Sense and Sensibility | Critical Essay by Barbara M. Benedict

This literature criticism consists of approximately 37 pages of analysis & critique of Sense and Sensibility.
This section contains 7,419 words
(approx. 25 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by David Kaufinann

Critical Essay by Barbara M. Benedict

SOURCE: "Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility: The Politics of Point of View," in Philological Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4, Fall, 1990, pp. 453–70.

In the following essay, Benedict explains how Austen negotiates between epistolary (sentimental) and objective (detached) narration in Sense and Sensibility.

Sense and Sensibility usually leaves modern readers cold, even irritated. They indict the book for a schematic structure which seems to segregate intelligence and warmth; for a tonal instability which seems to sneer while soliciting sympathy; and for a merciless ending which awards a crushed Marianne Dashwood "by general consent" to the flannel-waistcoated Colonel Brandon.1 By condemning Austen's moral organization, these complaints address a general problem of interpretation: the problem of identifying the narrative attitude. This problem is epitomized by the contradiction between the sympathetic portrayal of Marianne, and the unflagging praise for her opposite, the "sensible" sister...

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This section contains 7,419 words
(approx. 25 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by David Kaufinann