Jane Austen Writing Styles in Sense and Sensibility

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Sense and Sensibility was first drafted as an epistolary novel—that is, a novel in the form of letters between characters. It is likely that Austen was imitating the format of Samuel Richardson, an author whom she grew up admiring who presented heroine-centered domestic fictions. At some point in her writing, Austen dismissed the idea of an epistolary novel and instead drafted what would eventually become the didactic novel, a form that was popular in the 1790s. Critic Marilyn Butler explains: "The didactic novel which compares the beliefs and conduct of two protagonists—with the object of finding one invariably right and the other invariably wrong—seems to have been particularly fashionable during the years 1795-1796." Seen in this light, Austen's first published novel, right down to the duality in the title, is a perfect example of the didactic novel...

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This section contains 882 words
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Buy the Sense and Sensibility Study Guide
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Sense and Sensibility from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.