Sense And Sensibility Analysis

1260 Words6 Pages
Social Class in Sense and Sensibility In her first published novel, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen brought to life the struggles and instability of the English hierarchy in the early 19th century. Through the heartaches and happiness shared by Elinor Dashwood, who represented sense and her sister Marianne, who stood for sensibility, Austen tells a story of sisters who plummet from the upper class to the lower crust of society and the characters that surround them. Austen juxtaposes the upper and lower classes in English society to give the reader a full understanding of the motivation to be a part of the upper class and the sacrifices one will give up to achieve such status. Austen exposes the corruptness of society, the significance of…show more content…
While neither sister is motivated by a desire to social climb, nearly every other character is, and in turn social class plays an extremely significant role in Marianne and Elinor’s lives. Austen writes that Elinor is “afraid that the pleasantness of an employment does not always evince its…show more content…
Austen’s characters live on the edge of the upper class and the way out of such precariousness and into security frequently involves making a good marriage. Love is not a factor in a profitable marriage because the characters are prevented from marrying whom they wish by the vanity, social snobbery of their families and money. As is often the case, Austen’s views on money are expressed through the practical Elinor. Elinor claims that “wealth has much to do with” happiness. Marianne romantically dismisses wealth as an ingredient of happiness: “Elinor, for shame! … Beyond a competence, it can afford no real satisfaction.” Austen is able to reveal that even those who claim to believe that money is not important are convinced of the necessity of having it. For example, Edward’s mother claims “His own two thousand pounds should be his all; she would never see him again; and so far would she be from affording him the smallest assistance, that if he were to enter into any profession with a view of better support, she would do all in her power to prevent his advancing in it.” Austen portrays marriage as a simple financial merger as Edward is essentially dismissed by his mother for letting down the Ferrars Corporation. Colonel Brandon is only able to marry Marianne for love because he is rich enough to ignore her lack of fortune.

More about Sense And Sensibility Analysis

Open Document