Sense And Sensibility Essay, Research Paper
Sense and Sensibility
In the movie Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen illuminated the repeated theme of emotions versus control through the actions of her two characters, Marianne, who was very sensuous and Elinor, who was very sensible. Their actions showed how Marianne was in touch with her senses and fully experienced her emotions and how Elinor seemed to possess good practical judgment and thought more about her actions and consequences thoroughly. These differences in their characters were exemplified throughout the story as they experienced love, disappointment, and resolution.
When the sisters experienced their first love, they each expressed their feelings very differently. When Elinor first met Edward in the beginning of the movie and started to fall in love with him, his character developed into a caring, kind and gentle one. When Mrs. Dashwood was talking to Franny on the porch, watching Edward and Elinor walk together, Franny said to her, “Should he plant his affections in less than exalted ground.” Franny lead on and said that Edward was not of Elinors low social standings. Then Elinor and the girls left and went to live far off elsewhere. Elinor was very quiet and said that Edward never committed anything to her and she controled and held her emotion inside. This same scenario happened to Marianne later in the story. When she met Willoughby after his daring rescue of her from her twisted ankle, she immediately fell for him and his romantic poetry. She spent a great deal of time with him and she believed his feelings were mutual and there was love between the two of them. However, he left suddenly and without any explanation. Marianne coped with disappointment very differently than Elinor. Marianne cried, was very openly sad, and emotionally distraught for several days. She let it be known that she was unhappy and solicited pity and comfort from others.
When the sisters were invited to London, they each had very different reactions.
Marianne squealed with delight and chattered endlessly with the other ladies about the invite. She also anticipated that she would see Willoughby in London. Elinor, on the other hand, took the news with very little or no reaction having the recent news of Lucy Steele’s and Edward’s engagement still on her mind. She continued to restrain her feelings about Edward and going to London.
Later in the story, both sisters discoved their true loves had been promised to others. Again, their reactions are emotional versus practical. During a social gathering of women, Elinor learned from Lucy Steele that Edward was engaged to Lucy. Lucy told this to Elinor in secrecy and had Elinor vow to never speak of it to anyone. Elinor was shocked having had learned that Edward had promised his love elsewhere. She was very quiet about it and never spoke a word of it to anyone. She controlled and hid her sadness from others. When Lucy talked more of it to Elinor, Elinor became quiet and distraught saying nothing of her opinion back in conversation. A similar scenario again happened to Marianne as she attended a ball room dance. She saw Willoughby at the dance and found the reason for his departure earlier in the story. Willoughby had his estates taken away from him, so he married a wealthy woman. Marianne saw this and stormed out of the dance crying with the concern of her sister and others. When she got back to the house she cried for a long time with Elinor by her side comforting her. She then walked out into the fields and into the rain to look at Willoughby’s house, morning from his abandonment. There she collapsed and lie in the rain. With her sister and others worrying about her back at the house, Colonel Brandon came to her rescue and brought her home. She was very sick and recovered after a lengthy recovery.
Jane Austen seemed to indicate that Marianne and Elinor could have been a good balance for each other. Marianne enjoyed intensely experiencing life but suffered the consequences. Elinor lead a controlled life with safe consequences. However, there seemed to be a twist at the end with Elinor finding true happiness and Marianne settling for a relationship without passion. Jane Austen’s story leaves us believing that a little of both, sense and sensibility, are most desirable.