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Elinor Represents the Sense and Marianne the Sensibility of the Novel's Title. Discuss.

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Elinor Represents the Sense and Marianne the Sensibility of the Novel's Title. Discuss. "She had an excellent heart - her disposition was affectionate and her feelings were strong, but she knew how to govern them..." Right from the opening of the novel, the author, Jane Austen, makes it clear that Elinor, the eldest of the Dashwood sisters, represents the "Sense" in the title of the novel. Elinor endures some very strong emotions and, in virtually every situation, unlike most heroines in novels of that era, she is able to conceal or control them. For this reason she appears to be a perfect role model for her sister Marianne, the "Sensibility" of the novel's title. Austen presents Marianne as fresh, uninhibited and uncomplicated. We are told, "Marianne's abilities were, in many respects quite equal to Elinor's... She was generous amiable, interesting..." But, "She was everything but prudent". From this we see that Marianne is ruled entirely by her heart. However, during the coarse of the novel we see different sides to the sisters' personalities making the statement in the essay title only partly true, as some incidents, most obviously the ironic ending, reveal to us that some role-reversal can take place. ...read more.


known to her" And "Elinor's happiness was not so great..." None of this however, proves that Elinor does not experience emotion, but show she is able to conceal or disguise her feelings, keeping them inside. This is most evident when Lucy boasts about her relationship with Edward. Almost undoubtedly, Elinor is hurt and jealous but hides this- "... She said with a calmness of manner which tolerably well concealed her surprise and solicitude..." Until she is alone- "Elinor was then at liberty to think and be wretched" Passionate emotional and romantic is how Austen depicts Elinor's sister, Miss Marianne. However, there is considerably more to her character than this. She frequently shows these characteristics, but sometimes she shows a more sensible side. Her idea of love is completely different. It is very visionary and pure, which shows how immature and inexperienced in the world she is- "I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with mine." ...read more.


My illness I well know had been entirely brought on by myself, by such negligence of my own health, as I had felt even at the time to be wrong. Had I died, it would have been self destruction." At the end of the novel, there is a complete turnaround in Marianne's character. She is forced to - "... discover the falsehood of her own opinions and counter act by her conduct, her most favourite maxims." Although she does this, there are still glimpses of her old self- "Marianne could never love by halves, and her whole heart became, in time, much devoted to her husband as it had once been to Willoughby." In conclusion, from what I have examined, the statement of the title is mostly true. Throughout the novel Elinor and Marianne stick to their titles "Sense" and "Sensibility". Elinor always follows what her mind says whereas Marianne chooses to follow her heart. This is of course, apart from the ending of the novel, in which Elinor has an emotional breakdown and acts much like Marianne. However, Marianne chooses to follow her mind and acts very sensible. This is very ironic. 1 Sulaimaan Panchbhaya 10R ...read more.

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