Sense and Sensibility Study Guide

Sense and Sensibility Study Guide

Original title:
Sense and Sensibility
April 29th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published October 30th 1811)
Devonshire, England, Sussex, England (United Kingdom)
ISBN 0141439661 (ISBN13: 9780141439662)

Jane Austen published her first novel “Sense and Sensibility” anonymously. She even undertook all the costs associated with the publishing of 750 copies. It tells a lot about the morals of the time when the text saw the world (1811) and, particularly, how the society didn’t treat women seriously. Nevertheless, the novel was considered to be a success, sold all copies and brought profit to the author. She still didn’t put her name on a second edition but was already known for her style.

The novel tells a story about Dashwood sisters whose names are Marianne, Margaret, and Elinor. Their father left all the fortune to the stepbrother from his first marriage. In the new home they relocate to, Marianne and Elinor experience all the ups and downs of love relationships. 

The girls are courted by many men and eventually find their preferences. They live through the euphoria of falling in love with somebody and have their hearts broken when the chosen men don’t live up to the high expectations. The money and connections play an important role in this rollercoaster. Through a very confusing network of personages and relationships, a writer manages to convey a real feeling of the England of the end of 18th century. 

Jane Austen knows how to make everybody fall in love with novels. The impressions of her characters are real, sincere and innocent. The whole story is soaked with historic atmosphere: aristocratic parties, high morals, and modesty. But the Dashwood sisters also make it lively, passionate and bright. There’s a great balance of reason and feelings in the plot of “Sense and Sensibility”.

As the reader observes the worries and feelings of Elinor and Marianne, he or she also has an opportunity to think about the nature of such relationships. The book isn’t rich in events, but it’s outstanding in finesse and irony. It is a great classical creation that opens a vast field for interpretations. 

New Essays

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Sense and Sensibility: Elinor & Marianne

Two sisters choose separate paths of how to handle the emotion of their hearts' deepest desires. One decided to follow their heart and the other was more "sensible", ignoring their hearts' pleas. Sense and Sensibility, a wonderful novel written by Jane Austen, presents a specific story of how some...

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