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“Sense and Sensibility“, Jane Austen

1. Jane Austen:
born on 16 December 1775 in Steventon, Hampshire
1794 – 99 she wrote major parts of her first three novels: one of them “Sense and Sensibility”
1811: publication of “Sense and Sensibility”
all in all: 6 major novels(“Emma”, “Pride and Prejudice”, “Persuasion”…) and several other books
died on 18 July 1817 in Winchester

2. The protagonists in the novel:

Mrs. Henry Dashwood: wife of Henry Dashwood(owner of Norland Estate); has three daughters:
Elinor Dashwood: 19 years old, realistic, arranges and organises everything
Marianne Dashwood: 17 years old, pretty, loves music and literature, very enthusiastic, impulsive, is strongly led by her tempers (like her mother), she has very precise ideas on what her future husband should look and be like
Margaret Dashwood: 13 years old (minor role)
Mr. John Dashwood: son of Henry Dashwood (from first marriage), inherits Norland Park with his wife Fanny
Edward Ferras: brother of Fanny Dashwood; very shy and unsure, strives after private domestic life; his younger brother is Robert
Colonel Brandon: well-bred, well-informed, helpful, is immediately attracted by Marianne

3. The content:
setting: at the beginning: Norland Estate (Somerset)

later: Devon; London
John Dashwood inherits Norland Park => Mrs. H. Dashwood and her daughters move to Barton Cottage; on a walk Marianne twists her ankle and is brought home by John Willoughby; she is thrilled at once by his charm and his good look (W. seems to be the man of her dreams, the ideal husband) => W. visits her nearly every day, they soon get quite intimate but no engagement is announced
One day W. leaves them without saying when he will return => Marianne is completely shocked
Lucy Steel (visitor of the Middleton’s) tells Elinor, that had she had been secretly engaged to Edward Ferras, with whom Elinor had fallen in love when they met in Norland Park => great shock for Elinor
Mrs. Jennings (mother of Lady Middleton) invites Elinor and Marianne on a trip to London => Elinor is not very delighted (afraid of meeting Edward there), but Marianne hopes to see Willoughby again; so they finally go to London
Marianne meets W. indeed, but it is an unhappy reunion: W. is engaged to rich heiress
Elinor has to Edward and Lucy together and she is as sad as her sister; Edward’s mother discovers the secret engagement and disinherits Edward => Colonel Brandon gives him the Cottage at his own estate
=> Marianne and Elinor decide to go back to Barton Cottage
on their way home Marianne get seriously ill => W. comes and explains his behaviour to Elinor; Elinor and Marianne finally return to Barton Cottage; there they get to know that Lucy has married Mr. Ferras => Eleanor’s hopes are destroyed
but: Edward himself comes to see them and tells them, that Lucy has married his brother Robert instead of him => Edward know asks Elinor to marry him
Marianne slowly falls in love with Colonel Brandon
Elinor marries Edward and Marianne marries Colonel Brandon

4. Themes of the novel:
Jane Austen shows the live of middle-class young women; it doesn’t consist of dramatic events but family quarrels and small talk
The book is about individual feelings on the one hand and social behaviour on the other hand
the book shows how individuals are dependent on society and that communal and personal values are often in conflict ( Marianne isn’t allowed to write a letter to Willoughby because they aren’t engaged)
Marriage was the only career available for middle-class young ladies, who were otherwise dependent on their relatives for support
Kurze Angabe zum Autor; Protagonisten der Novelle; Inhalt; Themen des Romans (598 Wörter)
06.07.2002 von turtle
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