The meaning of ‘Sense’ means the ability to act with restraint, judgement and reasoning while ‘Sensibility’ means to give way to feeling and emotion.
These two qualities represent the two Heroines of the Novel; Elinor for Sense and Marianne for Sensibility Their different temperaments are used to draw ironic contrasts between how the two view life.
Elinor, age nineteen, is described as having a “strength of understanding” and “coolness of judgment”. She had an excellent heart; – her disposition was affectionate, and her feelings were strong; but she knew how to govern them: it was a knowledge which her mother had yet to learn, and which one of her sisters had resolved never to be taught.
Marianne’s abilities were, in many respects, quite equal to Elinor’s. The resemblance between her and her mother was strikingly great. In contrast to Elinor she is “everything but prudent”.
Many of Jane Austen’s works tackle the issues of love and marriage and Sense and Sensibility is no different. The two main protagonists, Elinor and Marianne, are two of three Dashwood sisters, and the novel follows their attempt to marry for love rather than money and status. Personally I liked both the characters, as to me they both are equally strong and complement each other perfectly. Really loved this one.
It is a must read classic novel.
Who do you like better, Marianne or Elinor? Why?