How Does Jane Austen Use Motifs In Sense And Sensibility?

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Sense & Sensibility, a book written by Jane Austen, is a timeless classic loved by many people through many different generations. This book contains three very prevalent motifs. A motif is a repeated idea in any kind of text. A motif is typically one word, in contrast to a theme, which is more than one word. Authors typically use motifs to make a text’s development better. They may also use a motif to inform better. In Sense & Sensibility, the three most prevalent motifs are money, inheritance, and secrecy because they all closely tie into the main theme of wealth vs. poverty. Out of the three, the most prevalent seems to be money. Money is the most obvious motif in Sense & Sensibility. At the beginning of the story, Henry Dashwood dies, and in his will he states his second wife and three daughters should be taken care of by Robert Dashwood, his son of his first wife. At first, Robert believes that he should give them some money to help them, but his wife Fanny manages to convince him to not give them any money and to just help them out in little ways. “…and he finally resolved, that it would be absolutely unnecessary, if not highly indecorous, to do…show more content…
Money was likely chosen as the main motif because the main theme of the story is wealth vs. poverty. Austen wanted to show how the wealthy would do a lot to avoid being poor. Inheritance is also closely tied to money, as in this time period money was often inherited. Inheritance is an important part of wealth vs. poverty, since most of the women in this story are trying to marry a man who will inherit a lot of money to avoid being poor. Secrecy does not contribute as much as the other motifs to the main idea, but it is still a key part. Austen tries to show that the wealthy will often keep secrets at other’s expense to ensure that their fortune is kept by using the motif of secrecy. Each motif had a huge impact on both the story’s development as well as its

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