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Sense and Sensibility Essay | Critical Essay #3

This Study Guide consists of approximately 109 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Sense and Sensibility.
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Critical Essay #3

In the following essay, Reinstein explores how Austen renders complex and various manifestations of sense and sensibility in her characters and their situations.

In Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen ostensibly opposes practicality and sensitivity, praising the former and censuring the latter. Further examination of the novel, however, reveals a subtler, more significant moral opposition between selfishness and unselfishness. Although the title of the novel suggests a simplistic approach to values, Austen's characters and moral discriminations are, in fact, complex, reflecting the complexity of life itself. The qualities of sense and sensibility are embodied by characters in the novel in many gradations and with different shades of definition. Neither consistent, unmitigated sense nor thorough-going sensibility is, finally, acceptable in the novel, for both tend to lead to selfish, even destructive behavior. Moderation, the mixture of prudence and decorum with warm emotions and aesthetic enthusiasm, seems to be the ideal...

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This section contains 5,986 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Sense and Sensibility Study Guide
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Sense and Sensibility from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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