Answer the following questions in complete sentences.
1.) What does Jane Austen mean by “sense” and by “sensibility,” and which cultural movements of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries do they represent? Which of the two older sisters—Elinor and Marianne—represents which quality? Does one quality win out over the other in the end? If so, which one, and how; if not, why?
2.) Early in the novel, Marianne tells Elinor her ideal of romantic love:
“I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with my own. He must enter into all my feelings; the same books, the same music must charm us both.”
Marianne means what she says at the time, but her creator, Jane Austen, is using the statement ironically. In what way does Austen intend Marianne’s statement ironically? How has Marianne’s view of love changed by the end of the novel, and what has changed it?
3.) The theme of selfishness versus selflessness is important in
Sense and Sensibility. Explain how each of the
following characters displays selfishness or selflessness:
Willoughby, Lucy Steele, Brandon. Cite details from the
novel for each character.
4.) What role does money play in the plot of Sense and
Sensibility—how does it motivate the characters and affect
their happiness? Judging from the events of the characters’
lives, what is Jane Austen’s view of the relationship
between money and happiness? Support your analysis and
interpretation with examples from the novel.
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