Sense and Sensibility Essay

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Partikian is a Seattle-based freelance writer and English instructor. In this essay, Partikian addresses the question of whether Jane Austen is a political writer based on the fate of her heroines.

Austen, lauded as one of England's most important writers of the nineteenth century, is known for her astute social and psychological observations of the world in which she lived: middle-to-upper-class nineteenth-century England. Her first novel, Sense and Sensibility, centers closely on the domestic lives of a close circle of well-to-do friends and relatives. The narrative action and dialogue in the novel, however, is completely separated from political and historical events of the era; the action appears to occur in a hermetically sealed bubble. The countryside of Barton, where the Dashwood sisters live, and the London of Mrs. Jennings and other landed gentry seems to be far removed from the poverty of slums, class disenfranchisement, and any talk...

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This section contains 1,746 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sense and Sensibility Study Guide
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