Sense and Sensibility | Critical Essay by Claudia L. Johnson

This literature criticism consists of approximately 19 pages of analysis & critique of Sense and Sensibility.
This section contains 7,155 words
(approx. 24 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Claudia L. Johnson

SOURCE: "The 'Twilight of Probability': Uncertainty and Hope," Philological Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 2, Spring, 1983, pp. 171–86.

In the following essay, Johnson discusses Austen's indebtedness to Samuel Johnson's "tradition of doubt" in Sense and Sensibility.

Sense and Sensibility is Jane Austen's least loved and least respected novel. One reason why is that most readers believe that Sense and Sensibility is about its title. Critics typically explain the moral theory relevant to the novel, survey Elinor's and Marianne's predecessors in late eighteenth-century fiction and then almost invariably conclude that neither "sense" nor "sensibility" alone is adequate to human experience.1 The polarized abstractions in the novel's title, however, do not provide the most inclusive or penetrating terms for understanding Sense and Sensibility, and so critical preoccupation with them has produced readings that are simpler and more schematic than the novel itself.

A...

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This section contains 7,155 words
(approx. 24 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Marilyn Butler