I am going to discuss, in relation to this question, Jane Austen’s work both book and film ” Sense and Sensibility”. Both of them, in different ways, examine the story of two sisters and their love affairs. They also show us with a trenchant observation and in meticulous detail, which Jane Austen possesses, “the quiet, day-to-day country life of the upper-middle-class English”. For, in parallel with the two these specific works, I will try to present my opinion according to how “Sense” is a plus and “Sensibility a minus.
Moreover I can say that Jane Austen is an astute observer of human life, and that it refers to this excellent treatment of the complex relationship between “Sense and Sensibility” in the novel and the film. In “Sense and Sensibility, we see a contrary between two sisters: Elinor and Marianne. Elinor is the embodiment of “sense”, who loves a man but she never comes to terms with it, and Marianne, who is openly expressed, enthusiastic and infatuated with a man who afterwards ignores her without a word.
To begin with, in the novel, we do see Marianne very much romantic, sixteen-year-old girl, governed by her feelings, not by reason, unlike Elinor. Passionate in her opinions and certain of their morality, Marianne lacks prudence and relies on instinct. Her opinion about love is “At first sight” and we can see that when Marianne meets Willoughby it was like a hero rescuing his princess. She is fall in love with him immediately and she does not hide her feelings. Moreover in the film this particular scene is showed much more lively than the book.
We can see their expression on their face and immediately understand that these two young people will without doubt fall in love. Also Marianne is so alive when Willoughby comes to see her and express that with her actions: smiling loudly and running. Furthermore “Marianne smiles her perfect happiness at him and he whips up the horses. They drive off, waving their farewells”. To continue with the book, Marianne, says of love, “To love is to burn”, and she is quite strange with the fact that Elinor could be in love with Edward, because Elinor is never express her feelings about anything.
When Elinor responds to her and say: “I do not attempt to deny I think very highly of him”, Marianne thinks that how is possible a woman who is really cherished with a man talk like that. She expected from her sister to be burned, but she is not because of her sense. At the film we see Marianne with her mother and she is talking about why Elinor does not show her feeling to Mr Edward Ferrars, ” why does she never talk? ” also “I do not understand her, mamma. Why does she never mention Edward? I have never ever seen her cry about him, or about Norland? ” Mrs Dashwood replies: “Nor I but Elinor is not like you or I dear.
She does not like to be swayed by her emotions”. So it is quite interesting that the members of the family know the character of Marianne and Einor. However by the end of the novel, Marianne realises that her excessive openness, hasty conclusions about people, and dismissal of social convention have generated unnecessary misery for herself and others. Also late in the novel, a reflective Marianne tells Elinor that she had compared her behaviour “with what it ought to have been; I compare it with yours,” and that she found her own behaviour lacking: “I saw that my own feelings had prepared my sufferings”.
So she acknowledges her errors, and decides to imitate Elinor’s reserve and self-discipline. On the other hand Elinor is a mixture of idealist and realist. She is very logical and uses always her sense, but we do learn after that Elinor can get emotional. In the novel Elinor does not tell her feelings about Edward who comes into the story and there is an immediate attraction. Elinor tells no one of her feelings; it is just assumed that they are meant for each other. Also when Edward has to leave, she does not say anything, only the other members of the family express their sadness of leaving them again back to their fortune.
Moreover when Edward has to leave he promises to come back as to deliver an atlas for Margaret. However when the Atlas comes and Edward not, we see only Margaret to cry not Elinor. Moreover when Elinor found out that Edward is engaged with a woman, she did not even tell Lucy Steele of her feelings to try to break them up. So it is obvious that Elinor represents “Sense”. In the film we can see that very easily, the scene with her mother after the Atlas comes, and Marianne try to get rid of her little sister as to not do the things worse, Elinor replies to her mother’s question if she missed him, “We are not engaged Mamma”.
But he loves you dear, of that I am certain”, said Mrs Dashwood. Although there is an emotional scene there Elinor looks down, she speaks slowly, choosing her words with care and say: “I am by no means assured of his regard for me”. Also it is quite impressive that she is knowing about her situation,(that they have no money now) and continues: “But even were he to feel such a? preference, I think we should be foolish to assume that there would not be many obstacles to his choosing a woman of no rank who cannot afford to buy sugar??. ”
In addition after Elinor confirms that she is using her head not her heart. After when reconsiders Willoughby, she is ” resolved not only upon gaining every new light as to his character which her own observation or the intelligence of others could give her, but likewise upon watching his behaviour to her sister with such zealous attention, as to ascertain what he was and what he meant?? ” Also it is remarkable the way that in the book Elinor does not shows the shock of hearing that Edward is engaged. Elinor stays calm and it is invisible the change of colour, highlighting her sense.
However in the film we see Elinor change her colour and her expression show us how astonished is she. Despite of the fact that Elinor acts with sense, we can see her exploded when Marianne finds out about Edward’s engagement. Marianne “How long have you known? ” Elinor ” since the evening Mrs Jennings offered to take us to London. Marianne “Why did you not tell me? ”Elinor “Lucy told me in the strictest confidence”. We can see that she does not even tell to her sister about how she felt.
Suddenly however she finally explodes and she turns upon Marianne almost savagely, “What do you know of my heart? What do you know of anything but your own sufferings? For weeks, Marianne I have had this pressing on me without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature. It was forced upon me by the very person whose prior claims ruined all my hopes. I have had to endure her exultation again and again while knowing myself to be divided from Edward forever. Believe me Marianne had I not been bound to silence I could have produced proof enough of a broken heart even for you”. Therefore I must confess that Austen is not only concerned in showing the foolishness of sensibility and the consequences Marianne faces.
She makes clear that fatal sense can also lead to unhappiness just like impulsive romance. It is more complex and I will try to explain it with my point of view. “Sense” is the most important element that human being possesses. Is the ability of people to understand what ever happens around them. Like Elinor in the novel she uses her sense all the times that why she fed up and suddenly she explodes to her sister about her feelings. We can see that human cannot use only his sense or only his sensibility. People must use both of them in balance.
Therefore Jane Austen behind this novel wanted to show the problem of achieving a balance between “sense” and “sensibility” in order to gain happiness and love. The two sisters who start out on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum end up with a mix of both “sense” and “sensibility”. Elinor is affectionate and her feelings strong; but she knew how to govern them, while Marianne is sensible and clever; but eager in everything. So we can presume that it is an achievement if you can combine these two important values.
Moreover that is the point of the life, a balance to everything, life, politics, values, and social life. I can say that Elinor could much more gain from the start of the novel if she used both of her sense and sensibility. Then Edward will be hers from the first time; but anyway this is Jane Austen novel and of course she wanted to show the two different aspects of human thinking. Also I must refer that Marianne with her sensibility, at the end she hurt a lot herself, that’s why then she tries to imitate her sister Elinor, and uses her sense.
According to all that I have been said it makes the point that “Sense” is not a plus and “Sensibility” a minus in the same name Novel, but a combination of both of them, and much more complex than this. However the story ends with Elinor marring Edward, and Marianne marring Colonel. I must say that there is no fault with these personalities. Some people hide their feelings, and so make easy to know how they feel. The point that I want to emphasis is that every personality has its own unique characteristics. So I can say that for Elinor Sense was wrong and for Marianne was good her Sensibility, both of them is unique.