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Sense and Sensibility Austens Use of the Arts to Support Characterization The society in which the Dashwood sisters Elinor and Marianne were raised required a certain proper code of conduct in order to be recognized as a civilized well bred young girl worthy of marriage Marriage was mostly looked upon as an aid for future financial success men married women of equal or greater social status very rarely marrying below themselves Because of this sometimes love was a second priority falling right behind everything considered to be of proper conduct It was a perfect match for he was rich and she was handsome Austen 38 Financial strength was not always an option for young girls looking for husbands especially since once again society did not deem it legal and proper for females to inherit from their fathers - as was the case with the Dashwood sisters Those with less monetary value needed to somehow counterbalance their loss with other aspects to make them seem socially presentable this task usually fell upon serious pursuit of ones artistic abilities The arts were held in significant regard and a top priority among the higher classes It separated the peasants and lowest classes from the civilized and educated cultured peoples If a girl was talented artistically-wise she could have been considered well-bred and proper These talents helped to compensate for otherwise unbecoming features such as unattractiveness and lack of wealth Society did not warrant men of significant status to marry below their class - although it did not stop them from wooing a perhaps very handsome girl of a lower class without a marriage promise or proposal The arts of a young prospective girl were usually given up after marriage evidence that they were labored over just to be presentable for society Throughout the life of a young girl who may not possess the highest rankings society deemed that she seriously pursue and practice the arts
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