Character Development In Sense And Sensibility Essay

This essay has a total of 726 words and 4 pages.

Character Development In Sense And Sensibility

Book Review 1
Development of Major Characters
English Lit. Honors, Per 5
Quarter One

Sense and Sensibility

The first of Jane Austen's published novels, Sense and Sensibility, portrays the life and
loves of two very different sisters: Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. The contrast between
the sister's characters results in their attraction to vastly different men, sparking
family and societal dramas that are played out around their contrasting romances. The
younger sister, Marianne Dashwood, emerges as one of the novel's major characters through
her treatment and characterization of people, embodying of emotion, relationship with her
mother and sisters, openness, and enthusiasm.

Marianne is in the jejune business of classifying people- especially men- as romantic or
unromantic (Intro II). Marianne's checklist mentality is observed by Elinor:


"Well, Marianne…for one morning I think you have done pretty well…. You know what he
thinks of Cowper and Scott; you are certain of his estimating their beauties as he ought,
and you have every assurance of his admiring Pope no more than proper." (Chapter 10)


To site a specific incident, Marianne describes her opinion of Edward Ferrars- her
sister's interest- as being very amiable, yet he is not the kind of man she expects to
seriously attach to her sister. She goes on to find, what in her opinion are flaws, that
Edward Ferrars reads with little feeling or emotion, does not regard music highly, and
that he enjoys Elinor's drawing, yet cannot appreciate it, for he is not an artist (15).

In a man, Marianne seeks a lover and a connoisseur, whose tastes coincide with her tastes.
He must be open with feelings, read the same books, and be charmed by the same music (15).
Marianne seeks a man with all of Edward's virtues, and his person and manner must ornament
his goodness with every possible charm (16). Marianne's mother relates Marianne's maturity
beyond her years by reminding Marianne "Remember, my love, that you are not seventeen. It
is yet too early in life to despair of such an happiness (16)."

Marianne's brand of free expression sometimes has little else to recommend it (Intro, I).
What is true of Marianne's classification system is true of her manners in general: In her
refusal to place social decorum and propriety above her own impulses and desires, she is
absolutely unbending (Intro, II). Marianne is also characterized as being very charming.
For example, she believes her poetic effusions to be striking in themselves as well as
accurate expressions of her inner life (Intro, VII). In Chapter 16, Marianne, all but
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