Polar Opposites in the Novel Sense or Sensibility Essays

Polar Opposites in the Novel Sense or Sensibility Essays

Length: 1060 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Polar Opposites in the Novel Sense or Sensibility

Polar opposites. Night and day. Hot and cold. These are just some
adjectives and nouns that are on opposite sides of the spectrum. The
words are perfect ways of contrasting the characters of Marianne and
Elinor in the novel Sense and Sensibility. Sense, defined as the
ability to be aware of things around her describes Elinor. She is the
calm, quiet and collective sister, who makes decisions based on
practicality. Sensibility, or the trait of being affected by changes
in surroundings fits Marianne. She's the foolish, whimsical and
irrational sister, driven by passion and emotion. Both characters are
put in similar situations throughout the book and, true to the title,
act with sense and sensibility.

Elinor's courtship with Edward against Marianne's affair with
Willoughby contrasts the characters ideas of marriage and love.
Elinor, though interested in Edward, would not admit anything more
than having "great esteem" for him. Elinor looked at the situation
practically, citing that Mrs. Ferras would be the ultimate factor in
their courtship because Edward's future (and fortune) depended on what
Mrs. Ferras thought of Edward's possible wife. Thus, Elinor waited for
more proof before she got carried away. Marianne couldn't believe
Elinor's reserved attitude, calling Elinor "cold-hearted" for not
saying more positive things. As far as Marianne was concerned, love
and nothing else determined the possibility of a good marriage, a fact
confirmed by Marianne's courtship with Willoughby. After falling and
meeting her "knight in shining armor," Marianne quickly fell in love
with Willoughby wi...


... middle of paper ...


...arrying Colonel Brandon, who also had displayed
sense throughout the novel, Marianne further bridged the gap between
her and sense.

Through Marianne and Elinor were polar opposites at the beginning of
the novel with Elinor acting completely with sense and Marianne with
sensibility, they managed to come more towards a moderate spot in the
spectrum. Marianne finally acted with sense, marrying Colonel Brandon,
a more practical marriage than Willoughby. Meanwhile, Elinor displayed
some sensibility, finally shedding tears that had built up throughout
the book. Austen appropriately named this novel "sense and
sensibility," and not "sense or sensibility," because she wanted to
convey the idea that either extreme of the spectrum leads to misery
and unhappiness. By balancing the two, Marianne and Elinor found
tranquility.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Structuralist Reading of Austen's Sense and Sensibility Essay examples

- A Structuralist Reading of Austen's Sense and Sensibility The fundamental structural dynamic underlying the whole manifested universe, much less literature, is duality; therefore, Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility is easily analyzed from the structuralist perspective. Each of us is a complex mixture of polar opposites, the most primary of which being the division between right brain and left brain, or, more commonly, "heart and mind." Austen's technique in this novel is that of eliminating altogether the corpus callosum, thus juxtaposing the two halves into a "binary opposition," a split between the heart that throbs and exults and the mind which ascertains and evaluates....   [tags: Austen Sense Sensibility Essays]

Strong Essays
615 words (1.8 pages)

The Metaphor Title of Sense and Sensibility Essay

- In this novel Jane Austen uses the title of the book itself as a metaphor to illustrate the differences between the two main characters, with Elinor to represent the sense and Marianne to represent the sensibility. Sense and sensibility also indicates a split division, polar opposites, and how these opposites compliment each other, as can be seen throughout the novel. The dominant theme in this novel is sense prevailing over sensibility. It is a theme which can be seen in most of the characters; however the concentration is on Elinor and Marianne, who are two sisters and are often perceived as polar opposites....   [tags: Jane Austen]

Strong Essays
2208 words (6.3 pages)

Jane Austen's Sense And Sensibility Essays

- 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....   [tags: Austen Sense Sensibility]

Strong Essays
923 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Finding Balance in Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen

- Rationality and sensibility are essential parts of human’s life. The explanation of rationality in the dictionary is “based on clear, practical, or scientific reasons; sensible and able to make decisions based on intelligent thinking rather than on emotion ”. And the explanation of sensibility is “an acute perception of or responsiveness toward something, such as the emotions of another ”. People always want to separate rationality and sensibility into two opposite things, even the dictionary says that rationality is “intelligent thinking rather than on emotion”....   [tags: Sense and Sensibility Essays]

Strong Essays
2079 words (5.9 pages)

Sense and Sensibility: A Novel of Moderation Essay

-  In her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austin brought to life the spirit of being young, in love and living in the eighteenth century. Her story revealed the heartaches and happiness shared by Elinor Dashwood, who represented sense and her sister Marianne, who stood for sensibility. Both sisters felt strongly for what they unknowingly stood for, but each needed to reach a middle ground to find true happiness. It was not until the end of the novel, through marriage, that Elinor and Marianne overcame their nature of having sense and sensibility....   [tags: Austen Sense Sensibility Essays]

Strong Essays
1517 words (4.3 pages)

Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice Essay

- Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen's characters always undergo an event that morally changes their being. In Sense and Sensibility this moral change is obvious in Elinor and Marianne. The development of these adolescents into mature, reasonable adults is a gradual transformation seen in Sense and Sensibility. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy begin Pride and Prejudice as arrogant and biased adults and end the story as liberal minded individuals.        In Sense and Sensibility the family has been forced to move from the plush lap of luxury into a more modest setting....   [tags: Jane Austen Sense Sensibility Pride Essays Papers]

Strong Essays
2674 words (7.6 pages)

Structure and Characterization in Sense and Sensibility Essays

- Structure and Characterization in Sense and Sensibility Fiction was not considered an important part of literature in the early nineteenth century when Jane Austen published her novels. Fiction was presumed to be immoral and even dangerous since it "over-excited the imagination" (Halperin 5). Many religious denominations instituted anti- fiction campaigns to protect young people from the corrupting influence of the novels. It was not until the middle of the nineteenth century that this attitude regarding fiction began to change....   [tags: Austen Sense Sensibility Essays]

Strong Essays
4002 words (11.4 pages)

Judgments of Conduct in Sense and Sensibility Essay

- Sense and Sensibility is an elegant story that portrays the advantages of the first over the second, as manifested between two sisters of opposing temperaments, one of whom loves wisely and the other passionately. Set in London and its surrounding countryside, the story relates how Elinor, the eldest of Mrs. Dashwood's daughters, and Marianne, the second eldest, share in the agony of tragic love. In the opening of the book, Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters are forced to move to a new and smaller abode, as her husband's death left her fairly unwealthy....   [tags: Austen Sense Sensibility Essays]

Strong Essays
1013 words (2.9 pages)

Achieving a Balanced Life in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility Essay

- Achieving a Balanced Life in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility We are often told that too much of anything can be a bad thing. Even Aristotle, one of the greatest thinkers of all time, insisted that the only path to real contentment and inner peace is "The Golden Mean" (Funk & Wagnalls 328). This life lesson is learned by two of Jane Austen's most well-known characters. Only when Elinor and Marianne Dashwood achieve a balance between Sense and Sensibility do they find true happiness in their lives....   [tags: Austen Sense Sensibility Essays]

Strong Essays
1973 words (5.6 pages)

Patriarchy in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility Essay

- Patriarchy in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility Despite the fact that Jane Austen has become what Julian North describes as a “conservative icon in popular culture” signified by her depictions of “traditional class and gender hierarchies, sexual propriety and Christian values,” the novel _Sense and Sensibility_ provides, if not a feminist perspective, a feminist discourse lacking in Emma Thompson’s film version (North 38). In this essay, I attempt to argue briefly that the novel, which initially seems to uphold cultural norms of sexuality and does little to question women’s subaltern position, can be read to undermine the patriarchy and especially male-controlled courtship rituals....   [tags: Jane Austen Sense Sensibility Males Essays]

Strong Essays
1539 words (4.4 pages)