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Word Count: 1,139
The title Sense and Sensibility sets up a juxtaposition between two ways of thinking behaving and knowing that are embodied in the novels two protagonists Elinor and Marianne Dashwood In these characters Austen ostensibly contrasts practicality with sensitivity restraint with impulsiveness and strait-laced sense with exorbitant sensibility Each opposing trait to be found in the Dashwood sisters Elinor personifying sense and Marianne sensibility The Oxford English Dictionary defines sense as a sane and practical attitude to situations Elinor Dashwood certainly embodies this to the full Upon first meeting Elinor we are struck by her rationality and reason Following her fathers death she becomes the keystone of the family searching for a new home and managing the family finances Although it is a common misconception that Elinor is insensitivewhich Marianne mistakenly terms cold-hearted 18 it is entirely untrue In fact her sense is quite like the Latin stem of the word sentire meaning to feel She is astute and perceptive Her sense is clearly seen in her ability to analyse those around her She recognises Lucys falseness pretence and insincerity and thus does not trust her She also sees Colonel Brandon as a gentle kind-hearted soul he is a sensible man 43 when Marianne fails to recognise this Personally I would admire Elinor She is a pillar of strength and clearly represents the qualities associated with sense reason restraint and a concern for the welfare of others In stark contrast Marianne represents sensibility Sensibility is defined as both the ability to appreciate and respond to complex emotional or aesthetic influences and the tendency to be easily offended or shocked It is obvious in the novel that Marianne exemplifies both these traits of sensibility She is rash and emotional when Mrs Ferrars is rude to Elinor urged by a strong impulse of affectionate sensibility she movedto her sisters chair And said Dear Elinor dont mind them Dont let them make you unhappy207 Marianne can also
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