Satire In Sense And Sensibility By Jane Austen

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Wealth and power in 18th century England were mostly defined by those that owned land in the countryside. The social structure during this time period in England was very rigid and defined by class. Material wealth, especially inheritance and land ownership were inseparable from engagement and marriage. This is the world that Jane Austen found herself living in, and she used her writing as a means of exposing these flaws. Through her writing, she often satirizes characters by making them obsessed with social distinctions, and reveals their foolishness. In Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen uses satire to expose the most appalling parts of the society. She is able to narrate and develop a plot in which the most selfish characters find the most …show more content…
Elinor is the more restrained, composed, level-headed sister. Unlike her younger sister, Marianne, and her mother, she has the sense of the family. She is able to deal with situations and her emotions in a more mature and responsible way. On the other hand, Marianne was more spontaneous and sensitive. She possesses an unrealistic idealism of romance and finds herself senselessly reacting to her circumstances. This disparity presents itself throughout the book in the way the sisters react to their circumstances and love lives. Marianne perceives her emotions in a completely different way from her sister, and in a way that she feels others are not able to. Because Elinor is much more calm in the way that she reacts to circumstances, Marianne thinks that Elinor does not understand or empathize with her rejection from Willoughby. Marianne is so egotistical and concerned with her own feelings that she does not even think of her sister’s struggles. “Oh! how easy for those who have no sorrow of their own to talk of exertion! Happy, happy Elinor, you cannot have an idea of what I suffer” (138). In this scene, Marianne shows her true character, in that she is so self-absorbed in her own suffering and she is not aware and completely blinds to the issues her sister is also experiencing. This shows her selfishness and inability to see that others may also be experiencing pain. This theme of Sense and Sensibility continues throughout the novel as Austen illustrates the contrasting differences in the sisters. Elinor is the more collected, and evolved sister; able to handle unfortunate situations in a calm and logical manner, while her sister Marianne is not capable of coping with her misfortune rationally. Another example of how these characteristics show the selfishness of Marianne is when Elinor and Marianne leave London with Mr. and Mrs. Palmer to visit them at their estate at Cleveland. While at

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