Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility: A Critical Analysis

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Jane Austen's most famous works of fiction "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility" are based on the life and society in England in the 19th century. Both novels essentially have women protagonists, who are of a marriageable age. In "Pride and Prejudice," Elizabeth Bennet is the central character, whereas two sisters named Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are the central characters in "Sense and Sensibility."


The novel begins with the introduction of one such single and very eligible bachelor, Mr. Bingley, who arouses the interests of the Bennet family from the moment of his arrival at Netherfield Park. Mrs. Bennet, the mother of five daughters, begins to make plans about getting him married to one of her daughters. Throughout the novel, she pursues this matter most eagerly, and is more than pleased to find that Mr. Bingley is seeking after her daughter Jane.
Although marriage is one of the subjects pursued in "Sense and Sensibility," it is not the key theme of the story. The key theme is the depiction of the ideal manner of deportment in society. This is portrayed through the contrasting temperaments of the sisters Elinor, and Marianne. The character of Elinor represents 'sense' because she keeps her feelings under wraps, and is not given to mood swings or passionate disclosure of her feelings in society. Her sister Marianne however, represents 'sensibility', because she is a very passionate creature, and also very open and opinionated about her likes and dislikes. Whereas Elinor weighs her words before uttering them, Marianne forms quick judgments, and looses no time in displaying her emotions.
The marriage of the Dashwood sisters is not of utmost importance in their family. ...
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