contracts, and basically could not have her own identity.Many modern authorities acknowledge Austen’s focus on money and property in Sense and Sensibility. Nearly every character is defined by their financial worth.  A women’s entire life depended on her abilility to improve her economic and social standing.The roles of class and money are discussed by Juliet McMaster and Edward Copeland in The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen (Lambdin, 2000). Oliver MacDonagh stresses the importance of money in the novel in “Receiving and Spending” (Lambdin, 43). He emphasizes Elinor and Marianne’s submissiveness in financial matters and how this parallels with Jane Austen’s life, which seemed to involve a high awareness of economics, but she personally had no authority over it.;Instructor comments on the entirety of the essay:Karen-This picture shows a good awareness of the “big picture” and your use of what the historians and critics have to offer.  However, the paper doesn’t really come together as anything but an “overall” awareness.  What exactly was your thesis?  Is it the contrast between Marianne and Elinor; the statement of the social and economic burdens needing to be tolerated and confronted; or is it something else I am completely not understanding?  You need more ideas and interpretations from the text including examples and your interpretation-what is the significance of these examples, how do they support your ideas, etc.  This essay is organized around outside souces.  While it is good to have an overall idea of the society you are discussing, you nedd to back up your ideas further, especially through examples and interpreations of the text.Grade:  B-  You have not specifically backed up your ideas, and there is virtually nothing from the text to support your ideas.

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