Jane Austen's Sense And Sensibility

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Sense and Sensibility is a book that deals with many of life's circumstances during the eightteen hundreds. Although it was written in the first person it can provide the reader with a detailed perspective on the lifestyle of the upper crust of society. However, in order to get a full sense of appreciation of this lifestyle the elements of the opposite group, the lower class, must be attained. By comparing the differences amongst lifestyles characteristics which differ between individuals of their respective groups can be explained, and more importantly be justified. The Dashwood's are undoubtedly not of the lower crust of society, instead they were of the upper middle class for a number of different reasons. The most obvious which set them apart from the lower class is that they do not need to work to in order to survive. Although they were left on a budget by the senior Mr. Dashwood, they had no inclination to work, nor was there any mention of it during the entire novel. They were content with simply waiting to be married by a financially stable male. The evidence for this statement came from Mrs. Jennings when she said;" (She) Missed no opportunity of projecting weddings among all the young people." This is the same practice that any reasonable female of that era would participate in. The aristocrats of that time would not have imagined that taking a regular job was the way to succeed, and they were right. It was impossible to succeed, however to the people who did work at those time it was not about success, but rather survival. At the time this book was written England was going through a "Boom." The industrial revolut... ... middle of paper ... ...l servant, the expense would be a trifle; mama she was sure would never object."(22) This left the reader perplexed and curious to understand why this would be the case. However, after analyzing the lifestyle of the lower class, and the upper classes, the reader can gain a sense of understanding as to the mindset of the Dashwood family. It is easy to see how someone that has servants and hunters at their feet might not know how to make it on their own, or for themselves. It is easy to get accustomed to a particular lifestyle, especially if it is one you are born into. Although it is not the families fault that they are not accustomed to hard work, but it begs me to ask the question; how does one learn the meaning of hard work if one never works hard? Britain. 2005. History Channel. 2 Feb 2005. http://www.historychannel.com/perl/print_book.pl?ID=210855
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