Love and Friendship and Sense and Sensibility

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This paper will examine the development of Jane Austen’s changing views on emotional sensibility, the capacity to react to emotions and emotional stimuli, from adolescence to adulthood and attempts to answer the question: How does Jane Austen’s opinion on emotional sensibility change as she matures to reflect both her own ideas and the ideas and norms of the society in which she lives. In order to investigate this question, both “Love and Freindship[sic] and Sense and Sensibility, two works addressing the concept of emotional sensibility, were read, compared, and analyzed. In addition, various literary criticisms concerning these two works and several other novels by Jane Austen were consulted to further analyze her developing opinions, as they are portrayed through numerous methods such as recurring themes, throughout her works. I first examined the depiction of emotional sensibility through parallel characters in the two works, such as Laura of “Love and Freindship”[sic] and Marianne of Sense and Sensibility. I then explained how Austen’s opinion of emotional sensibility changed by comparing the conclusions to each of the works. I further verified this change by examining recurring themes present in both works.

After this research, I found that Jane Austen, while always remaining a strongly opinionated writer, diluted her harsh portrayal of emotional sensibility in her earlier work “Love and Freindship”[sic] into a more moderate depiction in Sense and Sensibility. The underlying thought in both works remains essentially the same; that is, a general disapproval of overtly emotional sensibility, although Austen does later concede that sensibility should be used in tandem with logic rather than discarded altogether. However, ther...

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