The main theme in this novel is the danger of excessive sensibility. Austen is concerned with the prevalence of the "sensitive" attitude in the romantic novel which, after the s, turned to emphasizing the emotional and sentimental nature of people rather than, as before, their rational endowments. The influences which worked this change were many. The philosophy of Lord Shaftesbury was popular at the time, stressing man's natural beneficence. Rousseau wrote about the "noble savage," and Samuel Richardson's intense portrayals of the emotional life of women were also popular.
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The term of sensibility emerged as a concept in the Enlightenment Era but continued to be defined during the Romantic period and beyond. It also directly correlates their emotional capabilities with their moral development. A high moral standard should result in an appropriate emotional response. People thought that sensibility led. In the play Sense and Sensibility, playwright Kate Hamill and director Taibi Magar collude to reveal the theme that sense rules over sensibility in love affairs by having dual plot lines and dual heroines in the play. The two heroines, Elinor and Marianne, hold differing views and beliefs on love during their quest to find a suitable spouse. Each character is affected in some way by marriage.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document. Social Class in Sense and Sensibility In her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility , Jane Austen brought to life the struggles and instability of the English hierarchy in the early 19th century. Through the heartaches and happiness shared by Elinor Dashwood, who represented sense and her sister Marianne, who stood for sensibility , Austen tells a story of sisters who plummet from the upper class to the lower crust of society and the characters that surround them. Austen juxtaposes the upper and lower classes in English society to give the reader a full understanding of the motivation to be a part of the upper class and the sacrifices one will give up to achieve such status. Austen exposes the corruptness of society, the significance of class and the fundamental building blocks both are to the decision-making surrounding her protagonists, Marianne and Elinor.
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