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sence and sensability

            Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.
             The Dashwood sisters are very different from each other in appearance and temperament; Elinor's good sense and readiness to observe social forms contrast with Marianne's impulsive candor and warm but excessive sensibility. Both struggle to maintain their integrity and find happiness in the face of a competitive marriage market. .
             Sense and Sensibility .
             This novel contrasts two sisters: Marianne, who, with her doctrines of love at first sight, fervent emotions overtly expressed, and admiration of the grotesque "picturesque", represents the cult of "sensibility"; and Elinor, who has much more "sense", but is still not immune from disappointments. Despite some amusing characters and true Jane Austen touches, it is not generally considered to be her best novel. According to Cassandra, it was probably the first of the novels to be started (sometime before 1797, under the early name Elinor and Marianne); it was worked on in 1797, and probably again heavily revised before publication in 1811.
             In an age which extolled the virtues of expressing emotion and being sensible to the beauty of nature and literature, Jane Austen wrote a novel to champion sense and moderation. The main characters of Sense and Sensibility, Elinor and Marianne, serve as representatives of these opposing world views. Throughout the novel, sensibility is mocked whereas sense (not a cold reason, but a moderate practicality) is praised. By the end of the novel, sense triumphs as the emotional Marianne, "[i]nstead of falling sacrifice to an irresistible passion," makes a practical match based not on volatile emotions, but on the steadier, quieter feelings of respect and friendship, trusting that, in time, these too can grow into love (372).

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