In Sense and Sensibility, letters form a critical portion of Austens narrative technique ; while some letters are cited verbatim ( direct citation ) , others are simply mentioned but non seen by the reader ( indirect mention ) . However, while all the chief characters communicate through letter-writing, Austen quotes merely six letters straight.
Using this statement about the map of letters in the novel as a usher, this essay will supply a critical analysis of the six letters in the novel and will notice on: The manner in which each letter-writer addresses the character to whom he or she writes, and the manner each missive is signed. Why, in each instance, the character has written the missive. ( Remember that the grounds, in each instance, may be diverse. ) How each character portrays himself or herself in the missive and his or her motive for portraying himself or herself in this manner and the extent to which each letter-writer expresses himself or herself with formality or informality, emotion or imperturbability, earnestness or the purpose to pull strings.
The first missive that is mentioned in the novel comes from chapter 4. When Mr. Henry Dashwood dies, go forthing all his money to his first married woman ‘s boy John Dashwood, his 2nd married woman and her three girls are left with no lasting place and really small income. Under such atrocious fortunes a missive is delivered to ask for Mrs. Dashwood and her girls Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret to remain with their distant dealingss, the Middletons, at Barton Park. The offer is for a little house, on really easy footings that was written personally and for friendly adjustment. Mrs Dashwood had her declarations formed and immediately replied to accept Sir Johns proposal. The house was simple, and the rent so uncommonly moderate, that she couldnt object on any point. Elinor is sad to go forth their place at Norland because she has become closely affiliated to Edward Ferrars, the brother-in-law of her half-brother John.
We come across a series of letters in chapter 29, after Marianne openly expresses her fondnesss for John Willoughby. Elinor and Marianne are indebted to attach to Lady Middleton to a party, even though Marianne complains she is far excessively dark to bask dancing. Marianne gimmicks sight of Willoughby in the crowd of partiers and hastes towards him. She is astonished and profoundly distressed when he ignores her and avoids oculus contact, he appears to be deep in conversation with a immature lady. When Marianne eventually manages to near him straight, he comments without experiencing that he had received her letters but ne’er found her at place when he attempted to see her in answer. ( Sparknote Editors, n.d ) . Marianne is heartbroken by this hapless alibi and leaves the party straight off with her sisters, she is so overcome by heartache that she climbs into bed every bit shortly as she gets place.
After breakfast, the following twenty-four hours, Marianne portions with Elinor a missive that has merely been delivered from Willoughby. In his missive, Willoughby apologises for anything in his behavior and mode at the party that might hold offended her. He expresses his esteem for the full Dashwood household and declinations if he of all time gave Marianne any ground to believe that he felt otherwise for her. Finally, he informs her of his approaching battle to another adult female and encloses in his missive the three notes that she sent to him in London and returns her lock of hair. This missive is addressed Dear Madam and signed off as I am, beloved Madam, your most obedient low retainer. ( Austen, 129 )
The three letters that are returned to Marianne from Willoughby are letters of despairing supplications for Willoughby to see her at Mrs. Jennings ‘s place. Marianne confesses that they were ne’er officially engaged to one another and starts to gain her emotional behavior. The first of these three letters announce that Marianne is in town and how she wishes to see him, she marks the missive stating M.D. This is a much more romantic and intimate sign language than Willoughbys formal missive of reference. Her 2nd note, which had been written on the forenoon after the dance at the Middletons ‘ , inquiries his whereabouts at the party and why he has non replied to her letters or come to run into her since he knows where she is remaining, once more she marks off M.D. the 3rd and concluding missive from Marianne to Willoughby asks of his behavior towards her and an account for this alteration. Marianne admirations if Willoughby has heard false truths about her and asks every inquiry as to why his behavior was so dissatisfactory for her. Marianne asks Willoughby to return her letters and her lock of hair if he no longer returns her fondnesss. ( Austen, 132 ) Elinor is shattered over her sisters pain and can barely believe that Marianne could be so frontward in her fondnesss for Willoughby when they were non engaged. Elinors sort bosom still comforts her sister with soft words.
Mrs. Jennings tries to soothe Marianne but says all the incorrect things. She comments to Elinor that her sister looks “ really bad ” ( Austen, 218: 9 ) and that she should gain that Willoughby “ is non the lone immature adult male in the universe worth holding. ” ( Austen, 218: 22 ) She goes on to explicate to Elinor how Willoughby had to suddenly proposed to Miss Sophia Grey, a affluent inheritress because he had squandered all his lucks.
There is a contrast between Elinor and Marianne reactions to their lovers ‘ apparently insensitive intervention. Marianne insists through her heartache that “ I care non who knows that I am wretched. ” ( Austen, 167: 9 ) Marianne openly expresses her feelings and her efforts for familiarity with Willoughby at the party are public, this contrasts strikingly with Elinor ‘s more cautious and private restraint.
The following missive to analyze is from Lucy Ferrars to Edward. Thomas, the Dashwoods ‘ retainer, arrives from town with the intelligence that “ Mr. Ferrars ” has married Lucy Steele. This intelligence upsets both Marianne and Elinor, the two sisters react really otherwise, Marianne falls into a tantrum of craze, and Elinor appears profoundly saddened and disappointed.
Shortly after this intelligence, Elinor thinks she sees Colonel Brandon nearing Barton Cottage on horseback, when she looks closer, she realizes that the visitant is really Edward Ferrars. When he gets to the house, Elinor and Marianne inquiry him about his recent matrimony, he realizes the misinterpretation and assures them that it was Robert, his brother, who married Lucy Steele. Edward explains that now his brother is to inherit Mrs Ferrars ‘s money, Lucy has shifted her fondnesss to him. Elinor is so alleviated and Edward shortly proposes, Elinor accepts his proposal and is so happy how events eventually turned out. Edward is invited for dinner that eventide and he explains the too bad fortunes that foremost led to his battle to Lucy. Edward besides portions with the Dashwood sisters a note from Lucy in which she informed him of her marraige to Robert and cut off all romantic ties with him. This missive is a really formal history of Lucy explicating how she is married to Robert before she has even told Edward of losing her fondnesss for him. Lucy tells Edward that she has burnt all of his letters and will return his image at the first chance. She asks Edward to destruct her letters but he can maintain her ring and hair. Elinor is shocked and surprised by these disclosures, Lucy officially addresses the missive as Dear Sir and without attention leaves Edward with nil. Edward is non certain how long the matter between Lucy and his brother continued for before Lucy felt she should inform Edward.
Marianne eventually accepts the fondnesss of Colonel Brandon and the sisters live together at Delaford. The sisters continue to keep a close relationship with their younger sister Margaret and their motherat Barton Cottage, and the households live merrily of all time after.
Marianne ‘s concluding credence of Colonal Brandon seems wholly out of character, since the matrimony requires her to abandon her romantic ideals wholly. It seems dubious that Marianne would love Brandon with every bit much love that she had shared for Willoughby, she does non cognize him every bit good. By Austen stoping her novel with their matrimony, she shows the extent of Marianne ‘s character transmutation, she writes, “ She was born to detect the falsity of her ain sentiments, and to antagonize by her behavior her most favorite axioms. ” ( Austen, 339:1 ) If Marianne ‘s ability to love Brandon is flimsy, it is because of Austen ‘s great religion in the ability of the person to refashion herself in visible radiation of switching fortunes ( Sparknote Editors, n.d ) .
The contrast between the sisters ‘ characters is finally resolved as they each find love and permanent felicity. Through the events in the novel, Elinor and Marianne find a balance between sense ( or pure logic ) and esthesia ( or pure emotion ) in life and love.
SparkNotes Editors. SparkNote on Sense and Sensibility. SparkNotes LLC. n.d.. hypertext transfer protocol: //www.sparknotes.com/lit/sensibility/ ( accessed August 25, 2010 ) .
Favret, Mary. Sense and Sensibility: The Letter, Post Factum, pp. 373.
Austen, Jane and Johnson, Reginald Brimley. The novels and letters of Jane Austen, Volume 1. F.S. Holby, 1906
Austen, Jane. Sense and Sensibility. B. Tauchnitz, 1864
JV Starfield, 2009. Jane Austen, Sense & A ; Sensibility, Lecture 2. University of Johan