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Compare the relationships of the two sets of sisters from Howard’s End by E.M Foster and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

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Introduction

Compare the relationships of the two sets of sisters from Howard's End by E.M Foster and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. In the books Howard's End and Sense and Sensibility there are two different sets of sisters. I will be looking at the older sisters in each of the books. In Howard's End there are just two sisters, they are very close in age and very alike in the ways in which they show their feelings. In Sense and Sensibility there are three sisters the elder two of the three are very close in age and the youngest is a lot younger than the middle sister. All three have similar qualities and different views on their livelihood. One of the families is the Wilcoxes who are high in the society and well known through out Britain. The mother of the family Ruth becomes very attached to Margaret as she shows concern and friendship towards her in her last few months of her life. Ruth is gentle, selfless, loving and in a way strangely omniscient. Ruth dies in the first half of the novel leaving her husband Henry a widow. Henry is a prominent businessman in London. He is Stuffy, conventional and very chauvinistic, as he points out that woman are in the world to look after the family and bring up children, but also makes sure the Wilcoxes are not seen badly in anyone's eye. Henry then marries Margaret not long after Ruth's death. Henry and Ruth had three children. Charles, Paul and Evie. Charles is the eldest son - self-centred, aggressive man who has many morals that he intends to keep. He represents all the negative sides of the Wilcoxes that they would like to keep hidden away in the cupboard. Charles marries Dolly and she gives birth to a boy who they name Tom. At the end of the novel Charles gets sent to prison for 3 years from killing Leonard Bast. ...read more.

Middle

Marianne's first love in the novel is John Willoughby. He is an attractive young man but who deceits Marianne's heart by greedily leaving her for the wealthy Miss Sophia Grey leaving her traumatically distraught. The unexpected Colonel Brandon finally gets his wish when Marianne returns his unrequited love. Colonel Brandon is a retired officer who falls in love with Marianne when he first lays eyes on her. He constantly tries to impress her but is always beaten away by Willoughby. He acts kindly, honorably and graciously towards the whole family throughout the novel, making the family more than glad that Marianne marries him in the end. In Howard's End you notice from the beginning the very strong relationship between Margaret and Helen. In their relationship Margaret takes on the stereotypical role of being the mother because she is the oldest out of the pair. This seems natural to Margaret as her mum and dad have died leaving her and her aunt Juley to look after Helen and Tibby. Margaret feels it is her duty to protect Helen from any pain or embarrassment on her part. We can see this when Margaret and Ruth meet for the 1st time since they meet in Germany. Both the Adults agree it is better that Helen and Paul do not meet, and that it is good that they have no chance of meeting at the moment as Helen is in Germany unaware that Paul is in Nigeria. As they meet Margaret is happy that they both feel the motherly love for the two love lost "children". '"You've been worrying too!" exclaimed Margaret, getting more and more excited, and taking a chair without invitation. " How perfectly extraordinary! I can see that you have. You felt as I do: Helen mustn't meet him again"' In Sense and Sensibility Elinor also take the role of being the more organised and the mother of the sisters. ...read more.

Conclusion

The book ends with Helen saying that the field has been cut and the crop of hay will be the best ever ' We've seen to the very end, and it'll be such a crop of hay as never!' This could be a metaphor for their life, the sisters have been together throughout all their problems and now they are going to have the best time ever. The relationships between the sisters are strong. The older sisters Elinor and Margaret have very much in common they both look out for their younger siblings taking on the stereotypical role of being the mother figure. The Dashwoods and the Schlegels are very similar as they both at the end put all there differences behind them and love and learn from the past and each other. Throughout the novels they have fights and instances which make them hate each other. One of the differences between the Dashwoods and the Schlegel sisters is that the Dashwoods encounter many relationships and support each other in relationships and urge them to go ahead and comfort each other when they fail. The Schlegels keep by their thoughts and Helen despises Henry for taking Margaret from her and is jealous of there relationship where as in Sense and Sensibility Marianne urges Elinor to go ahead with the relationship as she wants to see her happy more than be happy her self. When they are in relationships the other sister can sense when it is right or wrong to intervene sowing how close the families are. In Sense and Sensibility when Willoughby leaves Elinor knows best not to jump in right away and leaves Marianne so she can have some time to herself. You get the same feeling from Howard's end when Helen becomes pregnant Margaret stands back and allows Helen to make up her own decision on what to do, but when Helen decides to stay with Margaret she is only to happy to have her to stay and welcomes her with open arms. ?? ?? ?? ?? Beth Wilson Wider Reading Essay 02/05/07 ...read more.

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