Who wins when the contest is between Sense and Sensibility? Though they look marginally different in anatomy, sense and sensibility are two diametrically opposite terms, and one wonders who wins the case in Jane Austen's popular novel Sense and Sensibility. Though it was not the first one to be written by one of the most distinguished and renowned authors in history, it was published first.
The "sense" in this literary work is portrayed by Elinor Dashwood, who is all reason, social responsibility, restraint and concern. The "Sensibility" is held high by her sister, Mariane Dashwood: all emotion, impulse, passion and unabashed devotion. On one hand is the concealment and inexpressiveness of Elinor; when she is bashful and secretive of her love for Edward Ferras, and on the other, the sentimental expressiveness of Marianne for her likeness for John Willoughby. The amusing contrast but astonishing harmony between these opposites in the Dashwood sisters is the main theme of the book. It reflects on the fact that it should always be a necessity to find a middle path between the two extremes, rather than assuming one extreme to be the way things are ideal.
Jane Austen has beautifully told a story that has metaphoric implications in a strong flavor. The timeline of the novel is the dawn of the eighteenth century, when the world was taking a turn from the stern and logical classicism to the imaginative and unchained romanticism. The two protagonist sisters here are symbols of this changing literary environment. But the contrasts are not stark; there are balancing factors in the characters that make the "middle path" undertones more pronounced with every page.
Shop online for this must read Penguin Classics publication using ISBN 10 number - 0140623272 and ISBN 13 number - 978-0140623277.