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Sense and Sensibility is a story that pivots on two sisters, Elinor and Marianna Dashwood. They went in search of their true loves and had to face countless challenges in their paths. Like Pride and Prejudice, the title has a great significance. Elinor the older of the 2 sisters represented the qualities of “Sense”. She was reasonable, has a social responsibility and a level-headed concern for the betterment of others not only around her but in society as well. Her younger sister Marianne however, was the complete opposite and had the qualities of “Sensibility”. She did not fear to be spontaneous and impulsive and had rapturous loyalty to the people she loved. She has a flair for the dramatic and always has a grand expression of her emotion. While Elinor’s perfection and coolness might be off-putting for some readers, I feel that she is a lot more sympathetic. When reading the book, we are privy to Elinor’ inner thoughts and reasoning. And because of that, we are more aware that keeping her cool and composed facade comes at a very high cost. The contrast between the words “Sense” and “Sensibility” and the sisters is most commonly how the book is read and understood. This is especially true in the manner which the two girls pursue the man they loved. Elinor conceals her love and care for Edward Ferrars, while her sister was more openly passionate about her love for John Willoughby. 

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One of my favourite features is how Jane Austen was able to portray the time period in which she wrote the story through the two sisters. This was done through dichotomy between the two words which does not only apply for the two sisters but also has references to the time frame of the time. Austen wrote the novel in the eighteenth century which was on the cusp of two important cultural movements: Classicism and Romanticism. Elinor is the perfect representation of the characteristics normally associated with neo-classicism in the eighteenth-century. This includes rationality, moderation, insight, and judgment and having a proper balance. She reminds Marianne that their mother would not be able to afford the upkeep of the horse or that is unbecoming of her to go to Allenham with Willoughby alone.