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Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

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Jane Austen is in Love with Details

Written by Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility tells the story of two sisters’ difficulties with love and the harshness of their British society. Beautifully written, Austen describes the characters and the places they encounter impeccably, which helps to make the book an enjoyable read. Austen not only gives astute character descriptions, but also presents her characters with genuine and realistic emotions. The author’s historical descriptions of English life in the late eighteenth century that appear in the plot and dialogue of the characters also enrich her storytelling. Throughout Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, there are countless descriptions of people, emotions, and places.

The success of Sense and Sensibility can be attributed to its relatable characters, especially the protagonist, Miss Elinor Dashwood. Austen has an astonishing ability to form her characters realistically through believable dialogue and honest emotions. Readers are able to sympathize with these characters and to understand their heartaches. When the author first introduces a character, she gives a short description, which reveals some personality traits and a few physical characteristics. For example, the author first describes Elinor: “Elinor, this eldest daughter whose advice was so effectual, possessed a strength of understanding and coolness of judgment that qualified her, though only nineteen, to be the counselor of her mother” (7). Austen then strengthens her initial descriptions of the characters and continues to develop their personalities through their actions and words for the entirety of the story. The extensive development of characters sets Austen’s work apart from other romantic literature.
Jane Austen’s language accurately describes the emotions of her characters that it makes Sense and Sensibility a timeless romantic classic. After reading an excerpt that tells of a character’s particular feeling, the reader knows precisely what the character at that moment in time is feeling: “But her touch seemed painful to him, and he held her hand only for a moment. During all this time he was evidently struggling for composure” (170). Contributing to the popularity of Austen’s novel is a reader’s ability to say, “Yes, I know exactly how that character feels.” This occurs because the author painstakingly describes emotions. The Austen’s use of description never bores or becomes tiresome, but rather adds to the book and makes it an entertaining read.

Adding another element of enjoyment to the book is Austen’s depiction of life in the late eighteenth century. Austen accomplishes this by telling the readers the activities and traditions of the characters. For example, the characters Marianne and Elinor stay with their hosts for several weeks or longer due to travel being difficult in that time period. Austen also typically illustrates the scenery of England at the beginning of the chapters. This enables the readers to visualize where the characters are situated, helping them to better understand the characters. This makes Sense and Sensibility a visually pleasing read. Austen’s works are famous for offering glimpses into British society. Within Sense and Sensibility, the reader gets a sense of the order of the English class system from the reactions and words of the characters. Characters such as Lady Middleton and Mrs. John Dashwood openly display their views on others whom they believe to be below them. This demeanor is evidenced by Lady Middleton when speaking to Miss Lucy Steele: “My poor little girl would be sadly disappointed, I know, if the basket was not finished to-morrow, for though I told her it would certainly not, I am sure she depends upon having it done” (138). Attitudes, such as Lady Middleton’s, prove how unforgiving and hurtful society can be.

Sense and Sensibility remains popular today. Attributing to the work’s continued success, is Austen’s brilliantly written descriptions. The author’s writing is enjoyable due to its imagery of English life and descriptions of characters and emotions. Perfect or a weekend afternoon, the book is a wonderful read. Recommended highly for all readers, the interesting and beautifully written Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen is an enduring classic.





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TheHandThatWieldsThePen said...
May 13, 2010 at 8:21 am
Love this books!!!
 
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